SHAWN C OWEN portrait
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Medicinal Chemistry
  • Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Chemistry


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah
  • Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, University of Utah
  • Bachelor of Arts, Chinese, University of Utah


My training is in Pharmaceutics and Bioengineering and I am passionate about developing therapeutic and diagnostic platforms to enable precision medicine. I have extensive experience in biotherapeutic drug formulation, protein engineering, and bioconjugation techniques. My previous work includes the synthesis and evaluation of antibody-drug conjugates for breast/ovarian cancer; the study of colloidal drug aggregates and the effects on cancer therapeutics; and extracellular matrices for tumor modeling and drug screening. I synthesized the first diels-alder crosslinked hyaluronic acid hydrogel and demonstrated the ability to spatially control chemical conjugation using photo-caged thiols. My current research focus is on 1) controlling the systemic and cellular pharmacokinetics (PK) of antibody-based therapeutics by creating self-amplifying antibody-drug conjugates, 2) evaluating the pharmaceutic stability of antibody-based therapeutics, and 3) engineering binary/ternary complementation-based diagnostic systems that utilize luminescent reporters for detection of important biomarkers. My lab was the first to publish a detailed report on the physicochemical differences in antibody-drug conjugates that results from distinct preparation procedures. We have synthesized many different antibody-drug conjugates, using a range of bioconjugation techniques and various payloads. My lab developed the first three-part split luciferase for use in novel homogeneous immunoassays. In the next phase of our work, our combined expertise and track record allow us to address the issue of toxicity that hinders immunoconjugates by creating new split-enzyme therapeutic platforms.