Recent News


Reuben Shaw
Principal Investigator

Captain of this ship.

Reuben gew up in rural upstate New York, went to Cornell for undergraduate school where he did his thesis work with Rick Cerione. He then went to MIT for graduate school and did his PhD work in Tyler Jacks' lab at the MIT Cancer Center where he focused on neurofibromatosis. Reuben did his postdoctoral work across the river at Harvard Medical School with Lew Cantley. The rest is in the screenplay.

Dan Egan
Graduate Student

After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Dan worked at Cell Signaling Technology making and testing phospho-specific antibodies. Since joining the Shaw Lab as a graduate student in the Biological Sciences program, he has been working on identifying and characterizing new substrates of the energy sensor AMPK.


Deb Vasquez
Research Assistant

The Mouse Whisperer

Jonathan Goodwin
Graduate Student


Jonathan is a graduate student in the Cellular and Molecular Genetics Program at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2005. After his undergraduate career, he worked for two years as a technician in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Lanuti at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he studied oncolytic herpes viruses. Jonathan joined the lab in the Spring of 2008 and is currently working on identifying new substrates of the MARK/Par-1 homologs, which are activated by the upstream tumor suppressor LKB1. His work aims to provide further understanding of how these conserved kinases regulate cellular polarity, cell division, and canonical/non-canonical Wnt signaling.

Laurie Gerken
Research Assistant

The Mouse Whisperer's Assistant

Maria Mihaylova
Graduate Student

Maria obtained her bachelor's degree in Molecular Genetics at Ohio State University in 2005. As an undergraduate, she did research on the neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor gene in the laboratory of Dr Long-Sheng Chang at Children's Hospital Research Institute in Columbus. She entered the UCSD Biology Graduate Program in the fall of 2006 and joined the Shaw lab in 2007. Since joining the lab, her focus has been on identifying novel AMPK substrates and understanding their role in liver metabolism.


Rebecca Kohnz
Research Assistant


Rebecca graduated from The Ohio State University in 2004 with a B.S. in molecular genetics. She entered Stony Brook University's graduate program in genetics in 2004 and spent three years at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory working on cross-genomic screening and validation of novel alterations in liver cancer. She joined the Shaw lab in 2007. Her project in the lab involves studying the consequences of liver-specific LKB1 loss, focusing on the function of LKB1 as a tumor suppressor in mouse models of liver cancer.


Nate Young
Postdoctoral Fellow

Nate Young grew up in Rochester, New York.  From there he moved on to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. He graduated from Vanderbilt with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology.  Nate's desire to pursue a career in science led him to MIT, where he completed his graduate work and received his Ph.D. in Biology.  After spending years on the other side of the U.S., Nate and his family decided to move to San Diego, where he is now a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Shaw lab.  His favorite part about San Diego is the sunshine!

Bibiana Ferreira
Postdoctoral Fellow

Bibiana is originally from Porto, a very nice city located in the northern part of Portugal. She completed her B.S. degree in Biology at the University of Aveiro in 2005, then crossed the border to Madrid where she obtained her Ph.D. in 2009 in Molecular Cytogenetics at the Spanish National Cancer Centre.  She joined the Shaw lab in July 2010 and is mainly interested in how LKB1 and AMPK can regulate cell polarity and asymmetrical cell division.


Matthew Chun
Postdoctoral Fellow

Matthew grew up in Mountain View, CA (home of Google!).  He studied biochemistry as an undergraduate at Harvard and then returned to the Bay Area for his graduate work.  He obtained his Ph.D. from UCSF, where he worked in the lab of Doug Hanahan to identify the genetic and molecular mechanisms that promote tumor invasion in pancreatic cancer.  He joined the Shaw lab in the fall of 2010 and is currently interested in understanding and characterizing the role of the Lkb1 tumor suppressor in the development of lung cancer.

Erin Quan Toyama
Postdoctoral Fellow

Erin graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Molecular Biology in 2003.  She then moved to San Francisco, where she studied protein quality control in Saccharomyces cerevisae in Jonathan Weissman’s lab at UCSF.  In 2009, Erin earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and decided to explore a new scientific direction.  She subsequently joined the Shaw lab as a postdoctoral fellow and is interested in finding novel substrates of AMPK and dissecting their biochemical and biological function.


Rob Svensson
Postdoctoral Fellow

Originally from England, Rob's interest in research led him across the pond to pursue his PhD in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa. His PhD studies in the lab of Michael Henry focused on mouse models of prostate cancer progression and therapy. After developing an interest in cancer metabolism, Rob joined the Shaw lab as a post-doc in the summer of 2011. His projects involve understanding the tumor suppressor functions of LKB1 in mouse models of lung cancer and whether environmental factors such as diet and exercise that modulate LKB1 signaling might also contribute to tumorigenesis.

Daniel Garcia
Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniel grew up in a small town in central Mexico. He got his B.S. degree from UC San Diego and then completed his Ph.D. at UC San Francisco in Gerard Evan's lab, where he worked on p53 restoration in tumors and also on establishing a novel mouse model for E2F regulation. He joined the Shaw lab as a postdoc in 2011. He studies the effects of LKB1-AMPK pathway reactivation in tumors.


Portia Lombardo
Graduate Student

Portia received her bachelor's degree in Biophysical Chemistry from Dartmouth College, where she conducted her first LKB1/AMPK-pathway research in the laboratory of Dr. Lee Witters. Following graduation, she focused on cancer lipid metabolism in Dr. William Kinlaw's lab at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, before joining the Biology graduate program at UCSD. She returned to the LKB1/AMPK pathway when she joined the Shaw lab in 2011, where she is currently dissecting the mammalian autophagy signaling network


Shaw Lab Alumni

Pierre-Damien Denechud
Postdoctoral Fellow. 
Currently doing postdoctoral research in the lab of Dr. Lluis Fajas lab at the University of Montpelier, France.


Annabelle Mery
Postdoctoral Fellow


Dana Gwinn
Postdoctoral Fellow
Stanford University

David Shackelford
Assistant Professor
University of California, Los Angeles