Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Dr. Zhang's laboratory uses biochemical, cellular and molecular biology and mouse genetic approaches to understand the fundamental mechanisms that underlie tumor cells' response to various metabolic stresses.
Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he conducted his graduate thesis on the role of mitochondrial quality control machinery during red blood cell maturation. Dr. Zhang pursued his post-doctoral training with Dr. Craig Thompson, a world-renowned investigator in the field of cancer metabolism, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, to expand his research repertoire on nonessential amino acid metabolism in cancer. Dr. Zhang became an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2017. Recently, the Zhang lab discovered that DNA hypomethylation in the promoter region of the asparagine synthetase (ASNS) gene plays a critical role in driving chemo-resistance in leukemia patients (Jiang et.al, 2019). In addition, the Zhang lab found that asparagine restriction effectively perturbs oncogenic MYC function in lymphoma/leukemia cells and has a therapeutic implication (Srivastava et.al, 2022). Furthermore, the Zhang lab has extensively collaborated with other labs on amino acid metabolism and adaptive stress responses in solid tumors, immune cells and stem cells.
Dr. Zhang has received several nationwide career development awards, including the Emerging Scientist Award from Children's Cancer Research Fund, Scholar Award from St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Scholar Award for Junior Faculty from American Society of Hematology.
Jiang J, Srivastava S, Liu S, Seim G, Claude G, Zhong M, Cao S, Davé U, Kapur R, Mosley AL, Zhang C, Wan J, Fan J, Zhang J. Asparagine starvation suppresses histone demethylation through iron. iScience. 2023; 26(4): 106425
Halbrook CJ, Thurston G, McCarthy A, Nelson BS, Sajjakulnukit P, Krall AS, Mullen PJ, Zhang L, Batra S, Viale A, Stanger BZ, Christofk HR, Zhang J, di Magliano MP, Jorgensen C, Lyssiotis CA. Clonal Heterogeneity Supports Mitochondrial Metabolism in Pancreatic Cancer. Nature Cancer. 2022; 3(11): 1386-1403
Ramdas B, Palam L, Singh-Mali R, Pasupuleti SK, Zhang J, Kelley M, Paczesny S, Zhang C, Kapur R. Combined heterozygosity of FLT3ITD TET2 and DNMT3A results in aggressive leukemia in mice and humans utilizing similar genetic programs. Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. 2022; 7(18): e162016. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.162016.
Srivastava S, Jiang J, Misra J, Seim G, Staschke KA, Zhong M, Zhou L, Liu Y, Chen C, Davé U, Kapur R, Batra S, Zhang C, Zhou J, Fan J, Wek RC, Zhang J. Asparagine bioavailability regulates the translation of MYC oncogene. Oncogene. 2022; 41(44): 4855-4865
Ramdas B, Yuen LD, Palam L, Patel R, Pasupuleti SK, Jideonwo V, Zhang J, Maguire C, Wong E, Zhang C, Sandusky G, Chan Rebecca, Zhang C, Stieglitz E, Haneline L, Kapur R. Inhibition of BTK and PI3Kδ impairs the development of Human JMML Stem and Progenitor cells. Molecular Therapy. 2022; 30(7): 2505-2521
Jiang J, Srivastava S, Seim G, Pavlova NN, King B, Zou L, Zhang C, Zhong M, Feng H, Kapur R, Wek RC, Fan J, Zhang J. Promoter demethylation of the asparagine synthetase gene is required for an ATF4-dependent adaptation to asparagine depletion. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2019; 294(49):18674-18684
Jiang J, Srivastava S, Zhang J. (Review) Starve Cancer Cells of Glutamine: Break the Spell or Make a Hungry Monster? