Xiaokun Shu, PhD

555 Mission Bay Blvd South, Rm 452Y
UCSF Box 3122
San Francisco, CA 94158
United States

What I do

We use principles of physics and chemistry to design technologies for biology.

My research expertise

protein design and evolution, molecular imaging from single molecules to whole animals, signaling in tumorigenesis, cell cycle and developmental biology


PhD, Biophysics, University of Oregon, 2007
MS, Computational Physics, Fudan University, 2003
BS, Theoretical Physics, Sichuan University, 2000


The Shu lab is interested in applying Principles of Physics and Chemistry to develop technologies for Biology. With the completion of human genome project, the next step in understanding biology and disease is to identify protein interactome and to characterize protein machines since protein-protein interaction networks underlie most cellular processes and protein machines carry out every major cellular process and maintain homeostasis of an organism. However, unlike the genome, protein interactome is dynamic and contains weakly associated components, which are difficult to detect. Hence, toward construction of a complete human interactome, we aim to develop new technologies for: 1) identifying weak or transient protein interactions; 2) imaging protein-protein interactions with spatiotemporal resolution. To understand mechanisms of biological processes and disease, we are also interested in developing technologies for: 3) imaging spatiotemporal dynamics of cell signaling including kinase activities in whole-animals; 4) imaging neuronal activities in brain by recording calcium and membrane potential. With these technologies, our ultimate goal is to understand molecular mechanisms of animal development and disease.