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Prof. Sanbing Shen

Professor of Fundamental Stem Cell Biology sanbing.shen@nuigalway.ie

Stem cells, neuronal differentiation, CNS diseases and underlying mechanisms

Researcher in

Research Project Area: 

Prof. Shen is currently starting a new research group on fundamental stem cell biology at REMEDI. Previously, he has derived new ES cell lines from C57BL/6JCrl mice, and demonstrated that expression of a mutant RARβ was able to promote stemness in mouse ES cells and alter lineage differentiation (Chatzi et al, 2010). His group also developed a technology to differentiate mouse ES cells into homogenous GABAergic neurons, which are deficient in a wide range of neurological conditions such as Huntington's disease, brain and spinal cord injuries, seizure, stroke, pain, schizophrenia, anxiety and other mood disorders (Chatzi et al, 2009).

His team at Galway is making iPS cells from patients of various neurological conditions including schizophrenia, autism, Parkinson’s diseases, velo-cardio-facial syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, glaucoma and cardiomyopathy in collaboration with clinicians from Ireland, Scotland and China. They are also interesting in developing artificial chromosome technology and neuronal differentiation protocols, examining disease phenotype on dish and exploring cell transplantation therapy in animal models.

Positions Held: 

Professor in Stem Cell Biology,
Regenerative Medicine Institute, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, Ireland.
School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK
Senior Lecturer
School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen
School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen
Named AR2 Research Scientist (in a MRC programme grant)
Dept Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh.
Non-clinical Scientist
MRC Brain Metabolism Unit, Edinburgh.
Non-clinical Scientist
MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh.
Research Assistant
Institute of Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Natural Sciences, Beijing.

Awards & Honours: 

Distinguished Young Scientist Award, Chinese Natural Science Foundation, Beijing.
Distinguished Young Scientist Award, Institute of Developmental Biology, Beijing.1989-1993
AIO Scholarship, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Netherlands
Honorary Professor, FMMU, Tang Du Hospital, Xi’an, China

Selected Publications: 

Shen S, Pu J, Lang B and McCaig CD. A zinc finger protein Zfp521 directs neural differentiation and beyond. Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2011 Apr 27;2(2):20.

Chatzi C, van den Brink CE, van der Saag PT, McCaig CD and Shen S. 2010. Expression of a mutant retinoic acid receptor β alters lineage differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells and Development 19:951-60. 

Chatzi C, Scott RH, Pu J, Lang B, Nakamoto C, McCaig CD and Shen S. 2009. Derivation of homogeneous GABAergic neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells. Exp. Neurol. 217:407-416.

Shen S, Lang B, Nakamoto C, Zhang F, Deiana S, Kuan S-L, Pu J, Micheau J, Chatzi C, He S-S, Mackie I, Brandon NJ, Marquis K, Day M, Hurko O, McCaig CD, Riedel G and St Clair D. 2008. Schizophrenia-related neural and behavioral phenotypes in transgenic mice expressing truncated Disc1. J. Neurosci. 28:10893-904.

Lang B, Song B, Davidson W, MacKenzie A, Smith N, McCaig CD, Harmar AJ and Shen S. 2006. Expression of the human PAC1 receptor leads to dosage-dependent hydrocephalus-related abnormalities in mice. J. Clin. Invest. 116: 1924-1934.

Shen S, Spratt C, Sheward WJ, Kallo I, West KM, Morrison CF, Coen CW, Marston HM, Harmar AJ. 2000. Over-expression of the human VPAC2 receptor in the suprachiasmatic nucleus alters the circadian phenotype of mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97:11575-11580.

Professional and Personal Interests: 

Editorial board member, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF STEM CELLS


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