Lab News- what’s happening

May 2023 First international trip for research exchange that was not a conference, Dr. Shiau traveled around the globe to Taiwan to present research and meet with scientists at Academia Sinica! Had a lot of fun and learned so much interacting with several amazing colleagues, including her host who works on some very cool virtual reality platforms to study adult zebrafish social behaviors. Shout out to #Kuo-Hua Huang.

April 26, 2023 Graduate student Ethan Bedsole won Best Talk award at GliaCamp 2023, congratulations on this very worthy recognition!

April 2023 Congratulations to our very own graduate student Ethan Bedsole selected to give a short talk about his exciting new results on microglia! We look forward to another fun meeting @ GliaCamp 2023 hosted by Duke Neuroimmunology and Glia Group.

April 2023 Congratulations to our undergraduate researcher Kate Guittari who was awarded a SURF research fellowship in our lab for the summer!

April 2023 Our graduate student Matt Hamilton gave his first official seminar at UNC through the M&I (Microbiology & Immunology) Student Series, and his research findings and beautiful imaging of liver-resident macrophages excited many!

March 2023 Returning to more in-person activities, this time Dr. Shiau travels to Rice University in Houston, Tx! Dr. Shiau gave a seminar in the BioSciences Department and had a fantastic time reuniting with old and new friends and colleagues, having great science discussions with a variety of developmental biologists as well as meeting terrific trainees. Shout out to #Rosa Uribe and #Peter Lwigale.

March 2023 Webinar invite with Zebrafish Disease Models Society for Gastrointestinal Research Interest Group, Dr. Shiau presents our lab’s newest and latest studies on “Interplay of intestinal and hepatic macrophages in establishing systemic tolerance to healthy gut contents”. It was one of four talks by fantastic GI investigators.

October 28, 2022 Our Halloween project proudly on display up close. Thanks to everyone’s creativity and especially Liz Minor for providing the team fish template!

October 2022 UNC Neuroscience Center resumed seminar series for in-person only with offer of free lunches, clever way to achieve pre-pandemic “normal” social interactions. It was great fun to hear Dr. Shiau present several recent studies from her lab to the local community after a multi-year gap!

September 2022 Wonderful visit to Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee which contains a mini-hub of great zebrafish biologists, Dr. Shiau gives invited seminar and met many new colleagues. Shout out to #Penny Lam.

July 2022 Taking a summer lunch outing together. Several items to celebrate including the lab’s successful renewal of a large NIH grant, woohoo!!! Joined in remotely: Ethan Bedsole.

July 2022 Our protocol ranked one of the most read this year!

June 2022 First international travel and in person conference at IZFS in Montreal! Dr. Shiau gives a talk on the latest work of the lab on how macrophages are regulated to prevent inappropriate activation. Met many colleagues and friends, and took away with new ideas and inspirations!

Standing ovation for Bernard and Christine Thisse; their continued legacy that began with the in situ database known to every zebrafish scientist worldwide- thank you!

May 2022 Our paper examining the impact of dysregulated immune system on steady state locomotor behaviors using long term day-night tracking just came out in Communications Biology! Critical large-scale genetic approaches were employed to address any potential links. This is a true labor of love from many talented individuals over the years in our lab. Check it out here.

May 2022 Congratulations to our own undergraduate researchers Caroline Spencer and John Zhu from graduating UNC with flying colors this year! We are excited that Caroline and John will be staying on in the Shiau Squad as research assistants to further their research developments and adventures.

April 2022 After a two year gap of in-person retreats, we realized how great it was to see people FTF at the Glia Camp 2022! Thank you to the Duke Neuroimmunology and Glia group organization and hosting. Undergraduate researcher Caroline Spencer presented a beautiful poster of her work on dynamics of macrophage activation during an injury response in zebrafish.

March 2022 A fun day for a virtual visit of the genetics department at Case Western, Dr. Shiau meets with colleagues and students and gives a seminar on “Decoding macrophage biology: cells of many talents from brain to gut.

January 2022 Just across town, Dr. Shiau travels to Duke to give a student-invited talk for the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Colloquium on “How macrophages impact multi-organ processes“!

December 2021 Congratulations to Andrew Burciu for graduating with honors- hooray! Looking forward to more research adventures with Andrew on our team!

