Wei-Chiang  Shen

Wei-Chiang Shen, PhD

John A. Biles Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Curriculum Vitae

Research Topics

  1. Cancer Treatment
  2. Membranes & Transport
  3. Protein Chemistry/Enzymology
  4. Drug Design
  5. Delivery

Contact Information

  • Web Site
  • weishen@usc.edu
  • 9121 HSC
  • PSC 404BA
  • (323) 442-1902
  • PSC 404B
  • (323) 442-1703
  • (323) 442-2263


BS 1965 Chemistry - Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan
PhD 1972 Bioorganic Chemistry - Boston University, Boston, MA

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship:
1972 - 1973 Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Wei-Chiang Shen

Research Interest

Proteins and peptides represent a new generation of therapeutic agents which appear to be more potent and specific, yet less toxic than the conventional drugs. Biotechnological companies have successfully produced large numbers of proteins and peptides, including interleukins and growth factors, that are potentially useful for the treatment of various human diseases. However, the application of these biotechnological products is, to a large extent, limited by the availability of practical routes of administration. In particular, the oral delivery of peptides and proteins, which is dubbed "the Holy Grail of drug delivery", is still considered by many pharmaceutical scientists as an impossible goal to achieve at the present time.


Dr. Shen obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry from Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan, in 1965, and Ph.D. degree in bio-organic chemistry from Boston University, Boston, in 1972. After postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Brandeis University, he joined Boston University School of Medicine in 1976, initially as an Assistant Professor and ultimately as an Associate Professor, in the Departments of Pathology and Pharmacology. In 1987, he moved to Los Angeles to join the USC School of Pharmacy where he is currently John A. Biles Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dr. Shen has published more than 140 papers in different areas of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, and serves on the editorial boards of Pharmaceutical Research and The Journal of Drug Targeting. He is a co-inventor of 16 issued US patents in drug delivery and a co-author of the textbook Immunology for Pharmacy Students. He was elected a Fellow of AAPS in 1992 and a Fellow of AAAS in 2000, and was the Grand Prize Winner of the Eurand Award for Outstanding Novel Research in Oral Drug Delivery in 2002.

Selected Projects/Publications

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Fei L,Ren L,Zaro JL,Shen WC - The influence of net charge and charge distribution on cellular uptake and cytosolic localization of arginine-rich peptides. - J Drug Target [2011] Sep;19(8):675-80 PubMed

Mo RH,Zaro JL,Ou JH,Shen WC - Effects of Lipofectamine 2000/siRNA Complexes on Autophagy in Hepatoma Cells. - Mol Biotechnol [2011] Jun 10;(): PubMed

Chen X,Lee HF,Zaro JL,Shen WC - Effects of receptor binding on plasma half-life of bifunctional transferrin fusion proteins. - Mol Pharm [2011] Apr 4;8(2):457-65 PubMed

Chen X,Bai Y,Zaro JL,Shen WC - Design of an in vivo cleavable disulfide linker in recombinant fusion proteins. - Biotechniques [2010] Jul;49(1):513-8 PubMed

Amet N,Wang W,Shen WC - Human growth hormone-transferrin fusion protein for oral delivery in hypophysectomized rats. - J Control Release [2010] Jan 25;141(2):177-82 PubMed

Zaro JL,Vekich JE,Tran T,Shen WC - Nuclear localization of cell-penetrating peptides is dependent on endocytosis rather than cytosolic delivery in CHO cells. - Mol Pharm [2009] Mar-Apr;6(2):337-44 PubMed

Patel LN,Wang J,Kim KJ,Borok Z,Crandall ED,Shen WC - Conjugation with cationic cell-penetrating peptide increases pulmonary absorption of insulin. - Mol Pharm [2009] Mar-Apr;6(2):492-503 PubMed

Barnes MP,Shen WC - Disulfide and thioether linked cytochrome c-oligoarginine conjugates in HeLa cells. - Int J Pharm [2009] Mar 18;369(1-2):79-84 PubMed

Amet N,Lee HF,Shen WC - Insertion of the designed helical linker led to increased expression of tf-based fusion proteins. - Pharm Res [2009] Mar;26(3):523-8 PubMed

Yuan L,Wang J,Shen WC - Reversible lipidization of somatostatin analogues for the liver targeting. - Eur J Pharm Biopharm [2008] Oct;70(2):615-20 PubMed