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Lab Members

  • Leslie Shaw

    Leslie Shaw, Ph.D.


    I did my undergraduate studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT where I received my BS in Biology with Honors.  I earned my PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University in 1994.   After completing postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Art Mercurio, I started an independent research lab in the Pathology Department at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School in 1999.  In 2005, I moved my lab to UMass Medical School where I am currently a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell & Cancer Biology.

    My research interest is in understanding the malignant progression of cancer from primary tumor to metastatic disease.  As a cell biologist by training, I have always been interested in how normal cells function.  As a cancer researcher, my goal is to elucidate how molecules or signaling pathways that control normal cell functions are co-opted in tumor cells to overcome normal controls and checkpoints to facilitate metastasis.  My lab aims to translate basic science discoveries into novel treatment approaches for metastatic cancer. 

  • Ji-Sun Lee

    Ji-Sun Lee, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Ji-Sun received her BS and MS in Pharmacy at College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea. She earned her PhD in Pharmacy at College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University in 2017.  In 2019, Ji-Sun joined the Shaw Lab where her research focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of how breast cancer stem cells maintain their tumor-initiating ability and support tumor progression.  Outside of the lab, she enjoys watching movies and traveling.

  • Michael Lero

    Michael Lero, B.S.

    GSBS Student

    Michael graduated from Gordon College in 2016 with a BS in Biology, summa cum laude. After college, he attended the University of Massachusetts Medical School for one and a half years before transitioning to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Michael joined the Shaw lab in November, 2020 to study the role of the insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptors in breast cancer progression and metastasis. When not in the lab, Michael enjoys rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and gas station coffee. 

  • Claire Tocheny, B.S.

    Claire Tocheny, B.S.

    MD/PhD Student

    Claire graduated from The College of William & Mary in 2015 with a BS in Biology. After college, she was an IRTA postbaccalaureate fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for three years before joining the University of Massachusetts Medical School MD/PhD program. Claire joined the Shaw Lab in 2020 to study the role of the kinase BMP2K in breast cancer invasion. When not in the lab, she enjoys swimming, hiking, and making pottery.

  • Jennifer Morgan

    Jennifer Morgan, B.S., M.S.

    Research Associate II

    Jennifer received her BS in Biotechnology and MS in Biology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1999.  Her work in the Shaw Lab currently focuses on the IRS-1 and IRS-2 proteins and their distinct roles in breast cancer. The lab is interested in these proteins for the roles they play in signaling, invasion, self-renewal, and stemness. Outside of the lab, she enjoys watching her kids play sports, serves as President of the high school sports Booster Club, and spends time with family and friends.

  • Minjeong Jo

    Minjeong Jo, M.S.

    Research Associate

    Minjeong received her BS in Life Sciences from Ewha Womans University and MS in Life Sciences from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology. Afterwards, she worked for proteomics and metabolomics using LC-MS/MS. Minjeong joined the Shaw Lab in 2022 where her research focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of breast cancer. Outside of the lab, she enjoys coffee.