Welcome to the Nan Lab

The Nan Lab tackles cancer by developing tools for imaging cancer at the single-molecule and nanometer scales. Our current research focuses in three related areas: (1) development of multiplexed fluorescence nanoscopy techniques such as multispectral superresolution microscopy (MSSRM) and correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), for quantitative analysis of biological processes at the molecular level in potentially 20+ colors; (2) nanoscale spatial systems biology of Ras small GTPases and HER-family receptors using a combined imaging, biochemical, and computational approach, to understand how biological 'pathways' are spatially and temporally organized in cells and to identify novel strategies for cancer therapy; and (3) Early cancer biology and biomarker detection (with the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center, CEDAR, at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute) using optical methods, including superresolution imaging of early cancer progression and ultra-sensitive biomarker analysis for liquid and solid biopsies.

Nan Lab News

  • (08/20/2020) We are hiring! Please visit the Opportunities page for more information.
  • (08/10/2020) Our paper 'Fast and multiplexed superresolution imaging with DNA-PAINT-ERS' has been accepted by Nature Communications. Congratulations Fehmi, Julia, Ting, Kai, and all the DNA-PAINT-ERS!
  • (08/05/2020) Congratulations to Julia Shangguan for her admission to the graduate program at University of Chicago! Today is her last day with the lab, but we will all miss you. Thank you for all the wonderful work you have done in the past ~2 years! Wish you all the best in your new endeavor
  • (06/20/2020) Our R01 on Ras biology has been funded by the NIGMS! Congratulations to all the current and past Ras team members!
  • (06/08/2020) We are back to the lab after a 3-month modified operation at level 3 (no research activities).


  • (12/19/2019) We have moved our microscopy lab from the original location, with the majority of the microscopes temporarily located and being actively reconstructed in RLSB 3N086
  • (11/3/2019) Congratulations to Dr. Fehmi Civitci on his promotion to Scientist (at CEDAR)!
  • (11/1/2019) Our paper on single-particle tracking of KRas has just been published in eLife. Congratulations Yerim!
  • (09/18/2019) Congratulations to Yerim Lee for successfully defending her thesis ‘Probing the spatiotemporal dynamics of Ras GTPases on the cell membrane with high-throughput single-molecule imaging’. Well done, Yerim!
  • (09/10/2019) Dr. Nan receives Lamfrom Medical Research Award from the Knight Cancer Institute.


  • (11/2018) Former Nan Lab intern, Alex Muschler, has been offered a job at SpaceX. Congratulations to Alex!
  • (10/2018) Dr. Ying Zhang has obtained an applications engineer position with JEOL Ltd in China. Congratulations, Ying!
  • (10/2018) Dr. Kai Tao has joined us as a postdoc fellow after obtaining his Ph.D. with Dr. Brett Tyler at Oregon State University in June 2018. His past work focused on membrane microdomains in plants. Welcome, Kai!
  • (08/2018) Dr. Ying Zhang successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation. Congratulations, Ying!
  • (08/05/2018) Eren Esener joins the Nan lab for his 2nd summer internship with us. Welcome back, Eren!
  • (07/2018) Ms. Julia Shangguan has joined us as Research Assistant II after her recent graduation from Grinnell College, Iowa. Welcome, Julia!
  • (05/2018) Dr. Carey Phelps has accepted a job with KLA-Tencor. Congratulations, Carey!
  • (01/23/2018) Our paper on multispectral superresolution microscopy and single-molecule tracking has appeared online in Biophysical Journal. view online


  • (12/16/2017) The Nan lab welcomes Lei Wu from Wuhan University, China. Lei will stay with us for about a year as a visiting scholar. All the best, Lei!
  • (08/11/2017) Julia won the 1st place poster award at the CDCB-CDI Joint Internship Poster session. Great job, Julia! 
  • (08/08/2017) The Nan lab welcomes Eren Esener as our 3rd summer intern this year! Eren joins us from UC San Diego.
  • (07/04/2017) Dr. Tao Huang landed on a nice job with KLA-Tencor. Congratulations Tao! Well deserved.
  • (07/01/2017) Dr. Nan officially joins the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center (CEDAR) at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute with a joint appointment with the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine. Look forward to the new collaborations!
  • (06/13/2017) Welcome our summer interns Julia Shangguan (Grinnell College, IA) and Tucker Stuart (Oregon State, OR)!
  • (05/31/2017) Our paper on correlative superresolution - electron microscopy is published in Plos One. view online
  • (05/26/2017) Congratulations to Jing Wang for successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis! First Ph.D. from the Nan Lab. Nicely done, Dr. Wang.
  • (04/27/2017) Thanks to FEI and in particular Drs. Rainer Daum and Meike Pederson, we now have the world's first commercial prototype interferometric PALM (iPALM) system in the lab. It is an amazing imaging tool!
  • (03/06/2017) Congratulations Jing for winning your dream job offer from FEI, Hillsboro - before graduation. Very exciting!
  • (01/06/2017) Our collaborative paper with Dr. Summer Gibbs on superresolution imaging of FFPE clinical samples is published in Scientific Reports. view online


  • (08/01/2016) Alec Peters is leaving us for a position at Kashi Clinical Laboratories.
  • (06/01/2016) Congratulations to Dr. Mo Chen for earning a position at Intel!