Here at the College of Sciences and Humanities, we love to highlight the new faculty members joining our team. Dr. Wei Shi is a new Assistant Professor in the Chemistry department. The following interview discusses what brought him to Ball State, his research focus, and his hobbies.

What is your journey to Ball State?

I completed my bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in China. Shortly afterward, I moved to Canada and did my Ph.D. graduate studies in bioorganic chemistry at the University of Alberta.  Given my personal interest in drug discovery, I started my postdoctoral training in pharmacology and chemical biology at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. During the job search last year, a good balance of education and research at Ball State attracted me most to join.

What is your research focus in Chemistry?

My current research focus is on chemical biology investigation for understanding the pharmaceutical potential of protein translocation pathways. More specifically, a team of researchers and I are trying to develop chemical probes derived from a natural product called ipomoeassin F to better our knowledge on Sec61-medicated protein translocation. We are primarily using techniques in organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry to conduct our research. We are also actively searching for collaborations in biology and pharmacology to transform our work from fundamental science to practical applications.

 What are some of your goals for your first year here?

In my first year at Ball State, I would like to achieve two major goals. First, I want to assemble a research team consisting of undergraduates and graduate students to get our research up and running. Second, I want to develop proper teaching practices to better suit the student population here. I think I am on the right track to achieve both goals.

There are also two things I am excited about. One is the university’s strong commitment to helping the new faculty succeed in their careers at Ball State, such as the New Faculty Academy and SPA Fellow programs. The other is the high quality of education and training our department and university as a whole commits to offering to our students.

 What are some of your hobbies/non-academic interests?

In my spare time, I like playing chess. To keep physical health, I also like playing badminton and table tennis. I started to learn to golf after moving to Muncie. When I have a larger block of time, I enjoy traveling around.

Interested in learning more about our fantastic chemistry faculty? Check out our blog post highlighting Professor Patricia Lang’s Outstanding Faculty award for diversity advocacy, and our new faculty spotlight on Dr. Jordan Froese. Click here to see all of our posts introducing new CSH faculty.