Shawn received her B.Ch.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2002. She completed her M.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and Ph.D. in 2010. For her Masters thesis, she investigated the use of scaffolds as carriers for therapeutic gene delivery. Her Ph.D. thesis research focused on evaluating cell interactions with surface-bound biochemical and topographical signals, and integrating these cues into the design of novel nerve guide conduits that facilitate peripheral nerve regeneration. She is currently engaged in postdoctoral work in the field of developmental hematopoiesis, while simultaneously working on a biotechnology start-up to produce and market novel recombinant proteins for cell culture.