Shannon studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Brown University where she investigated the use of mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles to treat liver damage from acetaminophen overdose in mice. She spent a year after graduating still in Providence, RI, working on the influence of circadian rhythm on the properties of extracellular vesicles. After coming to Boston, Shannon worked in the Neurobiology Department of the Harvard Medical School with a lab doing high throughput drug screening for compounds to improve memory and learning. In addition, for a year she was a part-time Research Technician at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms working on directed evolution of bacteria and algae.
Since 2017, Shannon has been developing molecular tools to further illuminate the dynamic relationship between cell types and between signalling molecules within cells as part of the Synthetic Neurobiology group. In November 2020, the modular tool-set that enables the simultaneous imaging of many fluorescent signals in real-time in live cells was published in the journal Cell: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.035