The Zhang lab studies lipid signaling pathways that are involved in development and diseases by developing novel chemical probes and technologies. As key components of cellular membranes, lipids also serve as signaling molecules and modify functions of proteins through either covalent or non-covalent interactions. Dys-regulation of lipid signaling has been correlated with various diseases including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Consequently, many lipid-related proteins or processes have been used as therapeutic targets. However, lipids are dynamically metabolized and transported, making it difficult to illustrate the roles of lipids in development and diseases with limited availability of probes and technologies for lipid studies.
The active projects in the lab include
- developing novel technologies to synthesize complex lipids, particularly phosphatidylinositides, and to identify their interacting proteins in live cells;
- developing new small-molecule sensors and inhibitors for lipid metabolic enzymes such as PI3K and PLC; and
- investigating cellular functions of lipids on different processes, particularly those regulated by small GTPases.
Developing novel chemical probes and technologies to study lipid signaling pathways that are involved in development and diseases.
Education, Certification and Licensure
|2003 – 2006||Postdoctoral associate in the area of chemical biology
Adviser: Professor Peter G. Schultz
The Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla, California
|1998 – 2003||PhD in organic chemistry
Adviser: Professor Dennis P. Curran
University of Pittsburgh
|1995 – 1998||MS in organic chemistry
Adviser: Professor Long Lu
Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry
|1990 – 1995||BE in chemical engineering
Adviser: Professor Jian Chen