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Dr Eunju Jenny Shin

Dr Eunju Jenny Shin

Lecturer, Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Institute

School of Medicine

Email
shine@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2068 8332
Campuses
3.42, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ

Overview

Research vision

To understand embryonic neurogenesis, unravelling the cellular processes contributing to cell fate determination and functional maturation. Further, to use this knowledge to identify neurodevelopmental mechanisms contributing to schizophrenia and other psychiatric genetic disorders.

Specific research questions driving current work 

  1. Which cellular pathways in which neurodevelopmental cell types contribute to schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders?
  2. Can we identify modifiable targets driving such pathways and rescue cellular phenotypes implicated in disease?
  3. Can neurodevelopmental phenotypes in patient-derived cells be used to predict treatment response?

My lab employs 2D disease modelling in genome-engineered hPSCs, direct neuronal conversion from somatic tissue, and scalable phenotyping approaches (e.g. scRNA-seq and high-content screening). These are tightly integrated with bioinformatic and disease genetic analyses.

Biography

Honours and awards

Grants

Nov 2019 - Oct 2023  MRC Therapeutic Target Validation in Mental Health, Targeting ERK signalling to ameliorate intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders associated with chromosomal rearrangements at 16p11.2, Collaborator, contributing cortical interneuron differentiation from patients iPSCs, £1,497,536

Oct 2019 - Jul 2020 Wellcome Trust ISSF: Cross-Disciplinary Award, Using surface acoustic waves to efficiently generate pure neuronal populations from stem cells to generate insight into human brain disorders, PI, £49,899

Oct 2019 - Sep 2022 MRC GW4 BioMed Doctoral Training Partnership PhD studentship (Benjamin Clennell) Ultrasonic stimulation to probe the synaptic properties of human stem cell-derived cortical neurons, Co-I, £58,122

Nov 2018 - Jul 2019 Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute Seed corn grant, Transdifferentiation of cortical neurons from human adult peripheral blood T cells, PI, £5,000

Aug 2018 - Aug 2019 BRACE Pilot Project Grant, Are neuronal catenin involved in the synaptopathology of Alzheimer’s disease Co-I, £11,500 

Jan 2018 - Jan 2021 Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia PhD studentship (Asmaa Ghazwani), Studying mechanisms of schizophrenia in DLG2 deficient human cortical interneurons and its progenitors, PI, £119,880 

Jan 2016 - Dec 2018 Waterloo Foundation “Changing minds”, Generation of neurons from human skin fibroblasts, PI, £23,000

Feb 2011 - Jun 2012 MultiPark Strategic Platform, Lund University, Sweden, Interaction between α-synuclein and exogenous L-DOPA in serotonin and dopamine neurons: impact on L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia and a-synuclein toxicity in 6-OHDA and a-synuclein lesioned rats, Co-I,  675,250 SEK

Travel Awards

  • Sep 2014      British Society for Developmental Biology Travel Award 
  • Jun 2013       World Parkinson Congress Travel Award 
  • Apr 2013       Swedish Parkinson Foundation Travel Award 
  • Nov 2011       Swedish Parkinson Foundation Travel Award 
  • May 2011      Travel grant from Strategic Research Area MultiPark at Lund University
  • May 2011      Physiological Society Travel Award
  • May 2011      11th International Conference on Neural Transplantation and Repair Travel Award
  • Nov 2010       Swedish Parkinson Foundation Travel Award
  • Sep 2010      Physiological Society Travel Award
  • Apr 2009       Physiological Society Travel Award
  • Sep 2008      10th International Conference on Neural Transplantation and Repair Travel Award 
  • Jul 2008         Physiological Society Travel Award 
  • Jul 2008         Young Physiologists’ Symposium Travel Award

Awards during under- and post-graduate studies

  • Apr 2008        Best Poster presentation in Graduate and Research Symposium in Keele University 
  • Jun 2006        Best Poster presentation in Graduate and Research Symposium in Keele University 
  • Oct 2005 - Mar 2009 Graduate teaching assistantship by Keele Medical School – International tuition fee and stipend during the PhD training
  • Sep 2003 - Aug 2004 The Chevening Scholarship by the British Council, Whole international tuition fee for the MSc course, University of Manchester 
  • Sep 2003 -  Aug 2004 The MNW University Scholarship by the University of Manchester, Stipend £4,000
  • Feb 2003 The Award of Chancellor by Ajou University – Top graduate in the College
  • Mar 2002 The Daewoo Scholarship by Ajou University – Whole tuition fee
  • Sep 1999 The Hyanghak Scholarship by Ajou University – Part of tuition fee

Professional memberships

  • 2019-Present            NECTAR (Network for European CNS Transplantation and Restoration) board member
  • 2017-Present            British Neuroscience Association member
  • 2015-Present            International Society for Stem Cell Research member
  • 2014-Present            British Society for Developmental Biology member
  • 2008-Present            Physiological Society member
  • 2008-Present            Network of CNS Transplantation and Restoration (NECTAR) member
  • 2008-Present            Society for Neuroscience member

