Principal Investigator

Dr. Shimamura was born and raised in Japan while he has completed all post-high school education in the United States. After earning his Ph.D. degree from Western Michigan University in Dr. Bruce Bejcek’s laboratory, he joined Dr. Geoffrey I. Shapiro’s laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, as a research fellow. He was promoted to Instructor in medicine in 2008 after receiving the Claudia-Adams Barr Award. In late 2011, he joined the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, as an Assistant Professor. In 2019, he joined the Department of Surgery, UI Cancer Center, University of Illinois at Chicago as a tenured Associate Professor. His lung cancer research has been supported by National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer Research Foundation, Michael Reese Pioneer in Research Award, EGFR Resisters and other private organizations.

Dr. Shimamura lost his mother with breast cancer and his aunt with lung cancer. Cancer research is his personal quest and he keeps close contact with lung cancer patient advocates. Dr. Shimamura serves as a scientific advisory board member for Free ME from Lung Cancer, a lung cancer patient advocate group based in Maine, supporting lung cancer research and advocating lung cancer awareness. Dr. Shimamura’s interaction with the founder, Ms. Debra Violet, dates back to his postdoctoral training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2004. He has also participated EGFR Resisters (An organization for NSCLC patient with EGFR mutations) Research Summit and has received honorable mention research award.

His hobby used to be working on his bench and he truly misses his time on the bench. He now loves to talk (and drink!) with young scientists in his lab, instead. He serves as a vice president (2020 -2021) for Great Lakes Chapter of American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (GLC-ASPET) to support local pharmacological research and education.


Laboratory Manager/ Senior Research Scientist


Research Fellow


Undergraduate Researcher


Undergraduate Work-study (FWS)


BRIANNA BORGER (2022-2023)

Past: Research Specialist I

Current: TBD


Past: Research Specialist I

Current: TBD


Past: Postdoctoral Fellow

Current: Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University


Past: Laboratory Manager, Research Specialist

Current: Laboratory Manager, Associate Specialist,

University of California San Francisco


Past: Graduate Student

Current: QC Supervisor,

AveXis, Inc


Past: Graduate Student

Current: Research Associate,

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center


Past: Graduate Student

Current: Project Manager,

APCHER Life Sciences


Past: Research Fellow

Current: Precision Oncology Scientist,

MD Anderson Cancer Center


Our laboratory is located in the UIC West campus, the heart of the Illinois Medical District (IMD), surrounded by University of Illinois Undergraduate Campus (East Campus), John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Rush University Medical Center, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and University of Illinois Hospital. The UIC West Campus is accessible by CTA Pink line or several bus lines from Chicago loop. We are in a walking distance from the Tylor street, where variety of restaurants are available. We are a station away from the United Center and contemporary scenes in the West side.


Our laboratory is located on the 5th floor of Clinical Science Building within the Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The laboratory is comprised of approximately 800 square feet with a dedicated tissue culture room. The tissue culture lab is certified for BL2+ for lentiviral work. The tissue culture room is equipped with two 4 feet tissue culture laminar flow hoods, 4 autoclavable tissue culture incubators, an EVOS XL core inverted microscope, an EVOS M5000 inverted fluorescent microscope, a tissue culture centrifuge, 4C° refrigerators, an AMAXA Nucleofector, 2 Countess cell counters and networked iPads.

The main lab space is equipped with 4 working benches for research specialists, postdoctoral fellows and students. The laboratory is equipped with Apple Dell and HP computers with sufficient computing power and data analysis software to process, analyze and plot the data. These computers are connected to the University of Illinois network and therefore facilitate our access to the University of Illinois System Library Collection and other data banks as required. One of the desktop computers is installed with Snap Gene software to record sequences and vector maps. Standard laboratory equipment includes 4C° refrigerators, -20C° freezers, refrigerated microcentrifuges, a gradient PCR thermocycler, nano-drop, a fluorometer, Gel-Doc EZ gel documentation system, iBright Western blot imaging system, turbo blot system, Luminex FLEXMAP 3D system, Luminex Guava EasyCyte benchtop cytometer, QuantStudio real-time PCR system and all equipment necessary for molecular biology and functional assays.

Our laboratory has two -80C° freezers and two cryopreservation tanks in the shared core space. The research division of the Department of Surgery provides core space for an Agilent Seahorse Analyzers with complete supporting equipment, qRT-PCR, incubators for bacterial cultures, a high-speed centrifuge, spectrophotometer, multi-functional plate reader, phosphoimager, stereotaxic instrument, sonicator, pH electrodes and a Milli‐Q water purification system. A fully motorized fluorescence microscope from Nikon capable of taking live cell imaging with analysis software is also available in the department.