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Shih-Jung Fan


Postdoctoral Research Scientist

I graduated in Zoology from the National Taiwan University and also went on to do a Master’s degree at the same university. The aim of my Masters project was to identify new maternal effect genes and analyse their function during early embryogenesis in Drosophila. Intrigued by the fact that several embryonic polarity determinants are asymmetrically deposited in the oocyte, I went on to focus on the mechanism of mRNA localisation during Drosophila oogenesis during my doctorate at EMBL in Germany.

During my Postdoctoral work, I decided to expand my research interests and moved from the field of cell fate determination to explore cell growth control, which plays an important role during development as well as pathogenesis, such as cancer. Cells need to respond to their environments in order to adjust their growth. This is particularly vital for tumour cells, because they can grow at an exponential rate and in hostile microenvironments. In the lab, I use both Drosophila and human cancer cell lines to understand how normal and cancer cells respond to limited amino acid supplies to change internal cellular signalling, detected through the microenvironmental stress sensor, mTOR complex 1, which is a critical signalling hub within cells with a central role in regulating cell growth and metabolism. In addition, I am also interested in strategies developed by cells to overcome environmental challenges, such as the secretion of extracellular vesicles from intracellular compartments (known as exosomes) and from the cell surface. Such vesicles have been implicated in reprogramming other cells, eg modulating behaviour (Corrigan et al., 2014) or facilitating metastatic spread. 


Fan SJ*Snell C*Turley HLi JLMcCormick RPerera SMHeublein SKazi SAzad A,Wilson CHarris ALGoberdhan DC (2015) PAT4 levels control amino-acid sensitivity of rapamycin-resistant mTORC1 from the Golgi and affect clinical outcome in colorectal cancer.   Oncogene 35(23):3004-3015

*contributed equally to this paper

Mensah LBDavison CFan SJMorris JFGoberdhan DC, Wilson C (2015) Fine-Tuning of PI3K/AKT Signalling by the Tumour Suppressor PTEN Is Required for Maintenance of Flight Muscle Function and Mitochondrial Integrity in Ageing Adult Drosophila melanogaster. PloS One 10(11):e0143818

Corrigan, L, Redhai S, Leiblich A, Fan SJ, Perera SM, Patel R, Gandy C, Wainwright SM, Morris JF, Hamdy F, Goberdhan DCI*, Wilson C* (2014) BMP-regulated exosomes from Drosophila male reproductive glands reprogram female behavior. J Cell Biol 206, 671-88.

*contributed equally to this paper

Fan SJ, Marchand V, Ephrussi A (2011) Drosophila Ge-1 promotes P body formation and oskar mRNA localization. PLoS One 6, e20612.

Lin MD, Fan SJ, Hsu WS, Chou TB (2006) Drosophila decapping protein 1, dDcp1, is a component of the oskar mRNP complex and directs its posterior localization in the oocyte. Dev Cell 10, 601-13.

Fan SR, Ho IC, Yeoh FL, Lin CJ, Lee TC (1996) Squalene inhibits sodium arsenite-induced sister chromatid exchanges and micronuclei in Chinese hamster ovary-K1 cells. Mutat Res 5, 165-9.