Zhiyong Cheng, PhD
Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator
2006 Harvard University Medical School, HHMI, Postdoc (Biochemistry/Metabolism)
2004 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Postdoc (Biochemistry/Enzymology)
2003 Peking University, PhD (Analytical Chemistry)
Welcome to Dr. Cheng’s Lab! We are dedicated to a better understanding of metabolic disorders and exploring therapeutic rationales for human metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes, obesity, and cancer). To make a lasting impact in this field, we are motivated to conduct well-designed studies leading to exciting and novel discoveries. Here in the Cheng Lab, you will enjoy great team work, scientific integrity, and good scholarship. All lab members are expected to work individually, collaboratively, and supportively with the highest ethical standards. Our priority is that you are happy in the lab and are passionate about science and discovery, so you can be productive and successful in your career.
Metabolic diseases have become a global health issue to date. Whereas the pathology is not completely understood, previous studies have identified genetic, epigenetic, and aging-related factors that contribute to the pathogenesis. Particularly, mitochondria as the primary metabolic platform have been found to malfunction, which disturbs the nutrient and metabolic homeostasis in the individuals with metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes, obesity, and cancer). The research in our lab seeks to understand the mechanisms that lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic disorders, with the hope to develop effective therapies for these diseases by targeting mitochondrial dysfunction.
The ongoing projects in our lab include: (1) genetic and epigenetic regulation of mitochondrial function and its role in the metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells, (2) circadian regulation of mitochondrial function and its role in diabetes and obesity pathogenesis, (3) the redox role of mitochondria in regulating nutrient and metabolic homeostasis. We employ interdisciplinary techniques and foster a broad collaboration with the research laboratories of chemistry, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and bioinformatics.
Cheng Z, Ristow M. Mitochondria and metabolic homeostasis. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 2013 Feb 24; doi:10.1089/ars.2013.5255.
Wang Z, Cheng Z, Cristofaro V, Li J, Xiao X, Gomez P, Ge R, Gong E, Strle K, Sullivan MP, Adam RM, White MF, Olumi AF. Inhibition of TNF-α Improves the Bladder Dysfunction That Is Associated With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes, 2012 Aug; 61(8):2134-45.
Cheng Z, White MF. kNOXing on the door of selective insulin resistance. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 2012 May; 32(5):1063-5.
Cheng Z, White MF. The AKTion in non-canonical insulin signaling. Nature Medicine, 2012 Mar 6; 18(3):351-3.
Sadagurski M, Cheng Z, Rozzo A, Palazzolo I, Kelley GR, Dong X, Krainc D, White MF. IRS2 increases mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in a mouse model of Huntington disease. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011 Oct 3; 121(10):4070-81.
Cheng Z, Zhang J, Ballou DP, Williams CH. Reactivity of thioredoxin as a protein thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase. Chemical Reviews, 2011 Sep 14; 111(9):5768-83.
Long YC, Cheng Z, Copps KD, White MF. Insulin receptor substrates Irs1 and Irs2 coordinate skeletal muscle growth and metabolism via the Akt and AMPK pathways. Molecular Cellular Biology, 2011 Feb; 31(3):430-41.
Cheng Z, White MF. Targeting Forkhead box O1 from the concept to metabolic diseases: lessons from mouse models. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 2011 Feb 15; 14(4):649-61.
Cheng Z, Tseng Y, White MF. Insulin signaling meets mitochondria in metabolism. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2010 Oct; 21(10):589-98.
Cheng Z, White MF. Foxo1 in hepatic lipid metabolism. Cell Cycle, 2010 Jan 15; 9(2):219-20.
Cheng Z, Guo S, Copps K, Dong X, Kollipara R, Rodgers JT, Depinho RA, Puigserver P, White MF. Foxo1 integrates insulin signaling with mitochondrial function in the liver. Nature Medicine, 2009 Nov; 15(11):1307-11.
Guo S, Copps KD, Dong X, Park S, Cheng Z, Pocai A, Rossetti L, Sajan M, Farese RV, White MF. The Irs1 branch of the insulin signaling cascade plays a dominant role in hepatic nutrient homeostasis. Molecular Cellular Biology, 2009 Sep; 29(18):5070-83.
Visiting Researcher: our lab provides a dynamic platform of collaboration and training. We welcome motivated scientists and students to join the lab and do their visiting research or study (e.g., visiting scholars and students). Please send you inquiry with a CV (including a list of three references) and Letter of Interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Postdoc: for full consideration, please send your CV (including a list of three references) to email@example.com with a cover letter describing your previous research projects, future research interests, career goals, what you can bring to the Cheng Lab, and what your expectation is for the lab. Preference will be given to candidates who have a proven publication record, a solid chance to get a research fellowship, and have great potential to become an independent investigator in the near future.
Graduate: we always welcome highly motivated and inspired students to discover and maximize their talents and potentials in our lab. Please send your CV and personal statement to firstname.lastname@example.org. Preference will be given to candidates who have clear career goals and a steady motivation and interest in metabolic research.
Undergrad: undergraduate students who are dedicated and passionate about metabolic research are welcome to send in inquiries about openings in our lab to email@example.com. Please enclose your personal statement describing your goal to join the lab, your previous experience and relevant coursework, as well as your tentative plan to conduct research in our lab (e.g., timeline, working schedule, etc.).