Who is Jean Chen Shih?

A University Professor and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the USC School of Pharmacy, Dr. Jean Chen Shih is one of the world’s leading researchers on the MAO enzymes. Over the past 30 years her lab has made significant contributions to understanding the structure and regulation of MAO and its impact on behavior.


Early Family Life and childhood in Taiwan

• Her Father’s Background
• Her Mother’s Background
• Her Father’s Stroke
• Their Values Continue
• Hope and Optimism
• No Job
• A Father’s Creativity
• Becoming Close to the Children


Deciding on Science

• When Dr. Shih was younger
• In junior high school, she turns to science

I am very blessed to have grown up in such a loving family. Education and caring-for-others are the two most important values that were instilled by my parents.

Yvonne Chen Ho (my older sister): Chief Financial Officer, United Nations. She and my mother were my role models; they raised me and my brother and sister. Both my mom and sister were givers; they never asked nor even thought about receiving anything in return. Sadly, she passed away in 1996 due to breast cancer.

Renne Chen Lu (my younger sister): Ph.D. in Biochemistry, UC San Diego; Director of the Protein Chemistry Lab, Boston Biomedical Institute, which is affiliated with Harvard University. She often sequenced unknown proteins for us, using mass spectrocoscopy. She is a good adviser and sounding board for us. She is very active as a volunteer and takes a leadership role in community service.

Kevin Chen (my younger brother): Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA. We have been collaborators since 1988, more than 15 years. We did not plan to do this; it just worked out this way. He is a very dedicated and creative scientist. He can read about 100 papers a day. According to his wife Nancy (a musician and programmer), he starts his day at 3 am. Both Nancy and Kevin are God’s loving children and are very active in their church.    — Jean Chen Shih


Jean and her family

Pictured from left to right in photograph:

Jeff C. Shih (my elder son): Associate Professor in Math Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Meg Shih (my daughter-in-law, Jeff’s wife): CPA, accountant.

John C. Shih (my husband): Electrical Engineer, Computer Scientist, Entrepreneur, Founder, SY Technology.

Jack C. Shih (my younger son): Lead Animator, TV program “South Park”. He contributed drawings and voice-overs to this project.

All the men in my family love sports, and are very friendly and generous. They joke around but also work very hard. All the women are professional, nice and sweet. I have the full support of my family, which enables me to have both a loving family and a career.