Yi Zhang, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry
School of Medicine
Member
Cleveland Center for Membrane & Structural Biology

Our research investigates topics at the interface of chemistry and biology, focusing on elucidating the molecular basis of cellular pathways important for human health and disease biology. We employ integrative approaches to study the structure and behavior of macromolecules, understand their functions, and then predict and validate their roles in different cellular contexts. Current research areas include selective autophagy, chromatin biology and epigenetics, and biomolecular condensates.

Yi Zhang's Biography 

Research Information

Research Interests

Dr. Zhang’s research investigates topics at the interface of chemistry and biology, focusing on elucidating the molecular basis of cellular pathways important for human health and disease biology. We employ integrative approaches to study the structure and behavior of macromolecules, understand their functions, and then predict and validate their roles in different cellular contexts.

Current research projects include:

1. Selective autophagy. Research in the lab aims to understand the mechanism and regulation of SQSTM1/p62, a stress-induced multifunctional master regulator. p62 mediates many key cellular responses such as nutrient sensing and inflammation, and is commonly deregulated in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. This knowledge could lead to new approaches in combination cancer therapy.

2. Biological condensates. We recently made the interesting observation that many proteins form condensates in cells. Our current research investigates the content, regulation, and functional significance of these membrane-less organelles in vitro and in cells. The goal is to develop a comprehensive view of how cells control condensates formation/disassembly and how condensates regulate biological reactions.

3. Chromatin biology and epigenetics. We have broad interests in the structure-function relationship of chromatin-related proteins and how epigenetic marks regulate nuclear processes. We hope to apply this knowledge in drug development for personalized medicine eventually.

Publications

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Education

PhD
Peking University
2015
Post Doc
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus