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Grace Shaw

Profile picture for Grace Shaw

Contact Information

309L Davenport

Office Hours

ANTH240 (S24): Thursday 12-2 or by appointment
Biological Anthropology


My background is in molecular biology with a strong focus on epigenetics and cancer biology. After completion of my degrees, I worked as a cellular biologist in the cancer drug discovery industry at Vanderbilt University in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to target an epigenetic protein implicated in leukogenesis. I came to UIUC to pursue a doctorate focusing on ecology, behavior, health and immune function. 

In addition to my dissertation research, I work on the following projects housed out of the Brinkworth Lab on campus: 
Labour, Health, Equity, Action Project (LHEAP)

Co-President of the Graduate Anthropology Student Association (GASA)
Treasurer of the Association of Biological Anthropologists (ABA)


Research Interests

Environmental justice, sepsis, epigenetics, trans-generational priming, immune competency/evolution, public health, and ecologically sustainable laboratory practices. 

Research Description

How community and social support effect immunity and respiratory health of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Illinois. 




B.S. in Biology from The University of the South 

M.Sc. in Cancer Sciences from The University of Glasgow

Awards and Honors

Outstanding Teaching Award - 2020; 2022; 2023;

Courses Taught

ANTH 143: Biology of Human Behavior

ANTH 240: Biological Anthropology

Additional Campus Affiliations

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Highlighted Publications

Brinkworth J, Shaw JG. On race, human variation, and who gets and dies of sepsis. Yearbook of Biological Anthropology. 2022; 1:1-26.

Recent Publications

  • Guarnaccia AD, Rose KL, Wang J, Zhao B, Wang CE, Geurazzi K, Hill Salisha, Woodley CM,  Hansen TJ, Lorey SL, Shaw JG, Payne WG, Weissmiller AM, Olejniczak ET, Fesik S, Lui Q, Tansey WP. Impact of WIN site inhibitor on the WDR5 interactome. Cell Press. 2021; 34(3): 108636.
  • Chacon-Simon S, Wang F, Thomas L, Phan J, Zhao B, Olejniczak E, Macdonal J, Shaw JG, Schlund C, Payne W, Creighton J, Stauffer S, Waterson A, Tansey W, Fesik S. Discovery of WD Repeat-Containing Protein 5 (WDR5)-MYC inhibitors using fragment-based methods and structure-based design. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2020; 63(8):4315–4333.
  • Tian J, Teuscher K, Aho ER, Avarado J, Mills J, Meyers K, Gogliotti R, Han C, Macdonald J, Sai J, Shaw J, Sensintaffer J, Zhao B, Rietz T, Thomas L, Payne W, Moore W, Scott G, Kondo J, Inoue M, Coffey R, Tansey W, Stauffer S, Lee T, Fesik S. Discovery and Structure-Based Optimization of Potent and Selective WD repeat domain 5 (WDR5) Inhibitors Containing a Dihydroisoquinolinone Bicyclic Core. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2020; 63(2):656-675.
  • Macdonald J, Chacón-Simon S, Han C, Wang F, Shaw JG, Howes JE, Sai J, Yuh J, Camper D, Alicie BM, Alvarado J, Nikhar S, Payne W, Aho ER, Bauer JA, Zhao B, Phan J, Thomas L, Rossanese OW, Tansey W, Waterson AG, Stauffer S, Fesik S. 2019. Discovery and optimization of salicylic acid-derived sulfonamide inhibitors of the WDR5:MYC protein-protein interaction. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2019; 62(24):11232-11259
  • Aho ER, Wang J, Gogliotti RD, Howard GC, Phan J, Acharya P, Macdonald JD, Cheng K, Lorey SL, Lu B, Wenzel SA, Loshake AM, Alvarado J, Wang F, Shaw JG, Zhao B, Weissmiller AM, Thomas LR, Vakoc CR, Hall M, Hiebert SW, Liu Q, Stauffer SR, Fesik SW, Tansey WP. 2018. Displacement of WDR5 from Chromatin by a Pharmacological WIN Site Inhibitor with Picomolar Affinity. Cell Press. 2019; 26(11):2916-2928.
  • Wang F, Jeon K, Salovich JM, Macdonald JD, Alvarado J, Gogliotti RD, Phan J, Olejniczak ET, Sun Q, Wang S, Camper D, Yuh JP, Shaw JG, Sai J, Rossanese OW, Tansey WP, Stauffer SR, Fesik SW. 2018. Discovery of Potent 2-Aryl-6,7-dihydro-5H-pyrrolo[1,2-a]imidazoles as WDR5-WIN-Site Inhibitors Using Fragment-Based Methods and Structure-Based Design. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2018; 61(13):5623-5642.