Molecular Mechanisms of Metabolic Diseases

We combine forward genetics with biochemistry and molecular biology

In the Zhang Lab, we seek to find new "rules" through studying "exceptions"

Our investigation began with a search for mutations that cause metabolic disorders in mice, using the largest mouse forward genetic screen platform developed in the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense. We have screened more than half of the mouse genome, and now study the role of these genes in various metabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Meet the PI

Zhao Zhang, Ph.D.

Zhao Zhang, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Zhang obtained his B.S. in biotechnology from Shandong University in 2008. He received his Ph.D. in developmental biology in 2014 from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Yun Zhao. He then joined the lab of Dr. Bruce Beutler at UT Southwestern for his post-doctoral training.

In 2020, Dr. Zhang became an Assistant Professor in the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at UT Southwestern with support from an NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00).

Recent Lab News


June 2023

A review paper came out of the Zhang Lab to summarize the role of OVOL2

A reviewer paper from the Zhang Lab was recently published on Trends in Cell Biology. In this review, both the classic role of OVOL2 in embryogenesis and tumorigenesis, and the emerging role of OVOL2 in energy homeostasis have been discussed.

Read the paper here

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Zhao Zhang Lab