The core interest of the Shan lab is to understand how biological fidelity and organization arise within the cell. Take, for example, the first few moments in a protein’s life. As a new protein emerges from the ribosome synthesizing it, numerous factors vie at the ribosome exit site to influence its folding, assembly, localization, processing, and quality control. Within seconds, nascent proteins must engage the correct factors and commit to the proper biogenesis pathway. These early decisions are critical in preventing the onset of numerous diseases rooted in defective protein homeostasis. By studying diverse protein biogenesis pathways, we aim to understand how accurate decision-making is achieved at the crowded ribosome exit site through the interaction, activity, dynamics, and coordination of protein biogenesis machineries. These lessons provide insight into general molecular principles by which accuracy is generated from noisy molecular signals in the complex cellular environment.

Awards and Achievements

  • Beckman Young Investigator Award
  • Woman in Cell Biology Junior Award
  • American Society of Cell Biology
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  • Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award
  • The Protein Society
  • Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education
  • American Chemical Society
  • Young Investigator Award
  • American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology