I am a biomedical researcher in the Division of Oncology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. My doctoral studies at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. In the Yi Zheng laboratory, my research work involves exploring rational design of small molecule inhibitors targeting the Ras GTPase signaling modules and application of such tools to establish the proof of principle that pharmacological targeting of Ras GTPase signaling is of therapeutic value in lung cancer, leukemia, aging, and stem cell modulation. In another project I am beginning to decipher RRAS signaling pathway in mouse embryo fibroblast cells, in an attempt to better understand the roles of RRAS in cell growth.
I am a research assistant in the Zheng laboratory. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the University of Cincinnati. My core objectives are colony management of genetically modified mouse models, which include breeding and genotyping, collecting blood and organ specimens for various experiments (including bone marrow transplantation, cell staining, culture and fixing) bleed assays, drug discovery, embryo development and international collaboration with these genetically modified mouse lines. I also aid in lab organization and management.
I am a research assistant in the Yi Zheng Lab. My main responsibilities are assisting post-doctoral fellows and graduate students with their experiments. I also handle the administrative tasks of the lab such as ordering, organizing, chemical hygiene, and biosafety compliance. My career as a researcher began as an undergraduate at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY where I studied biology. I moved to Cincinnati after graduation and spent two years as a student contractor to the EPA, where I worked on population genetics of invasive aquatic species. Then I moved on to the University of Cincinnati where I studied the evolution of plant breeding systems and obtained a master’s degree in biological sciences. In the Zheng Lab, which is where I have been since leaving UC, we work to untangle some of the complex protein signaling pathways that govern cell cycles, with the goal of applying our knowledge to the study of cancer and blood diseases.
I did my graduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biology at the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD). After graduation, I did two short postdoctoral trainings at Duke University (Durham, NC) and the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) before I joined the Zheng Lab in 2012. Trained as a structural biologist, I am interested in the structural and functional characterization of RhoA mutations recently identified in various types of cancer. Understanding of how these mutations affect RhoA function will better clarify the roles of RhoA in tumorigenesis. Meanwhile, I am also working on revealing the structural basis of several small inhibitors developed in the lab that target the Rho GTPase signaling pathways at different levels. By obtaining the atomic 3D structure of these inhibitors binding to their targets using X-ray crystallography, we will be able to further optimize these inhibitors for better specificity and efficacy, and ultimately develop them into drug candidates for future cancer therapy.
I finished my graduate training in State Key laboratory of Stem cells and Reproductive Biology in Chinese Academy of Sciences. After that, I went to Sweden for two years to get my first postdoctoral training. Now my great interest is studying the functional role of Rho GTPases in hematopoietic stem cells. By using conditional gene targeting methods, we are trying to find the molecular mechanisms of Rho GTPases in regulating hematopoietic stem cell polarity, aging and differentiation. The ultimate goal of our work is to use the inhibitors of Rho GTPases and related signaling pathways to rejuvenate the HSCs during aging process.
I obtained my Bachelor of Medicine from Central South University Xiangya School of Medicine, Changsha, China and Master of Medicine in Pediatrics from Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, China. Currently I’m working toward a PhD in the Cancer and Cell Biology Graduate Program at University of Cincinnati. My research interests include examining the role of driver mutations such as Runx1 in leukemogenesis and chemo-resistance in mouse models of acute myeloid leukemia.
I did my graduate study in Molecular and Developmental Biology program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and I’m currently a post-doc researcher in the lab. My research focuses on the function of small GTPase during the homeostasis of intestinal stem cells (ISCs). I am interested in how small GTPases like RhoA and CDC42 coordinates multiple signaling pathways to regulate the differentiation, proliferation and renewal of ISCs.
For information regarding the Zheng Lab and the Cell Signaling and Drug Discovery Program contact:
Dr. Yi Zheng
Phone: 513-636-0594Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Experimental Hematology and Cancer BiologyLocation RRoom R-7503
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