Prof. Shen is currently starting a new research group on fundamental stem cell biology at REMEDI. Previously, he has derived new ES cell lines from C57BL/6JCrl mice, and demonstrated that expression of a mutant RARβ was able to promote stemness in mouse ES cells and alter lineage differentiation (Chatzi et al, 2010). His group also developed a technology to differentiate mouse ES cells into homogenous GABAergic neurons, which are deficient in a wide range of neurological conditions such as Huntington's disease, brain and spinal cord injuries, seizure, stroke, pain, schizophrenia, anxiety and other mood disorders (Chatzi et al, 2009).
His team at Galway is making iPS cells from patients of various neurological conditions including schizophrenia, autism, Parkinson’s diseases, velo-cardio-facial syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, glaucoma and cardiomyopathy in collaboration with clinicians from Ireland, Scotland and China. They are also interesting in developing artificial chromosome technology and neuronal differentiation protocols, examining disease phenotype on dish and exploring cell transplantation therapy in animal models.