Dr. Zheng served as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago from 2003 to 2008. He then took the position as a Research Associate (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago until 2011. He has since served as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern.


Henan Medical University - ? (1997)
Graduate School
Tianjin University (2000), Biomedical Engineering
Graduate School
Tsinghua University (2003), Biochemistry

Research Interest

  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myogenic Differentiation
  • Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor Genes
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Ectopic PLAG1 induces muscular dystrophy in the mouse.
Aguayo JS, Shelton JM, Tan W, Rakheja D, Cai C, Shalaby A, Lee J, Iannaccone ST, Xu L, Chen K, Burns DK, Zheng Y, Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2023 Jul 665 159-168
Exon skipping in genes encoding lineage-defining myogenic transcription factors in rhabdomyosarcoma.
Butler E, Xu L, Rakheja D, Schwettmann B, Toubbeh S, Guo L, Kim J, Skapek SX, Zheng Y, Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2022 Aug
Bayesian Modeling Identifies PLAG1 as a Key Regulator of Proliferation and Survival in Rhabdomyosarcoma Cells.
Zheng Y, Xu L, Hassan M, Zhou X, Zhou Q, Rakheja D, Skapek SX, Mol Cancer Res 2020 03 18 3 364-374
Novel PDGFRB rearrangement in multifocal infantile myofibromatosis is tumorigenic and sensitive to imatinib.
Hassan M, Butler E, Wilson R, Roy A, Zheng Y, Liem P, Rakheja D, Pavlick D, Young LL, Rosenzweig M, Erlich R, Ali SM, Leavey PJ, Parsons DW, Skapek SX, Laetsch TW, Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud 2019 Oct 5 5
Identification of De Novo Enhancers Activated by TGF? to Drive Expression of CDKN2A and B in HeLa Cells.
Liu YT, Xu L, Bennett L, Hooks JC, Liu J, Zhou Q, Liem P, Zheng Y, Skapek SX, Mol Cancer Res 2019 09 17 9 1854-1866
Twist2 amplification in rhabdomyosarcoma represses myogenesis and promotes oncogenesis by redirecting MyoD DNA binding.
Li S, Chen K, Zhang Y, Barnes SD, Jaichander P, Zheng Y, Hassan M, Malladi VS, Skapek SX, Xu L, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN, Liu N, Genes Dev. 2019 Apr
Integrative Bayesian Analysis Identifies Rhabdomyosarcoma Disease Genes.
Xu L, Zheng Y, Liu J, Rakheja D, Singleterry S, Laetsch TW, Shern JF, Khan J, Triche TJ, Hawkins DS, Amatruda JF, Skapek SX Cell Rep 2018 Jul 24 1 238-251
Negative regulation of initial steps in skeletal myogenesis by mTOR and other kinases.
Wilson RA, Liu J, Xu L, Annis J, Helmig S, Moore G, Timmerman C, Grandori C, Zheng Y, Skapek SX Sci Rep 2016 6 20376
A distant, cis-acting enhancer drives induction of Arf by Tgfß in the developing eye
Zheng Y, Devitt C, Liu J, Mei J, Skapek SX Dev. Biol. 2013 May
Arf induction by Tgfß is influenced by Sp1 and C/ebpß in opposing directions
Zheng Y, Devitt C, Liu J, Iqbal N, Skapek SX PLoS ONE 2013 8 8 e70371

Honors & Awards

  • Rally and Infinite Love Independent Investigator Grant Award
  • Wipe Out Kids Cancer Research Grant Award
  • Childrens Cancer Fund Research Grant Award
  • Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation Childhood Cancer Research Grant Award
  • Hyundai Hope Grant Award