Shan Yan, professor and associate chair for research in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the 2023 recipient of the Education Award from the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society.
Yan was recognized for his long-standing dedication to educating and mentoring future generations of scientists in the field of environmental mutagenesis. He is an active member of the EMGS DNA Repair and Mutagenic Mechanism Special Interest Group and has served on several of the society’s committees including as current chair of the EMGS Publication Policy Committee.
In 2021, Yan proposed and initiated the EMGS Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program to encourage research by underrepresented undergraduate students and support their attendance at EMGS annual meetings. As an editorial board member of EMGS flagship journal Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, Yan has edited special issues related to DNA repair, genome integrity and environmental health.
Since joining UNC Charlotte in 2010, Yan has established a productive and inclusive research laboratory. He has mentored two junior tenure-track faculty members, four research faculty and staff members or postdoctoral fellows, 13 graduate students and 23 undergraduate students. His research lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of genome integrity and cancer etiology using Xenopus egg extracts and mammalian cells as model systems. The Inside UNC Charlotte article, “Finding a cure for cancer, one DNA damage pathway at a time,” details how Yan and his lab tackle basic but significant questions in the field of genome science and cancer.
His research findings and discoveries, often in conjunction with his mentees, have been published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals such as Trends in Cell Biology, Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, Cancer Research, Nucleic Acids Research, eLife and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“I am honored to accept the 2023 EMGS Education Award, and I greatly appreciate the support and help from my mentors, mentees, collaborators, colleagues, friends and family over the years. As a scientist-educator, I view this award as one kind of recognition of my dedication to mentoring future researchers and scientists,” Yan said.
Brown University’s Robert W. Sobol, EMGS past president and current dean’s professor of cancer research and associate director for basic research and co-leader of the Cancer Biology Program at Legorreta Cancer Center, nominated Yan for the Education Award.