Jin-Ran Chen, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics
Section of Developmental Nutrition
Our research program is centered on the investigation of how nutrition impacts skeletal development, growth and function. The lab evaluates the effects of postnatal and early-life diets on short-term and long-term bone outcomes, both at the molecular level and in whole tissue. Early exposure to phytonutrients (e.g., from blueberries or soy), or to breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, are considered in both animal models and in human cohorts. Other studies are determining the mechanisms by which obesity and high fat diet (in both mothers and their offspring) can lead to poor bone health. Our research goal is to determine if early-life dietary manipulations/intervention will boost bone health during the critical bone-forming years, and to aid in obtaining optimal peak bone mass leading to the prevention of degenerative bone disorders later in life.