Academic positions

Mar 2014 - May 2016: Postdoctoral Research Associate funded by Wellcome Trust Strategic Award Defining Endophenotypes From Integrated Neurosciences (DEFINE), Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institue, Cardiff University

Jul 2009 - Feb 2014: Postdoctoral Researcher in Prof. Anders Björklund’s lab, Wallenberg Neuroscience Centre, Lund University, Sweden

Speaking engagements

  • 2020                        Brain assembly at Bryn Deri Primary School
  • 2019                        Year 12 students Science in Health work experience
  • 2019                        Lecture at International Summer Schools hosted by Cardiff BLS College
  • 2018, 2019               Year 10 and 11 Work experience
  • 2018                        Brain workshop, KS2 children at Cardiff Korean School
  • 2018                        Lecture at Biomedicine International Summer School hosted by BIOSI
  • 2017, 2018               Led a session in MRC centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetic and Genomics 8th and 9th Summer School in Brain disorders Research
  • 2016, 2017, 2019      Neuroscience Mental Health Research Institute Scout night

Committees and reviewing

Routinely Peer Review for journals including Neuron, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Neurobiology of Disease, British Journal of Pharmacology, Brain stimulation, Experimental Neurology, Neuroscience, Behavioural Brain Research 

Internal Panel Member for Academic Programme Approval for MSc in Environment and Development, Cardiff University   

Publications

2016

2014

2012

2006

Teaching

Sep 2018 - Sep 2020       Lead for specialist MRes “Stem Cell Techniques in Neuroscience” module includes Lectures,

                                         Journal club and Human pluripotent stem cell culture practical 

June 2016 - Aug 2018      Lead proposer for new MRes programme

                                         “MRes in Stem Cell Neurobiology”, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University

Oct 2005 - Dec 2008        Graduate teaching assistant, Keele Medical School, Keele University

Research vision

To understand embryonic neurogenesis, unravelling the cellular processes contributing to cell fate determination and functional maturation. Further, to use this knowledge to identify neurodevelopmental mechanisms contributing to schizophrenia and other psychiatric genetic disorders.

Specific research questions driving current work 

  1. Which cellular pathways in which neurodevelopmental cell types contribute to schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders?
  2. Can we identify modifiable targets driving such pathways and rescue cellular phenotypes implicated in disease?
  3. Can neurodevelopmental phenotypes in patient-derived cells be used to predict treatment response?

My lab employs 2D disease modelling in genome-engineered hPSCs, direct neuronal conversion from somatic tissue, and scalable phenotyping approaches (e.g. scRNA-seq and high-content screening). These are tightly integrated with bioinformatic and disease genetic analyses.

Most recent research output

Sanders B, D’Andrea D, Collins MO, Steward T…Whitcomb DJ, Pocklington AJ, Shin E (2020) Synaptic protein DLG2 controls neurogenic transcriptional programs disrupted in schizophrenia and related disorders, bioRxiv 9, 2020.01.10.898676-44 (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.10.898676v1)

Key Collaborators 

Dr Andrew J. Pocklington, Bioinformatics & Psychiatric genetics, Deputy Lead of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Unit, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

Dr Mark O. Collins, Proteomics/phosphoproteomics, Deputy Director of Mass Spectrometry Centre, University of Sheffield

Supervision

Main supervisor for PhD students, Cardiff University

  • Oct 2016 - Present: Bret Sanders, Studying human neuropsychiatric disease in DLG2 deficient neurons
  • Oct 2017 - Present: Karima Azzouni, Generation of MGE-like interneurons from human pluripotent stem cells
  • Jan 2018 - Present: Asmaa Ghazwani, Schizophrenia risk gene DLG2 contributes to cortical interneuron development

Co-supervisor for a PhD student

  • Oct 2019 - Present: Benjamin Clennell, Ultrasonic stimulation to probe the synaptic properties of human stem cell-derived cortical neurons

Past projects

Main supervisor for Masters students

  • Feb 2020 - Sep 2020: Matthew Lloyd, MRes in Stem Cell Neurobiology, Cardiff University, Thesis: Investigating the neurodevelopmental contribution of risk variants DLG2 and TCF4 to schizophrenia aetiology
  • Jab 2016 - Sep 2016: Gareth Chapman, MRes in Biosciences, Cardiff University, Thesis: Determining the temporal expression of DLG2 during early human neural development
  • Oct 2011 - Jun 2012: James Rogers, Wallenberg Neuroscience Centre, Lund University, Sweden, Thesis: The rold of noradrenaline in motor symptoms and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in rat models of Parkinson's diseas

Past undergraduates and visting fellow

  • Jan 2018 - Jun 2018: Amedeo Primerano
  • Sep 2017 - Aug 2018: Sophia Wilson
  • Jul 2017 - Aug 2017: Joanne Lachica
  • Feb 2017 - Jun 2017: Bethan McSparron

Research links