Dr. Zhang obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Wuhan University in China in 2001 followed by a Ph.D study working with Dr. Jennifer Grandis at Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine until Late 2005. From 2006 to early 2013, He worked as a postdoctoral fellow (2006-06/2011) and an instructor (07/2011-01/2013) in the lab of The Nobel Laureate Dr. William Kaelin Jr. at Dana Farber Cancer Institute on prolyl hydroxylase and oxygen sensing pathway in cancer. He became an assistant professor at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Feb of 2013. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in Feb of 2019 at UNC Chapel Hill and now he is an associate professor with tenure in the Department of Pathology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is currently holding the title of Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholar in Cancer Research.

His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Health. Currently his research is supported by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense (DOD), American Cancer Society (ACS), CPRIT as well as Kidney Cancer Research Alliance (KCCure).

He is a member of both the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) and American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He obtained various awards, including CPRIT Rising Star Award, ASIP Ramzi Cotran Early Career Investigator Award, DOD KCRP Idea Development Award, ACS Research Scholar Award, Kimmel Scholar Award, V Scholar Award, Susan. G. Komen Career Catalyst Award and Mary Kay Foundation Award. He also served as the Associate Scientific Advisor at Science Translational Medicine.


Graduate School
University of Pittsburgh (2005)

Research Interest

  • kidney cancer, breast cancer, hypoxia signaling, VHL, post-translational modification


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

New Insights into Protein Hydroxylation and Its Important Role in Human Diseases.
Zurlo G, Guo J, Takada M, Wei W, Zhang Q, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2016 12 1866 2 208-220
pVHL suppresses kinase activity of Akt in a proline-hydroxylation-dependent manner.
Guo J, Chakraborty AA, Liu P, Gan W, Zheng X, Inuzuka H, Wang B, Zhang J, Zhang L, Yuan M, Novak J, Cheng JQ, Toker A, Signoretti S, Zhang Q, Asara JM, Kaelin WG, Wei W Science 2016 Aug 353 6302 929-32
Paracrine Induction of HIF by Glutamate in Breast Cancer: EglN1 Senses Cysteine.
Briggs KJ, Koivunen P, Cao S, Backus KM, Olenchock BA, Patel H, Zhang Q, Signoretti S, Gerfen GJ, Richardson AL, Witkiewicz AK, Cravatt BF, Clardy J, Kaelin WG, Cell 2016 Jun 166 1 126-39
EglN2 positively regulates mitochondrial function in breast cancer.
Zhang J, Zheng X, Zhang Q, Mol Cell Oncol 2016 Mar 3 2 e1120845
Phosphorylation of ETS1 by Src family kinases prevents its recognition by the COP1 tumor suppressor.
Lu G, Zhang Q, Huang Y, Song J, Tomaino R, Ehrenberger T, Lim E, Liu W, Bronson RT, Bowden M, Brock J, Krop IE, Dillon DA, Gygi SP, Mills GB, Richardson AL, Signoretti S, Yaffe MB, Kaelin WG Cancer Cell 2014 Aug 26 2 222-34
XBP1 promotes triple-negative breast cancer by controlling the HIF1a pathway.
Chen X, Iliopoulos D, Zhang Q, Tang Q, Greenblatt MB, Hatziapostolou M, Lim E, Tam WL, Ni M, Chen Y, Mai J, Shen H, Hu DZ, Adoro S, Hu B, Song M, Tan C, Landis MD, Ferrari M, Shin SJ, Brown M, Chang JC, Liu XS, Glimcher LH Nature 2014 Apr 508 7494 103-7
The Roles of VHL-Dependent Ubiquitination in Signaling and Cancer.
Zhang Q, Yang H, Front Oncol 2012 2 35
Lysosomal transmembrane protein LAPTM4B promotes autophagy and tolerance to metabolic stress in cancer cells.
Li Y, Zhang Q, Tian R, Wang Q, Zhao JJ, Iglehart JD, Wang ZC, Richardson AL, Cancer Res. 2011 Dec 71 24 7481-9
Loss of the retinoblastoma binding protein 2 (RBP2) histone demethylase suppresses tumorigenesis in mice lacking Rb1 or Men1.
Lin W, Cao J, Liu J, Beshiri ML, Fujiwara Y, Francis J, Cherniack AD, Geisen C, Blair LP, Zou MR, Shen X, Kawamori D, Liu Z, Grisanzio C, Watanabe H, Minamishima YA, Zhang Q, Kulkarni RN, Signoretti S, Rodig SJ, Bronson RT, Orkin SH, Tuck DP, Benevolenskaya EV, Meyerson M, Kaelin WG, Yan Q Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011 Jul 13379-86
Phosphorylation by casein kinase I promotes the turnover of the Mdm2 oncoprotein via the SCF(beta-TRCP) ubiquitin ligase.
Inuzuka H, Tseng A, Gao D, Zhai B, Zhang Q, Shaik S, Wan L, Ang XL, Mock C, Yin H, Stommel JM, Gygi S, Lahav G, Asara J, Xiao ZX, Kaelin WG, Harper JW, Wei W Cancer Cell 2010 Aug 18 2 147-59

Honors & Awards

  • ASIP Ramzi Cotran Early Career Investigator Award
  • CPRIT Rising Star Award
  • UT System Rising STARs Award
  • American Cancer Society Research Scholar
  • Associate Scientific Advisor, Science Translational Medicine
  • Susan G. Komen Career Catalyst Award
  • The V Scholar Award
  • Kimmel Scholar Award

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Investigative Pathology (2015)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (2006)