Molecular Mechanisms of Metabolic Diseases
We combine forward genetics with biochemistry and molecular biology
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).
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).
The third paper came out of the Zhang Lab published on Cell Metabolism to identify a form of obesity caused not by hyperphagia or hypokinesis but by decreased thermal energy expenditure due to a viable hypomorphic allele of the essential gene Ovol2. Ovol2 may eventually become target for anti-obesity drugs.
This research has been reported by D Magazine:
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