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Jean Fan, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Early CAREER Award, which recognizes early stage scholars with high levels of promise and excellence.

Fan’s research focuses on understanding the spatial-contextual and other regulatory mechanisms that shape cellular identity and heterogeneity, with a special emphasis on cancer. Her CAREER project, “Statistical approaches and computational tools for analyzing spatially-resolved single-cell transcriptomics data,” aims to provide insights into how spatial gene expression patterns intersect with the organization of distinct cell-types and cell states within tissues, how cells interact within local microenvironments, and, ultimately, how such spatial organization relates to cellular function and phenotype.