Lab Members

Shaohua Xiao, PhD

Project Scientist Email: shaohua.xiao@cshs.org

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Shaohua Xiao, PhD, earned her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Michigan under the supervision of David Engelke, PhD. Her thesis research was on characterizing the role of conserved elements in the RNA and protein subunits of yeast nuclear RNase P. She then joined the laboratory of Lily Jan, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco as a postdoctoral fellow to study ion channels in the brain, focusing on the calcium-activated chloride channel protein TMEM16B. Her current research in the Shaw Laboratory is on the regulation of connexin43 trafficking by internal translation in the heart.

Shan-Shan Zhang, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow Email: shan-shan.zhang@cshs.org

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Shan-Shan Zhang, PhD, earned her doctorate from the University of California, San Francisco, under the guidance of Benoit Bruneau, PhD, at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease. Her thesis work is on transcriptional control of electrical coupling and maturation of the ventricular conduction system by Irx3. Her focus in the Shaw Laboratory is on understanding cytoskeletal regulation of targeted connexin 43 trafficking to the intercalated disc and how failure of these intricate mechanisms contributes to heart disease.

Wassim Basheer, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow Email: wassim.basheer@cshs.org

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Wassim Basheer, PhD, earned his doctorate in biology from the University of South Carolina. During his graduate career, he trained with Lydia Matesic, PhD, using mouse models to help investigate the role of Wwp1 E3 ubiquitin ligase in cardiac dysfunction and gap junction remodeling.

Yu Xie, MD

Cardiology Fellow Email: yu.xie@cshs.org

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Yu Xie, MD, is currently training as a cardiology fellow at Cedars-Sinai. She earned her bachelor of science in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley and her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. She completed her internal medicine residency and served as a chief resident at University of California, San Diego. Her research interest in the Shaw Laboratory is on using BIN1 as a clinical predictor of cardiac reserve in both healthy controls and patients with advanced heart failure, pre- and post-transplant.

Joseph Palatinus, MD, PhD

Cardiology Fellow Email: joseph.palatinus@cshs.org

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Joseph Palatinus, MD, PhD, received his bachelor in chemistry at Davidson College in North Carolina. He went on to obtain his medical degree and doctorate at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Palatinus completed his dissertation work investigating gap junction dynamics in the diabetic heart, and studying the molecular interactions of the Connexin 43 C-terminus under the guidance of Robert Gourdie, PhD. Palatinus trained in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston before joining the Cardiology Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. His research interests in the Shaw Laboratory include noncononical roles for gap junction proteins and cardiac regeneration after injury.

Irina Epifantseva

PhD Candidate Email: irina.epifantseva@cshs.org

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Irina Epifantseva earned her bachelor of science degree in cell biology from Saint Petersburg State University in Russia. Before heading to California, she also completed her master's degree in neuroscience from Uppsala University with a scholarship from a Swedish government organization. Epifantseva is currently a PhD candidate in the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine. Her current focus is on the gap junction protein Connexin 43, the role of alternative translation initiation within the coding sequence of mRNA of this protein and the role of Connexin 43 isoforms in the regulation of electrical coupling in heart and cell cycle progression.

Tara Hitzeman

Lab Manager Email: tara.hitzeman@cshs.org

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Tara Hitzeman earned her Bachelor of Science in statistics from San Francisco State University. She is a researcher and the lab manager for both the Shaw Laboratory and Hong Laboratory. Hitzeman is also pursuing her master of public health degree in biostatistics at the UCLA.

Edmund Naami

Research Lab Assistant I Email: edmund.naami@cshs.org

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Edmund Naami earned his bachelor of science in psychobiology from the UCLA. In the Shaw Laboratory, Naami studies non-canonical roles of alternatively translated Connexin 43 isoforms. Additionally, he is also focused on developing a biomarker that will better assess patients who are at risk of heart failure. He plans to pursue a medical degree.
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