October 28, 2021 Our paper “Peripheral NOD-like receptor deficient inflammatory macrophages trigger neutrophil infiltration disrupting daytime locomotion” that reveals the impact of macrophage inflammation to spontaneous locomotor change is published early as a preprint on BioRxiv. Check it out here: This was made possible by a large team effort over a long timeline to accomplish such an immense study that spans multiple disciplines.

October 11-13, 2021 ZDM14 conference virtual live! Dr. Shiau co-organized the meeting and gave a talk on the fabulous use of zebrafish to study development and function of intestinal macrophages. Was a great success but everyone hopes next year will be in person. From the lab, Matt Hamilton and Andrew Burciu were there too!

June 9, 2021 Dr. Shiau gives a symposium talk at the virtual Keystone meeting on Neuroimmune Interactions in Health and Disease! A number of great border immunology and microglia talks- overall inspiring science progress.

May 2021 Check out our new paper that demonstrate different populations of intestinal macrophages in zebrafish. Stay tuned on more new findings in the future!

April 31, 2021 Farewell to superstar Alison Rojas who is embarking on a new Scientist position to continue her endeavors on saving the world through CRISPRs! Toast to her new adventure! She was the first member of the Shiau Squad and will be sorely missed!

April 2021 Check out our newest publications at Bio-protocol that details some very useful methods for investigating macrophages in zebrafish!

Clodronate-mediated macrophage depletion.

Localized brain and intravenous microinjections.

April 2021 Congratulations to our super undergraduate researcher Andrew Burciu who was just awarded a SURF fellowship to continue his exciting research this summer at UNC in our lab!

February 2021 Tea on Lunar New Year’s day!

December 2020 Look at the results when we have scientist/inspiring artist/happy people in lab! Happy holidays and hope for a brighter 2021 from the Shiau lab.

October 30, 2020  Creativity unleashed for the Halloween like never before, painting pumpkins + drinking tea = fun lab

July 31, 2020  Our lab paper “Drainage of inflammatory macromolecules from brain to periphery targets the liver for macrophage infiltration” just got accepted and published in eLife! Check it out here.  Shared cakes and lunch virtually together! 

Paper cupcakes celebration, congratulations!
What a quick photo-op looks like during covid-19

June 21, 2020   New paper from our lab on the “Drainage of inflammatory macromolecules from brain to periphery targets the liver for macrophage infiltration” is posted on the bioRxiv. Really exciting work that traces passage of macromolecules from brain to circulation triggering a robust hepatic response defined by coordinated and dynamic infiltrations of innate immune cells. In vivo imaging, genetics, and whole-body approach were combined to uncover these multi-organ interactions in zebrafish. Now published in eLife.

May 2020   Research of Dr. Shiau and her lab is featured in the Spring 2020 edition of Carolina Scientific in the article “Neuroimmunology: A dialogue between two crucial systems” by Andrew Prevatte. Check it out here.

April 2020  Graduate student Alison Earley is officially Dr. Earley! Congratulations!!!  First to earn a PhD from the Shiau lab, achieved a great many things, and on her way to finish surfing her biggest scientific wave yet! 


January 2020   The Shiau crew enjoys good company and good food to toast to the new year and Christina on her next new adventure.


December 2019   Reached the 200 bar! The Shiau crew celebrates this achievement with tea time!


October 2019  Dr. Shiau gives an invited talk at the University of Idaho on “System-wide perspective on microglia and macrophages in neuroimmune communication.”

July 2019  Dr. Shiau gives a symposium talk at the XIV European Meeting on Glial Cells in Health and Disease.

January 2019  Dr. Shiau gives a talk at the Neuroimmune Gordon Research Conference!

November 20, 2018  Congrats to graduate student Jessica Jimenez for being awarded the 2019 Perry J. Gehring Award to attend the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) in Baltimore, MD!

November 13, 2018  Dr. Shiau gives an invited talk on “Genetic analysis of microglia and modulation of behavior in zebrafish” in the Neuroscience Department at the University of Virginia.

October 9, 2018   New paper from our lab on the “Critical Role for a Subset of Intestinal Macrophages in Shaping Gut Microbiota in Adult Zebrafish” is published in Cell Reports and available online today!  Check it out here.

