Shawn Owen Headshot 09.2015Shawn C. Owen, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Biomedical Engineering and Medicinal Chemistry. He is also a Faculty Member of the Nano Institute of Utah, the Biological Chemistry Program, and an Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholar. Dr. Owen earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics at the University of Utah followed by postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto in the lab of Professor Molly S. Shoichet.




Postdoctoral Fellows

Sun Jin Kim, B.S. I majored in Pharmaceutical Sciences at The Ohio State University. After receiving my B.S. in 2012, I was an intern at a Pharmaceutical company for six months. I started my graduate study at U of U in 2012. Currently I am working to modify hydrogels for various applications. I have been enjoying daily life in Salt Lake and I try to do outdoor activities as often as I can.

 Graduate Students

JessicaJessica McCombs, M.S. I received a B.S. In chemistry from the University of Utah in 2011 followed by a M.S. In organic chemistry from MIT in 2013. I am interested in pairing my expertise in synthetic chemistry with advanced techniques in biotechnology towards the development of biopharmaceuticals. In my spare time I like to hike, camp, and paint.

Keith Arlotta, B.S.  I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on synthesis and characterization of Antibody Drug Conjugates. When Shawn permits me to leave the lab, I enjoy snowboarding, playing soccer, and hiking.

Version 2Christine Nervig, B.A. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry from St. Olaf College in 2014. After spending the first part of my graduate studies in the chemistry department studying organic methodology, I joined the Owen lab where I could apply my synthetic skills to my interest in the development of novel therapeutic platforms. I fill my free time with outdoor adventures, most often backpacking, biking, and trail running.

Visiting Students/Undergraduate Students

IMG_9962Samuel Hatch, B.S. I graduated from the University of Utah in 2018 with a B.S. in Cell/Molecular Biology. In the interim between undergraduate and graduate school I am working on a drug delivery system rooted in split-enzyme technology. When I leave the lab I especially enjoy time spent working outside.

Former Members

AndyAndrew Dixon, Ph.D.  After receiving a bachelor of science in chemistry from Southern Utah University, I entered the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (U. of U.) through the Biological Chemistry Program and earned my Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Carol Lim.  I then engaged in post-doctoral training at Promega Corporation under Dr. Keith Wood.  I fill my non-science time trying to keep up with my 6 boys. (Currently at bioMerieux, Inc.)


ChenHsiaonung Chen, Ph.D. My research interests are bioengineering and biophysical analysis of proteins. I work on developing biomaterials for cell-based therapy. In addition, I am also studying the characterization of antibody-drug conjugation using mass spectrometry. When I am not working in the lab, I enjoy spending time with my family and taking photos of them. (Currently at University of Utah, Department of Chemistry)

Ellie HatamiElham Hatami. I am almost done with my second bachelor’s degree in biology at University of Utah. (My first bachelor’s degree was in Chemistry). Currently I am working as a volunteer in Dr.Owen’s lab. I specifically work on purifying and testing proteins. I am so glad that I am part of this phenomenal team. In my leisure time I love to play tennis and also go and see different places. (Currently at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis)

BrettBrett Baumgartner, Ph.D. I received a PhD in human genetics from the University of Utah under the supervision of Dr. Charles Murtaugh. Through the use of mouse genetics, I investigated the role of the multifunctional protein beta-catenin during pancreas development for the purpose of developing cell-based therapies for diabetic patients.  My free time is consumed by the surrounding mountains and streams found throughout the west. (Currently employed at Navican)

Sylvia KrippnerSylvia Krippner. I finshed my 4 years studies of pharmacy at the Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany and now I am on the final journey to become a pharmacist. In the first six months of my practical year, I worked in a pharmacy in Marburg in customer advice and manufacturing. Currently – for the second half – I am joining a program called GPEN (Global Pharnmaceutic Education Network). In my spare time, I like to be outdoors: hiking, jogging, doing sports like badminton and tennis, but I also desire having more time for cooking and doing arts and crafts. (Currently in Pharmacy Practice in Germany)

ConnorConnor Willis, Pharm.D.. I graduated, Cum Laude, from Brigham Young University with a BS in Exercise Science. As part of a summer research fellowship, I contributed to the synthesis and characterization of antibody drug conjugates. I passionately follow my sports teams and I work hard to make my baby boy laugh every day. (Currently Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Utah, Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center)

PriscillaPriscilla Cruz. I am a Pharmacy student from UFMT – Campus Medio Araguaia in Brazil. I’m finishing my degree here at the University of Utah and am working on patterning hydrogel surfaces for cell-based therapies. I don’t have free time.