Welcome to the Nan Lab

The Nan Lab tackles cancer by developing tools for quantitative and high-resolution imaging of cancer biology across the molecular (nanometer) to multi-cellular (millimeter) scales. Our current research focuses in three related areas:

  • 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 tens of colors;
  • 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;
  • 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.

We are hiring! A position at the rank of Research Assistant or Postdoc is open in my lab. Candidates with background in cancer biology, biophysics, bio(medical) engineering or related fields are all welcome to apply.

Nan Lab News

  • (08/18/2023) Congratulations to Dr. Matt Rames and team on the acceptance of our manuscript 'Multiplexed and millimeter-scale fluorescence nanoscopy of cells and tissue sections via prism-illumination and microfluidics-enhanced DNA-PAINT' into Chemical and Biomedical Imaging (by ACS)! 
  • (07/17/2023) The Nan lab welcomes Dr. Dylan Heussman, who will join us as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Heussman recently finished his PhD at University of Oregon working with Profs. Andy Marcus and Pete von Hippel
  • (04/05/2023) Dr. Nan delivered a talk on multiplexed and millimeter-scale fluorescence nanoscopy at the Focus on Microscopy (2023) conference. 
  • (01/20/2023) Our paper on combining multispectral single-particle imaging with localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) for real-time SPR spectroscopy has just been published in ACS Nano. Congratulations to Stephen, John, and the team!!
  • (01/05/2023) Happy New Year to all, and congratulations to Dr. Stephen Palani on his new position as a process engineer at Applied Materials (Santa Clara, CA)! 
  • (12/21/2022) Congratulations to Dr. Anna Koester on her new position as Scientist at Fred Hutchison Cancer Center! Her last day with the lab is Dec. 31, 2022. Wish you all the best in Seattle, Anna! 
  • (12/16/2022) Congratulations to Stephen Palani on his successful PhD thesis defense! He delivered a fantastic talk on the development of plasmonic sensors. 
  • (12/12/2022) Stephen Palani's paper in Small was selected as the BME graduate student paper of the year. Congratulations to Stephen and the team!
  • (11/26/2022) DNA-PAINT-ERS enables multiplexed superresolution imaging with fast imaging speed and excellent image quality. Wondering how it is done? We have just published a detailed protocol in Current Protocols. Congratulations Anna and Malwina!
  • (10/21/2022) Our collaborative work with Dr. Sejung Kim at Jeonbuk National University on synthesizing plasmonic nanoparticles has now been published in SmallCongratulations to Stephen and the team!
  • (10/19/2022) The Nan group is attending the 4th RAS Symposium hosted by the National Cancer Institute Frederick National Lab! Lots of exciting developments on RAS therapeutics and basic biology. Dr. Nan delivered an invited talk 'Imaging Ras biology from single-molecules to multicellular systems', and Dr. Koester gave a poster 'Multiplexed superresolution microscopy for investigating spatial systems biology of RAS'.


  • (10/03/2022) The Nan lab welcomes our new postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Tanjina Afrin! Before joining us, Dr. Afrin did her PhD in material chemistry at Hokkaido University, Japan, and then her first postdoc at Oregon State University.
  • (07/28/2022) Our paper on multispectral Föster resonance energy transfer (msFRET) is now published with J. Phys. Chem. B as part of a virtual special issue in celebration of Prof. Sunney Xie’s 60th birthday. Congratulations to Carey, Tao, and Jing, and Happy birthday to Sunney :)
  • (07/27/2022) Our paper on multicolor superresolution imaging of Ras – phosphatidylserine (PS) interactions on the cell membrane has now been published in Biomolecules. Congratulations to Anna and the team!
  • (06/22/2022) The Nan lab welcomes two summer interns, Ms. Cindy Huang from Lake Oswego High School and Mr. Maximillian Libmann from Oregon State University. Look forward to a fun and fruitful summer with you, Cindy and Max!
  • (06/01/2022) Congratulations to Matthew Rames on successfully defending his PhD thesis titled ‘Characterizing early cancer biology through multiplexed and multiscale super-resolution microscopy technique development’. Well done, Dr. Rames!
  • (01/20/2022) Our review on Ras dimers has just been published in Genes. Congratulations to Drs. Sila Ozdemir (postdoc at CEDAR) and Anna Koester (postdoc in the Nan lab/BME)!


  • (10/01/2021) Our collaborative paper 'Interpretation of cancer mutations using a multiscale map of protein systems' with the Trey Ideker (UCSD) and the Kevan Krogan (UCSF) labs has just been published in Science
  • (09/03/2021) Our collaborative paper with Drs. Ramesh Jasti and Mike Pluth, both from University of Oregon, on developing carbon nanohoops for biological imaging is now published in ACS Nano. Congratulations to John, Julia, and Fehmi! 
  • (06/25/2021) Our collaboration with Dr. Jing Wang, a lab alumni, and other colleagues at Thermo Fisher Scientific, on developing correlative 3D superresolution and electron microscopy imaging workflows for biological samples has now been published in Scientific Reports. Congratulations to all!
  • (05/15/2021) Welcome Dr. Anna M. Koester to our lab! Anna is a biologist with diverse training including superresolution microscopy. She obtained her PhD in biochemistry from University of Glasgow earlier this year. She will join us as a postdoc fellow working on single-molecule imaging of Ras.
  • (02/01/2021) Welcome Dr. Malwina Szczepaniak to our lab! Malwina is a biophysicist originally from Poland who worked on single-molecule imaging and ultrafast spectroscopy. She will be a senior research associate with us.


  • (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!