(last updated September 2021)


Jean Fan is a member of the faculty of Biomedical Engineering in the Center for Computational Biology at Johns Hopkins University. Her research team, the JEFworks lab, is interested in understanding the molecular and spatial-contextual factors shaping cellular identity and heterogeneity, particularly in the context of cancer and how this heterogeneity impacts tumor progression, therapeutic resistance, and ultimately clinical prognosis. She develops new open-source computational software for analyzing single-cell multi-omic and imaging data that can be tailored and applied to diverse cancer types and biological systems. Dr. Fan is also the founder, director, and lead software developer for the non-profit organization CuSTEMized, which provides personalized STEM picture storybooks to encourage young girls to see themselves as scientists.

Dr. Fan was previously an NCI F99/K00 post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang at Harvard University where she developed computational methods for analyzing spatially resolved transcriptomics data and applied MERFISH to characterize cellular and subcellular heterogeneity. She received her PhD in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics at Harvard under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Kharchenko at the Department of Biomedical Informatics and in close collaboration with Dr. Catherine Wu at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where she developed computational methods for analyzing single-cell omics data to better understand the disease pathogenesis and progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The impact of Dr. Fan’s work has been recognized by several awards and honors, including the Forbes 30 Under 30, the Nature Research Award for Inspiring Science, and the NSF CAREER Award.




  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Mentored by Xiaowei Zhuang, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University (Mar 2018 - June 2020)
  • Graduate Student, Mentored by Peter Kharchenko, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School (July 2013 - Feb 2018)
  • Rotation Student, Mentored by Nir Hacohen and Catherine Wu, Broad Institute (Sept 2013 - Nov 2013)
  • Summer Research Intern, Mentored by Shamil Sunyaev, Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics Program, Harvard-MIT HST and i2b2 (June 2012 - Aug 2012)
  • Research Intern, Mentored by Rachel Karchin, Institute of Computational Medicine, Johns Hopkins University (Aug 2009 - May 2013)
  • Summer Research Intern, Mentored by Paul Meltzer and Liang Cao, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (June 2008 - Oct 2008)


  • Forbes 30 Under 30 Healthcare (2020)
  • Nature Research Award Winner (2019)
  • Anita Borg Pass-It-On Award Winner (2017)
  • BU GWISE Advocate of the Year (2017)
  • Regeneron “Dream Proposal” Prize Finalist (2017)
  • NSF MRS Outreach Award Recipient (2016)
  • ASH Abstract Achievement Award Recipient (2015)
  • Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award Winner (2012)
  • Intel Science Talent Search Semi-Finalist (2009)
  • Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology Semi-Finalist (2008)