Virus–host interactions form an essential part of every aspect of life, and our studies are focused on the interactions, and our research will be a blend of virology, molecular and cellular biology, immunology, and pathology. The major focuses are:
- The IRFs in EBV transformation
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human herpesvirus and associated with several cancers. Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are a small family of transcriptional factors with multiple functions. Dr. Zhang was the first to discover the IRF-7, a critical gene in viral transformation and innate immunity. We are taking both genetic and biochemical manipulations to dissect the involvement of cellular factors and signaling pathways in the regulation of IRFs and their roles in EBV-mediated oncogenesis.
- EBV in autoimmune diseases.
EBV has intrinsic relations with the host immune system and is closely associated with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). We are studying the roles of EBV in autoimmune diseases, especially in MS.
- Virus-stem cells interactions.
We are interested in generating a personalized hiPSC genetic system for modification of hiPSC for wide variety of applications. In addition, we are using the iPSC-generated stem cells for studying viral infections and pathogenesis.
PhD: University of Kansas Medical Center (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
MS: Shandong Agricultural University, PR China
BS: Shandong University, PR China (Major: Biology)
Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences
Research Assistant Professor, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Research Associate, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Postdoctoral Fellow, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Recipient of Postdoctoral Fellowship Award by the National Institute of Health
Recipient of Lineberger Fellowship Award by the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Honors for Ph.D. dissertation, by the graduate school of the University of Kansas Medical Center at Kansas City