Chun Peng

c-pengPhD (Alberta)
Professor and York Research Chair in Women’s Reproductive Health
Research areas: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Physiology, Reproduction

Research Focus

Dr. Peng's primary research focuses on female reproduction and women's reproductive health. Her lab uses various tools in cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, and bioinformatics to investigate how growth factors, hormones, and microRNAs regulate oocyte maturation and placental development and how their dysregulation contributes to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. In addition, her lab studies the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of ovarian cancer.

Current research projects in Dr. Peng's lab include:

  1. Regulation of placental development by signaling networks and their involvement in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.
  2. Role of circular RNAs in ovarian cancer development.
  3. Development of novel beta-catenin inhibitors as potential therapeutics for ovarian cancer.
  4. Regulation of zebrafish sexual differentiation and ovarian development.

Dr. Peng's research is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Cancer Research Society, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and York University.

Representative publications:

For a complete list of Dr. Peng’s publications, please visit:

Shan Y, Chen Y, Brkić J, Fournier L, Ma H, and Peng C, 2022. miR-218-5p induces interleukin-1β and endovascular trophoblast differentiation by targeting the transforming growth factor β-SMAD2 pathway. Front Endocrinol 13: 842587.

Hayder H, Fu G, Nadeem L, O’Brien JA, Lye SJ, and Peng C. 2021. Overexpression of miR-210-3p impairs extravillous trophoblast functions associated with uterine spiral artery remodeling. Int J Mol Sci 22: 3961.

Zayed Y, Qi X, Malik R, and Peng C, 2020. Nodal regulates ovarian functions in zebrafish.  Mol Cell Endocrinol, 511:110821.

Salem M, Shen Y, Bernaudo S, and Peng C, 2019. MicroRNA-590-3p targets cyclin G2 and FOXO3 to promote ovarian cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and spheroid formation. Int J Mol Sci 20: 1810

Zayed Y, Qi X, and Peng C, 2019. Identification of novel microRNAs and characterization of microRNA expression profiles in zebrafish ovarian follicular cells. Front Endocrinol 10:518

Salem M, O'Brien J, Bernaudo S, Shawer H, Ye G, Brkic J, Amleh A, Vanderhyden B, Reky B, Yang BB, Krylov S, and Peng C, 2018. MicroRNA-590-3p promotes ovarian cancer growth and metastasis via a novel FOXA2-Versican pathway. Cancer Res 78: 4175-4190

Brkic J, Dunk C, Fu G, Nadeem L, O'Brien J, Wang YL, Rosman D, Shynlova O, Yougbaré I, Ni H, Lye S, and Peng C, 2018. MicroRNA-218-5p promotes endovascular trophoblast differentiation and spiral artery remodeling. Mol Ther 26: 2189-2205.

O’Brien J, Hayder H, Zayed Y, and Peng C, 2018. Overview of microRNA biogenesis, mechanisms of actions, and circulation. Front Endocrinol 9:402.

Yougbaré I, Tai WS, Zdravic D, Oswald BE, Lang S, Zhu G, Leong-Poi H, Qu D, Yu L, Dunk C, Zhang J, Sled JG, Lye SJ, Brkíc J, Peng C, Höglund P, Croy BA, Adamson SL, Wen XY, Stewart DJ, Freedman J, and Ni H, 2017. Activated NK cells cause placental dysfunction and miscarriages in fetal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. Nat Commun 8: 224. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00269-1.

Bernaudo S, Salem M, Qi X, Zhou W, Zhang C, Yang W, Rosman D, Ye G, Deng Z, Yang BB, Vanderhyden B, Wu Z, and Peng C (2016). Cyclin G2 inhibits epithelial mesenchymal transition by inhibiting β-catenin signaling. Oncogene 35: 4816-4827.