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Conservation Research Institute



I'm a modeler by training. My Ph.D. work was centered on applying quantum chemistry to unveil complex chemical reaction mechanisms for a human-made catalyst that mimics the functions of an important detoxifying enzyme existing across biological phyla, including human beings. This catalyst can be used to decontaminate chemicals pollutants in the environment. The results from my calculations advanced our knowledge about the fundamental kinetics on how this catalyst transforms chemicals from harmful to harmless and such knowledge was valuable in improving the chemical design to further enhance the catalytic performance. After graduation, I carried on my passion at chemical design by working as a postdoc researcher at Yale University. During my term at Yale, I developed a molecular design diagram built upon the combinatorial strength of quantum chemistry and statistical learning. This diagram realized a two-way prediction between the chemical and toxicological space, a ground-break innovation in the safer molecule design research. After that, I came to Cambridge to model pathogen evolution and predict the onset of infectious diseases. To be more specifically, I'm interested in building mathematical models to analyze the evolution of influenza and assess the likelihood and potential impact of emerging infectious diseases. With more frequent human traveling, our continuous expansion into aboriginal territories and biodiversity loss, we are facing a big uncertainty about the influence of our behavior on the emerging infectious diseases. Quantifying the key drivers for the emergence of infectious diseases and their linkages to biodiversity, ecological service functions and economic impacts are highly intriguing to me.


Key publications: 

L. Q. Shen, N. Ji, B. Lu, Introducing Membrane Transport Energy into the Design of Sustainable Chemicals against Cytotoxicity. ACS. Sustainable. Chem. Eng. 2018, 6, 2055

L. Q. Shen, S. Kundu, T. J. Collins, and Emile L. Bominaar. Analysis of Hydrogen Atom Abstraction from Ethylbenzene by an FeVO(TAML) Complex. Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 4347.

L. Q. Shen, F. Melnikov, J. Roethle, A. Gudibanda, R. S. Judson, J. B. Zimmerman, P. T. Anastas. Coupled Molecular Design Diagrams to Guide Safer Chemical Design with Reduced Likelihood of Perturbing the NRF2-ARE Antioxidant Pathway and Inducing Cytotoxicity. Green. Chem. 2016, 18, 6387.

L. Q. Shen, R. S. Judson, F. Melnikov, J. Roethle, A. Gudibanda, J. B. Zimmerman, P. T. Anastas. Probabilistic diagram for designing chemicals with reduced potency to incur cytotoxicity. Green. Chem. 2016, 18, 4461.

L. Q. Shen, E. S. Beach, Y. Xiang, N. Khanina, D. J. Tshudy, C. P. Horwitz, M. E. Bier, and T. J. Collins. Rapid, Biomimetic Degradation of Sertraline in Water by TAML Catalysts and Hydrogen Peroxide. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2011, 45 , 7882.

Research Associate

Contact Details

The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street


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