National Cancer Institute
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Shannon Hughes, Ph.D.

Shannon Hughes, Ph.D.

Program Director
Division of Cancer Biology
Physical Sciences-Oncology
National Cancer Institute

Dr. Shannon Hughes joined the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Biology in 2015 as a Program Director for the Cancer Systems Biology Consortium and the Physical Sciences in Oncology Network. Dr. Hughes’ interest in cancer systems biology and physical oncology stems from her background in applying chemical and biomedical engineering principles to investigate cell signaling pathways involved in cell migration, invasion, and cancer metastasis. Following completion of her BS in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University, Shannon spent three years as a process engineer working in the field of drug delivery at 3M in St. Paul, MN.  Industrial research motivated her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis where she studied the molecular mechanisms underlying bioactive sphingolipid-mediated endothelial cell migration. After moving to MIT, Dr. Hughes obtained a DOD Breast Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellowship to systematically investigate the role of the cytoskeleton in receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated breast cancer metastasis. Before coming to NCI, Dr. Hughes co-authored several research publications in both experimental and quantitative biology, mentored various undergraduate and graduate level students, and served as a technical research instructor in the Biological Engineering Department at MIT.