Michael Chien-cheng Shih, Ph.D.

Live-cell and Super-resolution Microscopy, Image Analysis
Research Specialist, WUCCI

Dr. Shih joined the WUCCI in August 2016 as a light microscopy specialist. His responsibility is to support users of Center on image acquisition with advanced microscopy techniques, development and refinement of imaging assays, and design computational image analysis paradigms. Dr. Shih is also involved in developing next-generation visualization and analysis tools for multi-dimensional microscopy datasets using virtual reality environments.

Dr. Shih is a neuroscientist and pharmacologist with six years of experience working on elucidating the function of neurotrophins in the mid-brain dopaminergic system. His doctoral work, completed at Georgetown University and The Scripps Research Institute in Florida, identified the relationship between neurotrophin-3 and emotion-related behaviors, including depression and anxiety. Dr. Shih acquired substantial experience in image analysis during his Ph.D. training, which led to him shifting his research focus to microscopy and imaging informatics. His interests now include establishing analytical methods for quantitating multi-dimensional datasets, developing tools for immersive virtual reality environments, and implementing in-depth informatics methods for batched image analysis.


  • B.S. in Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • M.S. in Pharmacology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Physiology, Georgetown University, DC, USA
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, The Scripps Research Institute, FL, USA

Selected Publications

  • C.-C. Shih, D.M. Oakley, M.S. Joens, R.A. Roth and J.A.J. Fitzpatrick. 2017. Chapter 3: Non-Linear Optical Imaging of Extracellular Matrix Proteins. Methods in Cell Biology. In press.
  • Xie, K., Colgan, L. A., Dao, M. T., Muntean, B. S., Sutton, L. P., Orlandi, C., Boye, S., Boye, S. E., Shih, C.-C., Li, Y., Xu, B., Smith, R., Yasuda, R., & Martemyanov, K., NF1 Is a Direct G Protein Effector Essential for Opioid Signaling to Ras in the Striatum. Current Biology, 26(22), 2992–3003.
  • Orefice. L., Shih, C.-C., Xu, H., Waterhouse E., & Xu, B., BDNF Translated from Dendrite-targeted Transcripts Regulates Activity-dependent Maturation and Pruning of Dendritic Spines through Rho GTPases. Molecular and cellular neuroscience, 71, 66–79
  • Xie, K., Masuho, I., Shih, C.-C., Sasaki, K., Han, P.-L., Ueda, H., Dessauer, C., Ehrlich, M., Xu, B., Willardson, B., & Martemyanov, K., Stable G protein-effector complexes in striatal neurons: mechanism of assembly and role in neurotransmitter signaling. eLife, 4, 14117.
  • Lee, C.-Y., Lee, M.-L., Shih, C.-C., & Liou, H.-H. Carisbamate (RWJ-333369) inhibits glutamate transmission in the granule cell of the dentate gyrus. Neuropharmacology 61, 1239–1247.
  • Lee, C.-Y., Lee, C.-H., Shih, C.-C., & Liou, H.-H. Paraquat inhibits postsynaptic AMPA receptors on dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Biochemical Pharmacology, 76, 1155–1164.