October 9, 2018   Dr. Shiau gives a talk on “How macrophages can reveal complex multi-organ interactions” in the Biology Seminar Series at UNC-Chapel Hill.

August 31, 2018   Graduate student Alison Earley passes and becomes first PhD candidate in the Shiau Lab– congratulations!

June, 2018   Shiau Lab hanging out and looking forward to a summer of lab activities.

IMG_5189 June 2018 Babalu

May 2, 2018   Dr. Shiau gives a talk at the annual UNC Biology Department Symposium.

April 18, 2018   Dr. Shiau gives a talk at the annual DIBS Neuroimmunology and Glia Research Group Retreat.

April 12, 2018   Jessica Jimenez joins the Shiau Lab as a graduate student in the PhD BBSP program.  Welcome Jessica!

April 5, 2018  Congratulations to Linlin Yang for being awarded a UNC-SURF fellowship for research in the Shiau Lab this summer!

March 2018  Welcome Christina Graves to the Shiau Lab as a new postdoc!  We will be opening some new doors into the gut world. 

March 13, 2018  The Shiau Lab has published its first paper! This study generated the first zebrafish genetic mutants of foxq1 genes and their characterization, check it out here. Congrats to Alison and Cam, the first and second authors of the paper, respectively!

December 8, 2017  Dr. Shiau receives a 2018 RJ Reynolds Junior Faculty Development Award from the Provost Office at UNC.

December 2017  The Shiau Lab cheers to the end of the year and start of next!


July 20, 2017  Dr. Shiau awarded a 5-year Outstanding Early-Stage Investigator NIH MIRA grant from NIGMS!  The MIRA mechanism provides flexibility for NIGMS-supported investigators to pursue innovative and important research directions.  The Shiau Lab will use this award to study the genetic and metabolic regulation of macrophage activation in vivo using zebrafish and other systems.  This has implications for the design of macrophage-targeted technologies for controlling inflammatory processes and addressing health challenges related to immune dysregulation.

July 14, 2017  The Shiau Lab celebrates research at the Top of the Hill.

2017_07_14 TOPO Shiau Lab lunch

May 19, 2017  Graduate student Alison presents a talk on “Dynamic roles of macrophages in the nervous system” at the annual Pierre Morell Neuroscience Retreat at the Haw River State Summit.

April 12, 2017   Dr. Shiau presents a talk on “Decoding Macrophage Biology in Health and Disease” at the annual 2017 Triangle Zebrafish Group Meeting.  Shiau Lab is excited to connect with all the local zebrafish enthusiasts and potential collaborators!

April 7, 2017  Congratulations to Sagar Patel who received a Carolina Medical Student Research Fellowship to conduct research in the Shiau Lab this summer!  CMSRP is funded through NIDDK.

April 2017   Dr. Shiau and the lab are invited and attend the fourth annual retreat for Neuoimmunology and Glia Group at Duke (hosted by Dr. Cagla Eroglu).  Alison and Mary Kate present their work in the poster session!

January 2017    Dr. Shiau has been selected to speak at the inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Neuroimmune Communication in Health and Disease in Ventura, CA!  She is so thrilled and excited about this meeting.

December 2016   Article about Dr. Shiau and the lab research is published in the Fall 2016 edition “Designing the Cure” of the Carolina Scientific magazine. Check it out at :

December 10, 2016   Holiday party for the lab!

October 18, 2016   First-ever lab barbeque to celebrate the lab beginnings and enjoy the crisp fall season in Chapel Hill outside surrounded by a beautiful forest.

August 19, 2016   Farewell dinner party for Yan at Luche Tigre as he prepares his return to Boston. Yan has been an integral undergraduate member of the Shiau Lab since its inception in the Fall of 2015.  He will be missed!


August 15, 2016   Shiau Lab getting to know the UNC campus and taking group photo shots at landmarks of UNC-CH.


August 12, 2016   Undergraduate student Maggie Cai joins the Shiau Lab!

July 2016  Shiau Lab kicks off with Alison, Yan, and Mary Kate setting up research for the first summer at UNC!

July 2016   Dr. Shiau starts her lab at UNC-Chapel Hill.  The move was successful with support from many dedicated lab members including her first graduate student Alison Earley, newly hired research assistant Mary Kate Christiansen, and technician Keri Sullivan taking care of the Boston side.