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Shawn Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Biological Sciences 
320 Irvine Hall


Education:  Ph.D., Biomedicinal Chemistry, University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University


Research Interest:  Antibiotic producing actinomycetes


Gene expression and the regulatory networks, bacterial small RNAs, metabolic pathways, antibiotic biosynthesis and the enzymology, genetic and molecular engineering are the areas of interest. One current project is the genomic and genetic analysis of antibiotic-producing actinomycetes from honeybee guts. Another is the biosynthesis of Trojan horse antibiotic albomycins and the applications in biotechnology. 



1991, B.S. Biochemistry (with Honors) Shandong University (China)
2000, Ph.D. Biomedicinal Chemistry, University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University
2007, Post-doc, Biochemistry, The Scripps Research Institute.


Representative Publications:

  • Patil PB, Zeng Y, Coursey T, Houston P, Miller I, Chen S. Isolation and characterization of a Nocardiopsis sp. from honeybee guts. FEMS Micro. Lett. (2010), 312(2):110-118.
  • Zeng Y, Roy H, Patil PB, Ibba M, Chen S. Characterization of two seryl-tRNA synthetases in albomycin-producing Streptomyces sp. ATCC 700974. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2009), 53(11): 4619-4627.
  • Chen S, Schultz PG, Brock A. An improved system for generation and analysis of unnatural amino acids incorporated proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisae. J. Mol. Biol. (2007), 371(1):112-122.
  • Chen S, Zhang A, Blyn LB, Storz G. MicC, a new small RNA regulates outer membrane protein OmpC at post-transcriptional level. J. Bacteriology (2004), 186 (20): 6689-6697.
  • Chen S, Lesnik EA, Hall TA, Sampath R, Griffey RH, Ecker DJ, Blyn LB. A Bioinformatics approach to discover small RNA genes in E. coli genome. BioSystems (2002). 65:157-177.