Shengnan-Joy Xiang

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Cellular and Molecular Medicine
jsxiang at


Ph.D. in Bioengineering, Stanford University, 2018
M.S. in Biological Engineering, Stanford University, 2014
MBSc Eng in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 2011


Joy did her undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. She completed an honors thesis with Prof Kam Leong on functionalizing and solubilizing nanoparticles. After receiving her B.S.E. in 2011, she conducted research in the lab of Dr Sebastian Maurer-Stroh at the Bioinformatics Institute, A*STAR, in Singapore. There, she developed computational approaches to predict the effect of mutations on antiviral drug efficacy of influenza, and aided in SNP analysis work in pharmacogenetics. Subsequently, she went to Stanford Bioengineering to pursue a PhD, where she aimed to combine bioinformatics and experimentation to engineer novel RNA switches. In the lab of Prof Christina Smolke, she developed quantitative, high-throughput screens for engineering several ligand classes of ribozyme switches directly in mammalian cells. She also developed an in vitro evolution platform to generate RNA biosensors de novo. The new platform leverages automation and NGS to enable generating these biosensors at scale. In 2018, she joined the Molecular Engineering Lab and Yeo Lab to pursue her post-doctoral training. She is interested in developing new technologies for better studying RNA binding proteins, and at the same, engineering RNA binding proteins and related regulatory networks for advanced molecular therapy and mammalian synthetic biology.


  • Xiang, J. S., Kaplan, M., Dykstra, P., Hinks, M., McKeague, M., & Smolke, C. D.(2019). Massively parallel RNA device engineering in mammalian cells with RNA-Seq. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-16.

  • Limviphuvadh, V., Tan, C. S., Konishi, F., Jenjaroenpun, P., Xiang, J. S., Kremenska, Y., … & Eisenhaber, F. (2018). Discovering novel SNPs that are correlated with patient outcome in a Singaporean cancer patient cohort treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. BMC cancer, 18(1), 555.

  • Mathur, M.§, Xiang, J. S.§, & Smolke, C. D.(2017). Mammalian synthetic biology for studying the cell. The Journal of cell biology, 216(1), 73-82.

  • Townshend, B.§, Kennedy, A. B.§ , Xiang, J. S., & Smolke, C. D.(2015). High-throughput cellular RNA device engineering. Nature methods, 12(10), 989-994.