Zhiyuan Shen, MD, PhD
Professor of Radiation Oncology
Chief, Division of Radiation Cancer Biology
Department of Radiation Oncology
Co-leader, Genomic Instability and Cancer Genetics
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Dr. Zhiyuan Shen is a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Pharmacology at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and an adjunct professor at the Department of Genetics of the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Shen received a MD degree from the Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences (now merged with Jilin University, China) in 1985, and a PhD degree in Molecular Biology and Radiation Biology from Colorado State University in 1993. After completing a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he became an tenure track Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1997), and at University of New Mexico (2000) where he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2003. In 2006, he was recruited to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) as the inaugural chief of the newly formed Division of Radiation Cancer Biology within the Department of Radiation Oncology. In 2008, he became a tenured full professor and was appointed a co-leader of the previous Genomic Instability and Tumor Progression and the current Genomic Instability and Cancer Genetics research program at Rutgers Cancer Institute.
Dr. Zhiyuan Shen has a longstanding interest to elucidate the mechanisms by which genomic instability is provoked and how it drives tumorigenesis. His PhD research identified and cloned the mouse cytochromes p450-1b1 gene (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993, DNA Cell Biol 1994). His postdoctoral woks had led to the identifications of mammalian RAD52 (Genomics 1995), RAD52-RAD51 interaction (J Biol Chem 1996), UBL1/SUMO1 (Genomics 1996), and UBE2I/UBC9 (Genomics 1996). Since becoming an independent investigator in 1997, his research has focused on the etiological role of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 network in various forms of human cancers, particularly on a previously uncharacterized protein, BCCIP, which was initially identified as a BRCA2 and CDKN1A (p21) Interacting Protein. Works from his laboratory suggests that BCCIP plays a critical role in multiple mechanisms that maintain genomic integrity and regulate cell proliferation. Recently, Dr. Shen has devoted a significant effort to establish unique mouse models and genomic approaches to reveal new mechanism by which caretaker genes maintain genomic integrity and suppress tumorigenesis (see Research Overview for details).