Arnold Chin, MD, PhD

Arnold Chin, M.D., Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, Urology


Arnold Chin, M.D., Ph.D., is dedicated to improving treatment options for patients with urologic cancers, which affect the bladder, kidney, prostate and testes. Focused on bladder and prostate cancer, his research team studies how the immune system recognizes and responds to the growth and spread of tumors using both animal models as well as tissue samples from patients with cancer. Chin hopes his research will help improve clinicians’ ability to individualize cancer treatments and enable the design of novel drugs that optimize the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.

Chin is working towards identifying the internal and external cellular signals that influence a unique subset of immune cells called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Previous research from Chin’s lab found that these cells, which are able to leave the bloodstream and infiltrate tumors, can be helpful in controlling the tumor’s growth as well as the cancer’s ability to metastasize and respond to immunotherapies. Further understanding of how these powerful cancer-fighting cells can be manipulated or programed could aid in developing methods to inhibit tumor growth.

A second area of Chin’s research centers on understanding cancer stem cells, which are rare cancer cells that behave like stem cells in that they are able to self-renew and give rise to all cell types found in a tumor. Some cancers may recur because cancer stem cells can often evade common cancer treatments – such as chemotherapy and radiation – and regenerate tumors. Chin is investigating a novel protein that appears to regulate the treatment-resistance of bladder cancer stem cells. The goal of this work is to develop drugs to suppress this protein in the hopes of making cancer stem cells susceptible to treatments.

Chin is also working to characterize the cell populations in micrometastases, small collections of cancer cells that break off from the primary tumor and spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes. Chin hypothesizes that this population contains cancer stem cells and he hopes that identifying the types of cells that make up micrometastases will provide insights into how to inhibit the spread of cancer.

Chin earned his medical and doctorate degrees in molecular biology from UCLA. He subsequently completed his residency training in urology at UCLA.


Honors & Affiliations


  • Rising Stars, Super Doctors, 2018


  • Tumor Immunology and Genitourinary Oncology Program Areas, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Institute of Urologic Oncology
  • Molecular Biology Institute
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Urologic Association
  • Associate editorial board, American Journal of Cancer Research
  • Editorial board, Bladder


Chin’s work is funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program and the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center, including support from and the Hal Gaba Director’s Fund for Cancer Stem Cell Research.


Studying bladder cancer cells
Dr. Arnold Chin is a physician scientist who treats patients with bladder cancer – the fifth most common form of cancer in the U.S. – and studies this deadly form of cancer in the lab. His research seeks to understand bladder cancer stem cells, which are resistant to chemotherapy and immunotherapy and often cause cancer recurrence, making current treatments less than 50 percent effective. Dr. Chin hopes his research will uncover unique signaling pathways in bladder cancer stem cells that could be exploited to overcome treatment resistance and halt cancer recurrence