Dr. Shu Qian is an Alliance scientist who is researching artificial intelligence. He is the project leader at the Sidon facility in 2165. According to Kahlee Sanders, Qian is working on a newly-discovered alien artifact that might even have pre-dated the Protheans, but the research changes him. Qian gradually becomes more irrational until he is obsessed with the work. Kahlee becomes suspicious and copies several of his files, then leaves Sidon just before it is attacked by the Blue Suns. Qian disappears after the attack on Sidon and his whereabouts are unknown.

In fact, Qian was the traitor at Sidon who gave the Blue Suns access to the facility. Qian is actually working for the batarian Edan Had'dah, who employed him to uncover the artifact's secrets. But the artifact affected Qian's mind until studying it became all he cared about and Had'dah begins to lose patience with the doctor. It was Qian's idea to capture Kahlee Sanders, realising that with his team dead, he has lost the help he needs to continue his research.

Qian joins Had'dah at the eezo refinery on Camala once Kahlee has been captured, but the refinery is attacked by David Anderson and Saren Arterius. Qian copies all his files to a flash drive – even when faced with Saren, he is desperate to protect his data. Saren asks Had'dah if Qian is still necessary to the project; when Had'dah claims Qian has become a liability and should be replaced, Saren instantly disposes of Qian by shooting him in the head.

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