Twitter: @ShellyFan

Email: (AT)


2009-2014: PhD (expected)

University of British Columbia, Neuroscience

2005-2008: BSc (Honours)

Peking University, Applied Pharmacy

Scholarships and Awards

2012-2014: Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Doctoral Scholarship and Travel award

2012-2013: TK Lee Scholar

2013: Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Poster Competition (PhD level) Gold Award

2010-2014: Four-Year Fellowship at UBC

2010-2011: College for Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Award

2009-2011: CIHR Training Program in Neurobiology and Behaviour Fellowship

2009-2010: Graduate Entrance Scholarship

Presentations and Publications 

Fan XL, Jin W, Lu J, Wang J, Wang YT (2013) Rapid and reversible knockdown of endogenous proteins by peptide-directed lysosomal degradation. Nature Neuroscience (in revision).

Fan XL, Jin W, Lu J, Wang J, Wang YT (2012) 109.19/DDD70. Development of a targeting peptide-directed protein degradation (TPDPD) system for rapid and reversible knockdown of endogenous proteins. Society for Neuroscience, 2012. Abstract Online.

Wu LY, Ma ZM, Fan XL, Zhao T, Liu ZH, Huang X, Li MM, Xiong L, Zhang K, Zhu LL, Fan M (2010) .The anti-necrosis role of hypoxic preconditioning after acute anoxia is mediated by aldose reductase and sorbitol pathway in PC12 cells. Cell Stress Chaperones. 15(4):387-94.

Li MM, Wu LY, Zhao T, Xiong L, Huang X, Liu ZH, Fan XL, Xiao CR, Gao Y, Ma YB, Chen JJ, Zhu LL, Fan M (2010). The protective role of 5-HMF against hypoxic injury. Cell Stress Chaperones. 16(3):267-73

Fan XL and Wang YD (2009). β2-Adrenergic receptor on T lymphocytes and its clinical implications. Progress in Natural Science, 19(1):17-23.

Fan S (2013). The ancient marriage between music, movement and mood. Scientific American MIND. Nov 18, 2013, online

Fan S (2013). A slacker clock to beat jet lag? Scientific American MIND. Oct 21, 2013, online.

Fan S (2013). The fat-fueled brain: unnatural or advantageous? Scientific American MIND. Oct 1, 2013, online

Professional experience

2010-  Graduate student at the University of British Columbia, Neuroscience

Supervised by Dr. Yu Tian Wang. Thesis project “Rapid and reversible knockdown of  endogenous proteins by peptide-directed lysosomal degradation”

2010   Lab rotation at the University of British Columbia, Neuroscience

Supervised by Dr. Brian MacVicar. Elucidating the mechanism behind adenosine-induced microglia activation with two-photon microscopy

2009-2010  Lab rotation at the University of British Columbia, Neuroscience

Supervised by Dr. Lynn Raymond. Establishment of a double-labeled, corticostriatal primary neuron co-culture system from YAC128 transgenic mice, for the in vitro assessment of cell-type specific cell death in Huntington’s Disease.

2008-2009   Undergraduate thesis project at Peking University, Pharmacology

Supervised by Dr. Jingrong Cui. Honors thesis project “The effects of plant-derived A-09 on the proliferation and genomic expression of human hepatoma cells” High-thoughput screening and gene chip analysis.

2008-2009  Undergraduate research project at Peking University, Immunology

Supervised by Dr. Yuedan, Wang. “Effects of Clenbuterol, a common food contaminant, on T cell gene expression profile and activation”

2007-2008  Volunteer at Beijing Institute of Basic Medicine, Neuroscience

Supervised by Dr. Ming Fan. Screened for potential anti-hypoxia drugs through the comparison of chemical structures in silico.

Work and Volunteer


Science blogger Neurorexia

  • Research blogging: translate academic papers into engaging, interactive, exciting articles for an educated lay audience and college-level students

Contributor, Scientific American MIND

  • Write articles for the Scientific American MIND Guest Blog
  • Highlight recent developments in neuroscience

Official blogger for the Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference 2013

Staff writer, UBC Medical Journal

  • Write articles for UBCMJ’s News and Letters section in accordance with issue theme
  • Conduct interviews for articles
  • Promote UBCMJ within the student and academic community, in Canada and globally

Perspectives chair and editor, INK Journal (interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, non-academic)

  • Select engaging and informative interdisciplinary themes for each issue
  • Responsible for article content and quality
  • Mediate author-reviewer interaction
  • Highlight topics of interest that engage experts, society and readers in perspective articles

Contributor, Science of Eating Disorders Blog

  • Write articles discussing the science behind eating disorders, based on peer-reviewed publications
  • Engage in candid discussions with sufferers of eating disorders; offer support


Teaching assistant, Graduate Program in Neuroscience at UBC

  • Coordinate with program chair to optimize the student learning experience

Mentor an undergraduate trainee from the Summer Student Research Program at UBC

  • Help the student select an appropriate research project
  • Teach the principles of designing well-controlled experiments
  • Teach basic molecular biology techniques and cell culture
  • Explain how to analyze and interpret data and troubleshoot


Webmaster, Graduate Program in Neuroscience at UBC

  • Redesign the program official website for an updated look and better user experience
  • Write code, test for multi-browser and mobile compatibility in the department
  • Communicate with faculty and student to ensure satisfaction
  • Maintain website and keep it up to date

Vice President Communications, Neuroscience Graduate Student Association

  • As an early member, obtained recognition for the association from both faculty and the department
  • Organized social events to encourage and promote social interaction between neuroscience members, students and faculty and the Neuroscience research community at large
  • Helped organize the first Neuroscience program academic retreat at Whistler, BC (arrange transportation, poster setup, video competition and student-faculty social)
  •  Organized the 2011 Canadian Association for Neuroscience Annual Conference student social  (select venue, design posters, promote UBC Neuroscience)


Webmaster, Organizer, Brain Awareness Week Annual Brain Bee

Volunteer teacher (neuroscience) for elementary school, Let’s Talk Science


Pharmacist (Intern), Peking University 3rd General Hospital

  • Dispersion of prescription drugs
  • Offer advice on optimal use of drugs, alert patients of possible drug interactions


English tutor (part time), Beijing New Oriental School

  • Introduce elementary school students to fun and engaging ways of learning English

2007 August

Journal marketing (Intern) , Elsevier Beijing office

  • Helped organize author workshops at major Chinese universities
  • Contact vendors and publishers, attend conferences to promote new journals titles
  • English-Chinese interpretation and translation

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