Jean Chen Shih received her BS in biochemistry from the National Taiwan University, where she graduated as the valedictorian. She earned her PhD in biochemistry from a joint program at the University of California, Riverside, and UCLA. She continued as a postdoctoral research fellow at UCLA and, in 1974, she joined the USC School of Pharmacy faculty.

Currently a University Professor, Shih holds the Boyd P. and Elsie D. Welin Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is the founding director of the USC–Taiwan Center for Translational Research. Shih’s numerous honors include two Research Scientist Awards and two MERIT awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), each providing 10-year support to investigators whose research competence and productivity are distinctly superior and who are likely to continue to perform in an outstanding manner. The MERIT award is given to the top 1% investigators of the country. She is a fellow of Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology; a recipient of the Volwiler Research Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship; a Distinguished Series Kaiser Lecturer at University of Hawaii; and several other awards.

Shih has served as a member of NIH study sections in Psycho Clinical Biology, 1984-88, and Neurobiology, 1990-94; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Mental Retardation Committee, 1997-2001; and the NIH Director and Pioneer Award review committee (2011-2014). She was a member of the International Brain Research Committee of the National Academy of Sciences (1995-2000). She is a current member and past president (2002-2004) of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America.