David Chen, MD, PhD



Dave is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Dermatology and specializes in the care of patients with cutaneous malignancies. He has a long-standing interest in cancer biology, so dermatology was a bit of a detour for him. As with many physician-scientists, it was a single patient experience that brought clarity to the particular challenges that affect the care of patients with cutaneous malignancies, as well as the unique opportunities to hopefully make a difference.

Leslie Sutton


Research Technician

Leslie earned her BS in Biology at Iowa State University, where she became interested in molecular cell and developmental biology studying zebrafish L/R axis development and the misfolded protein response in Arabidopsis. She grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis and is thrilled to be back home working in the Chen lab. She plans to attend graduate school in the future but currently investigates what drives the mislocalization of Kdm6a in certain skin cancers. Outside of academia, she enjoys taking care of her plants and two cats, cycling, dancing, exploring the city’s vegetarian food and craft beer scenes, and helping mutual aid groups in the area.

Danielle Gibbs


Research Technician

Danielle earned a BS in Physics with an emphasis in Astronomy and a minor in mathematics from the University of Missouri St. Louis where she researched the chemical composition of comets. Her research background is in computational imaging and spectroscopy. She is from a small town a little north of St. Louis and is delighted to have finally made it into the city. She is elated to be joining the world of biology and to be back in a research environment working in the Chen lab. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time with her partner and her family, playing guitar, and reading with a cat on her lap.

Marissa Jimenez


Clinical Research Coordinator

Marissa earned a BS in Health Management from Lindenwood University. She has been working in the healthcare field since 2005 and joined the team in June of 2021, as a clinical research coordinator. Over the years her passion has become regulatory compliance and helping others. She also enjoys music, road trips, biking, plants, exploring the city for flavorful cuisines, finding the best coffee, roaming around parks, enjoying architecture, learning about new city developments, and volunteering with Mindseye Radio.

Minjun Park


medical Student

Minjun earned his BA in Computer Science and a minor in Chemistry from New York University. During his undergraduate career, he focused on research pertaining to bioinformatics and implementing machine learning and neural networks in biological contexts. He is now pursuing a degree in Doctor of Medicine at Saint Louis University. During his free time, Minjun likes to explore cafes, eat sushi, and play with his cat Haru.

Elijah Darden


Undergraduate student

Elijah is a sophomore undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in psychological and brain sciences with a minor in music. His research interests are in skin cancer biology, coming from his personal experiences with familial melanoma. He aspires to attend medical school and continue his research interests while promoting equity through community-based medicine and education. In his free time, Elijah enjoys composing, writing, performing music, working out, volunteering in his community, and enjoying time with friends and family.

Gulinu Maimaituxun, MD, PhD


Postdoctoral fellow

Gulinu received her Ph.D. in Medicine from Tokushima University in Japan, after which she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Fukushima Medical University working on a clinical study of visceral fat quantification by CT imaging techniques. Subsequently, she worked as a researcher at the University of Tsukuba where she worked to characterize endocrine signaling in human skin interstitial fluid by intradermal microdialysis. Her enthusiasm for academic science and strong interest in skin cancer research brought her to the Chen lab as a postdoctoral fellow to study the contributions of epigenetic regulators to the development of keratinocyte skin cancers. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time with her partner and kids, cooking, running and reading.

Truc Pham


Medical Student (MSTP rotation student)

Truc earned a BS from Union College majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in German Studies. She is an aspiring physician-scientist dedicated to translational research and is currently an MD-PhD student at Washington University in St Louis. Truc has been putting down roots in different places. She grew up in Vietnam and have lived in upstate NY and Boston and is super excited to explore the food scene in St. Louis. Truc loves traveling to new places, hiking, reading, and recently picked up gardening.


Amandi Wilson, MHS (SRP fellow)
Elizabeth Sulvarán-Guel (HSG rotation student)
Grace Ugwueke (SRP fellow)

Lab Pets

 These pets keep our lab humans happy and productive

Gremlin and Tupperware



Vincent van Gogh


Atticus and Guenhwyvar