Jim Jinn-Chyuan SHEU

Current position: Professor and Chair

Institution /Faculty /Department : Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University


Jim J.-C. Sheu, molecular biologist, received his Ph.D. degree from National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan and post-doc training at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes, USA. Before he went to Hopkins, Dr. Sheu served as Director of Protein Drugs at Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB), Taiwan to develop human neutralizing antibodies against infectious diseases. Dr. Sheu’s study focuses on the discovery of novel cancer-driving genes using genomewide technologies and their functional roles in cancer development. The research topics include genome instability triggered by aberrations of chromatin remodeling factors, gentotoxic shock induced by unbalanced ribosome biogenesis, and cancer stemness manipulated by cytoskeleton-mediated cell adhesion. Of note, Dr. Sheu recently discovered novel keratin fusion events during the development of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Since keratin filament is critical for mechano-sensing, nuclear integrity and gene regulation, his study thus reveals a novel mechanism in OSCC carcinogenesis. Achievements in cancer biology research made Dr. Sheu won “Marquis Who’s Who in the World” in 2013, and MOST (the Ministry of Science and Technology/Taiwan) Academic Research Award “Wu-Da-You Memorial Award” in 2014. He was also recognized as a Top 5% Biomedical Researcher in the World by Sparrho study in 2016.


Research Specialty
Cancer genomics/genetics, Cell adhesion, Keratin filament, Mechanotransduction, Chromatin remodeling, Functional genomics in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine)


Research Projects
1. Chromatin remodeling factor Rsf-1 triggers genome instability during cancer development
2. Biological functions of novel keratin fusions in cancer stem cell development
3. Using ribosome biogenesis as a therapeutic target for treating endometriosis and the associated complications


Recent Highlight Projects

Keratin fusions induce cancer stemness by nuclear remodeling
Keratin intermediate filament (IF) is a component of cytoskeleton which provides necessary mechanical support for cells to conquer mechanical stresses. Recent studies in tissue engineering showed undeniable evidence that cell stiffness in response to the softness of extracellular matrix can direct stem cell reprogramming for differentiation via mechanotransduction. Our recent study identified several novel keratin chimeras in OSCC, and their existence correlated with cancer progression and poor clinical outcome. When expressed in OSCC cells, the keratin fusions competed with the wild type and disturbed the keratin network, resulting in reduced perinuclear array and nuclear deformation. Expression of carcinogen-responsive fusion variants in OSCC cells upregulated TGF- and G-CSF signaling, leading to cell stemness, drug tolerance, and cancer aggressiveness. Notably, cells expressing keratin fusions can easily adapt to a soft 3-D culture condition in vitro and formed larger, less differentiated tumors in vivo. Our study therefore revealed a novel mechanism in OSCC carcinogenesis via the formation of keratin chimeras.


Awards and Honors


Ambassador of European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)


Taiwan Research Highlight in Life Sciences field in Global Affairs and Science Engagement (GASE) report 2019 Nov.


F1000Prime Highly Recommended Research


Distinguished Young Investigator of National Sun Yatsen University 


Top 5% Biomedical Researcher in the World by Sparrho study


IBC Outstanding Scientific Achievement/International Biographical Centre, Cambridge


National Science Council Academic Research Award-Wu-Da-You Memorial Award / TAIWAN


Outstanding Research Awards by China Medical University


2013 Marquis Who's Who in the world


Medical Young Investigator Award sponsored by Prof. Chen-Yuan Lee Foundation


Professional Memberships and Services

Jan 2009-

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Mar 2014-

European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)

Jan 2016-

The Chinese Society of Cell Molecular Biology (CSCMB)

Dec 2016- 

Taiwan Endometriosis Society (TES)

Oct 2018-

The Chinese Physiological Society (CPS)

Feb 2019-

Taiwan Society for Mechanobiology (TSM)

Feb 2020-

Chair of Institute of Biomedical Sciences / National Sun Yatsen University / TAIWAN

Dec 2019-

Ambassador of European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)

May 2019-Jan 2020

Associate VP of Research & Development at National Sun Yatsen University / TAIWAN

May 2019-Jan 2020

CEO for Higher Education Sprout Project at National Sun Yatsen University / TAIWAN

Aug 2018-Apr 2019

Director for Research Resources at National Sun Yatsen University / TAIWAN


Review Board Member of Life Sciences, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan


Review Board Member of Foresight and Innovation Policies, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan


Review Board Member of Human Biobank, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan


Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University