Shawn is the an Associate Professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Pharmacoengineering, and an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the UNC School of Medicine and CSO and founder of Falcon Therapeutics. His research is focused on combining advancements in cell engineering, biomedical engineering, and cancer therapy to generate novel engineered cell therapies for cancer. His team was the first to show that skin cells could be directly converted into cells that seek out and kill cancer and has made significant contributions to the generation of scaffolds for cell-based cancer therapy, and new cancer models that more accurately reflect the clinical scenario.
In 2014 he received the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuro-Oncology and the UNC Hettleman Prize for Scholarly and Artistic Achievement by Young Faculty in 2018. He is the author of over 30 refereed papers and articles that have been cited more than 700 times, as well as the inventor on multiple patents.
Shawn completed his undergraduate work and earned his Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology from the University of Iowa. He then completed postdoctoral fellowships with Ralph Weissleder, M.D., Ph.D., and Khalid Shah, Ph.D., at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.