Charles Albert Shull Award, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB); 2014
Outstanding Research Faculty of Norman E. Borlaug Prize; Texas A&M University; 2014
Dean’s Outstanding Acievement Award for Excellence in Early Career Research, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Texas A&M University; 2013
American Society of Plant Biologists Women’s Young Investigator Travel Award; 2010
Postdoc – Molecular Biology; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; 2008
Ph.D. – Plant Pathology; Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS; 2003
M.S. – Genetics; Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; 1998
B.S – Biochemistry; Beijing Normal University, China; 1995
Dr. Libo Shan’s career combines three long-term passions into one multi-dimensional approach. In research, she elucidates the signaling mechanisms underlying innate immunity. In practice, she translates the technology gained from these theoretical systems to improve cotton in the real world. As a dedicated educator, she disseminates knowledge of research and practice to students, helping establish a cohort of future innovators in the world of plant genomics.
Through 20 years of focused research, Dr. Shan has worked on many important research topics, such as pathogen virulence effectors and host immune responses. She was among the first to report that plant bacterial “avirulence” genes possess virulence functions, and demonstrated that bacterial effectors suppress immune signaling via directly targeting immune sensory complexes to impede host immunity.
Her laboratory has identified protein kinases and E3 ubiquitin ligases that dictate distinct immune outputs for propagation and attenuation of immune responses respectively. Shan has also revealed that tyrosine phosphorylation cascade is a common regulatory mechanism that controls membrane-resident receptor signaling in plants. Moreover, her lab has elucidated the functional plasticity of shared modules in diverse signaling receptorsomes controlling plant immunity, growth and cell differentiation. In an effort to translate model system resources to improve economically important crops, Dr. Shan’s laboratory has also established a series of platforms for functional, biochemical and translational genomic studies in cotton to improve its stress resilience.
Dr. Shan is determined to pass her excitement and passion to the next generation. Building on her expertise, she has built a super-active learning group of undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. This group serves as a deeply collaborative learning environment, one which fosters critical thinking and independent problem solving at all levels. Furthermore, Shan’s research has led to sustainable and blossoming research programs ranging from basic sciences to advanced agricultural applications. As a result of her visionary mentorship, many of her trainees have gone on to establish their own impactful labs and currently work as educators.