A photo of Yi Zheng.

Yi Zheng, PhD

  • Director, Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology
  • Institute Co- Executive Director, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute
  • Marjory Johnson Endowed Chair of Drug Discovery
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


BS: Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 1986.

MS: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1988.

PhD: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1991.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1995.


Using transgenic and gene targeted mouse models to study the physiological and pathological roles of Rho GTPases and their regulators in hematopoiesis, neurogenesis, lung cancer development and small intestinal stem cell regulations mechanism based, rational design of small molecule inhibitors targeting Rho GTPase signaling modules and pathologic functions in cancer and blood diseases; mouse model studies of mTor signaling function in hematopoietic stem cells and small intestinal stem cells.

Research Areas

Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cancer and Blood Diseases



Adaptive responses to mTOR gene targeting in hematopoietic stem cells reveal a proliferative mechanism evasive to mTOR inhibition. Fan, C; Zhao, C; Zhang, F; Kesarwani, M; Tu, Z; Cai, X; Davis, AK; Xu, L; Hochstetler, CL; Chen, X; et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 2021; 118:e2020102118.


Yap1-Scribble polarization is required for hematopoietic stem cell division and fate. Althoff, MJ; Nayak, RC; Hegde, S; Wellendorf, AM; Bohan, B; Filippi, MD; Xin, M; Richard Lu, Q; Geiger, H; Zheng, Y; et al. Blood. 2020; 136:1824-1836.


Inhibition of Cdc42 activity extends lifespan and decreases circulating inflammatory cytokines in aged female C57BL/6 mice. Florian, MC; Leins, H; Gobs, M; Han, Y; Marka, G; Soller, K; Vollmer, A; Sakk, V; Nattamai, KJ; Rayes, A; et al. Aging Cell. 2020; 19:e13208.


Adaptive response to inflammation contributes to sustained myelopoiesis and confers a competitive advantage in myelodysplastic syndrome HSCs. Muto, T; Walker, CS; Choi, K; Hueneman, K; Smith, MA; Gul, Z; Garcia-Manero, G; Ma, A; Zheng, Y; Starczynowski, DT. Nature Immunology. 2020; 21:535-545.


ARHGEF12 regulates erythropoiesis and is involved in erythroid regeneration after chemotherapy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. Xie, Y; Gao, L; Xu, C; Chu, L; Gao, L; Wu, R; Liu, Y; Liu, T; Sun, X; Ren, R; et al. Haematologica: the hematology journal. 2020; 105:925-936.


Latexin regulation by HMGB2 is required for hematopoietic stem cell maintenance. Zhang, C; Fondufe-Mittendorf, YN; Wang, C; Chen, J; Cheng, Q; Zhou, D; Zheng, Y; Geiger, H; Liang, Y. Haematologica: the hematology journal. 2020; 105:573-584.


Rho GTPase-Activating Proteins in Cancer. Grogg, MW; Zheng, Y. The Rho GTPases in Cancer. : Springer Nature; Springer Nature; 2010.

A critical role of RUNX1 in governing megakaryocyte-primed hematopoietic stem cell differentiation. Wang, C; Tu, Z; Cai, X; Wang, W; Davis, AK; Nattamai, K; Paranjpe, A; Dexheimer, P; Wu, J; Huang, FL; et al. Blood Advances. 2023; 7:2590-2605.

Mechanism of inert inflammation in an immune checkpoint blockade-resistant tumor subtype bearing transcription elongation defects. Modur, V; Muhammad, B; Yang, JQ; Zheng, Y; Komurov, K; Guo, F. Cell Reports. 2023; 42:112364.

Rac is required for the survival of cortical neurons. Katayama, KI; Zheng, Y; Inoue, N. Experimental Neurology. 2023; 361:114316.