Shasha Chong, Ph.D.
Incoming Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Shasha obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from University of Science & Technology of China and her Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Harvard University. She is currently finishing her postdoctoral research at University of California, Berkeley and will join the faculty of California Institute of Technology in August 2021.
As a Ph.D. student under the direction of Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Shasha developed novel optical imaging modalities and achieved detection of single-molecule optical absorption at room temperature. Then she ventured into the study of DNA-protein interactions and stochastic gene expression by in vitro single-molecule imaging. In particular, she developed a single-molecule RNA-imaging assay to tackle the mechanism of transcriptional bursting of highly expressed genes in E. coli. Her deep interest in more complex regulatory behaviors led her to move from bacteria to mammals for her postdoctoral research. In the joint laboratories of Robert Tjian and Xavier Darzacq, she combined powerful single-cell and single-molecule imaging tools with genome editing and genetics approaches to investigate how intrinsically disordered protein regions in human transcription factors perform critical functions in transcriptional regulation and oncogenesis. Her independent research group will employ multidisciplinary approaches to tackle the fundamental rules that govern the interaction behaviors of intrinsically disordered regions and elucidate their roles in regulating gene transcription under normal and disease conditions.