Shawn Xiong



Phone: 902-494-2382
Mailing Address: 
5850 College Street, Room 8-J2
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2


  • PhD, University of Toronto
  • BSc, University of Manitoba

Academic Positions

  • Department member since 2021
  • Instructor
  • Academic advisor

Research Topics

Undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology education, Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CURE), Learning assistant (LA) in STEM education, Theme-based pedagogy, Problem based learning, and Storytelling


Before joining Dal, I have devoted my time at Penn State in building and assessing the Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) in Antibiotic Discovery. At Dalhousie, I am working on a two-phased development of undergraduate labs:
     1. Transforming undergraduate labs from cookbook-based to theme-based
     2. Transforming undergraduate labs from theme-based to inquiry-based

While researching on developing the two phased transformation of undergraduate labs, I will also be working on designing and publishing case studies that help students synergize labs and lectures through story immersion.

I am also interested in developing and piloting Learning Assistant (LA) program in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. LA programs were pioneered by the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU Boulder), and have since been implemented in more than 100 other institutions. Learning Assistants (LAs) are peers that serve to facilitate collaborative active learning exercises both in class and during out-of-class problem solving sessions. Learning Assistants work as a team with the faculty to help solidify student learning. The implementation of LA programs is often accompanied by course transformations to active and highly structured classrooms, a combined effect, which when compared with traditional classes has led to significant learning gains both for the students and LAs when measured using concept inventories and Higher-order assessment.

Current Lab Members

Heidi MacKinnon
Undergraduate Lab Technician



  1. Miller D., Natale A., Snoke H.E., McAnulty, T., Swope R., Alumasa J. & Xiong S. Design and implementation of an interdisciplinary CURE as an alternative for General Chemistry Laboratory. (in preparation for Journal of Chemical Education)
  2. Xiong S. (2019, November 1) 5 steps to help you become a successful teaching professor. University Affairs. [Article]
  3. Xiong S. & Sicheri F. (2018) Structural and mechanistic characterization of the core mammalian Hippo tumor suppressor pathway. ProQuest – Tspace. [Article]
  4. Gill M., Zhang Y., Gregorieff A., Zhang L., Narimatsu M., Song S., Xiong, S., Christova T., Zlotta A.R., van der Kwast, T.H., Sicheri F., Wrana J.L. & Attisano L. (2018) A feed forward loop enforces Yap/TAZ signaling during tumorigenesis. Nature Communication. 9, 3510 [Article]
  5. Xiong S., Couzens A.L., Lorenzen K., Mao D.L., Juang Y.-C., Chiovitti D., Templeton C.M., Kurivov I., Guettler S., Gingras A.-C., and Sicheri F. (2018) Structural basis for the auto-inhibition and relief of the NDR1 kinase domain. Structure. 26(8):1101-1115.e6 [Article]
  6. Xiong S., Couzens A.L., Kean, M.J., Mao, D.Y., Guettler S., Kurinov I., Gingras A.-C., & Sicheri F. (2017) Regulation of protein interactions by MOB1 phosphorylation. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 16(6):1111-1125 (co-first author) [Article]
  7. Couzens A.L., Xiong S., Knight J.D.R., Mao D.Y., Guettler S., Picaud S., Kurinov I., Filippakopoulos P., Sicheri F. & Gingras A.-C. (2017) MOB1 mediated phospho-recognition in the core mammalian Hippo pathway. Molecular & Cellular proteomics. 16(6):1098-1110. (co-first author) [Article]
  8. Meier M., Xiong S., Okun N., Patel T.R., Booy E., Donald L., McKenna S.A. & Stetefeld J. (2012) G4 Quadruplex Recognition in the Human DEAH-Box Helicase RHAU. Biophysical Journal, 102(3):486a. [Article]
  9. Meng H., Deo S., Xiong S., Dzananovic E., Donald, L.J., van Dijk C.W. & McKenna S.A. (2012) Regulation of the Interferon-Inducible 2’-5’ Oligoadenylate Synthetases by Adenovirus VA(I) RNA. Journal of Molecular Biology, 422(5): 635-49. [Article]
  10. Booy E.P., Meier M., Okun N., Novakowski S.K., Xiong S., Stetefeld J. & McKenna S.A. (2012) The RNA helicase RHAU (DHX36) unwinds a G4-quadeuplex in human telomerase RNA and promotes the formation of the P1 helix template boundary. Nucleic Acids Research, 40(9): 4110-24. [Article]
  11. Patel T.R., Reuten R., Xiong S., Meier M., Winzoe D.J., Kock M. & Stetefeld J. (2011) Determination of a molecular shape for netrin-4 from hydrodynamic and small angle X-ray scattering measurements. Matrix Biology. 31(2): 135-40. [Article]