Hui Shen, PhD

Dr. Hui Shen joined Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Epigenetics as an assistant professor in 2014. Prior to joining VARI, she completed her graduate studies at University of Southern California, where she received training in both cancer biology and biostatistics. She was a recipient of numerous fellowships there, including the Provost’s Ph.D. Fellowship; an NIH Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Biology (CBM) Training Program Fellowship; and a Charles Heidelberger Memorial Predoctoral Fellowship. She received her undergraduate degree from Nanjing University, China.

Dr. Shen is a member of many national and international cancer consortia, including The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a consortium dedicated to better understanding the molecular basis of cancer through genomic analysis. Dr. Shen joined the TCGA team as a graduate student, and worked on understanding the epigenetic profiles of serous ovarian cancer. Her interest in ovarian cancer developed further when working on other types of female cancer, fueled by the discovery of a striking similarity between serous ovarian cancer and a subtype of breast cancer, as well as serous uterine cancer. Using epigenetic profiles of ovarian cancer as a cue, she identified the first subtype-specific and first clear-cell ovarian cancer germline susceptibility gene for ovarian cancer. Dr. Shen is particularly interested in cancer epigenome and its interaction with the genome, and using epigenetic profiles to understand cell of origin and both inter- and intra- tumor heterogeneity.