The PI

A picture of Dr. Qing Zhang, smiling at the camera.

Qing Zhang, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Pharmacology

The Lab

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.