Michael Shen, PhD, Leading Researcher in Genitourinary Cancers, Named AAAS Fellow

January 26, 2022


Michael Shen, PhD

Michael Shen, PhD

Michael Shen, PhD, the Arthur J. Antenucci Professor of Medical Sciences and  professor of genetics, urology, and systems biology at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Shen, who also co-leads the Tumor Biology and Microenvironment research program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC), joins four other Columbia faculty members who have been elected to the 2021 class of AAAS fellows.

Dr. Shen is being recognized for his contributions to developmental and cancer biology, particularly his work in applying developmental genetics to the study of genitourinary (GU) cancers. His work in creating 3D organoids—cell systems that mimic the complex heterogeneity in a tumor—has been instrumental in advancing the study of cancer, tumor biology, and novel cancer treatments. Dr. Shen and collaborators have worked extensively with bladder cancer organoids, culture systems that can be developed in weeks-time from patient tumor samples, to study drug response and drug resistance in bladder cancer patients. 

His lab is currently focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of lineage plasticity, a process in which changes in cellular properties can result in tumor progression or drug resistance. These studies utilize organoid models to investigate the regulation of plasticity as well as potential treatments in both prostate and bladder cancer

The new class of AAAS fellows includes 564 scientists, engineers, and innovators spanning 24 scientific disciplines, from research and education to industry science and engineering. AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. The organization was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science. 

Related: CUIMC Faculty Named AAAS Fellows