Qing Zhang

PhD, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill, Breast Cancer

Associate Professor
School of Medicine
UNC-Chapel Hill
Breast Cancer, Cancer Cell Biology

Area of interest

Our lab currently studies hypoxia, prolyl hydroxylase and VHL signaling in cancer, especially breast and renal cell carcinomas. We are interested in studying the oxygen-sensing pathway and how they contribute to the development of tumors as well as therapeutic resistance. One project focuses on using proteomic and genomic approaches to screen for novel prolyl hydroxylase substrates that play important roles in cancer.

Another line of investigation has been focused on the role of EglN2 prolyl hydroxylase in regulating mitochondrial function in breast cancer.Our goal for this study is to elucidate the important pathway by which EglN2 controls mitochondrial function in breast cancer. The ultimate goal is to understand mechanistically how oxygen-sensing pathways contribute to cancer progression, which will facilitate our design of efficient treatment strategies to specifically target cancer.

In addition, our lab is also interested in identifying novel pVHL substrates in renal cancer. It is critical to identify pathways that are affected by pVHL loss and that are key contributors to the overall renal cancer program, which will help design therapeutic invention strategies to target these drivers for renal cancer. We designed an innovative genome-wide in vitro expression strategy coupled with GST-binding screening and identified several interesting VHL binding proteins/substrates. We are currently validating their roles in renal carcinogenesis by using cancer cell lines, xenografts, mouse models and patient tissues.

Awards and Honors

  • 2020 ASIP Ramzi Cotran Early Career Investigator Award
  • 2019 CPRIT Rising Star Award
  • 2019 DOD KCRP Idea Development Award
  • 2019 KCCure Innovation Grant Award
  • 2018 American Cancer Society Research Scholar
  • 2018 Associate Scientific Advisor, Science Translational Medicine
  • 2017 Jefferson-Pilot Fellowship in Academic Medicine, UNC
  • 2017 Jon Shevell Young Scientist Travel Scholarship
  • 2017 Mary Kay Foundation Award
  • 2017 Atomwise AIMS Award, Atomwise Inc.
  • 2016 Jon Shevell Young Scientist Travel Scholarship
  • 2015 The V Foundation Scholar Award
  • 2015 UNC Junior Faculty Development Award
  • 2015 DOD CDMRP Career Development Award
  • 2015 Susan G. Komen Career Catalyst Award
  • 2014 Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award
  • 2011 NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) Award
  • 2010 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)
  • 2009 Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship


Zhang Lab UNC Website

Qing Zhang, PhD