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C. Shan Xu, PhD

Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Cellular & Molecular Physiology

Contact Information

C. Shan Xu, PhD

Lab Location

Office Location

Mailing Address

  • Cellular & Molecular Physiology

    PO Box 208026, 333 Cedar Street

    New Haven, CT 06520-8026

    United States



C. Shan Xu graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China and obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997. He later went on to serve as a technical director at Lam Research Corporation, where he oversaw research, development, and dissemination of cutting-edge semiconductor technologies. In 2009, he joined the Janelia Research Campus of Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop enhanced focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM). In 2022, he joined Yale School of Medicine as a Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology.

In addition to his contributions to technology development, highlighted by more than twenty patents, he is well-known for his innovation and leadership in transforming conventional FIB-SEM from a lab tool that is unreliable for more than a few days to a robust imaging platform with 100% effective reliability: capable of years of continuous imaging without defects in the final image stack. The enhanced FIB-SEM technology has enabled significant discoveries in tissue biology, cell biology, and neuroscience where nano-scale resolution coupled with meso and even macro scale volumes is critical. It enabled the largest and most detailed brain connectome in 2020, and created the first open-access, 3D atlas of whole cells and tissues at the finest isotropic resolution of 4-nm voxels, including cancer and immune cells, mouse pancreatic islets, and Drosophila neural tissues.

His lab focuses on pushing the boundaries of volume electron microscopy. A primary goal is to break through the existing SEM resolution limit, a critical milestone that will connect two seemingly disparate fields: structural biology and cell biology. This pioneering effort aims to enable researchers to explore and understand architectural intricacies across multiple scales, from the molecular level, through organelles, up to entire cells, all within their native tissue environments.


Positions available: PhD students, Postdocs, and Scientists.

Please contact us to discuss your interest and vision.


Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of California at Berkeley, Chemistry (1997)
  • BS
    University of Science and Technology of China, Physical Chemistry (1992)

Departments & Organizations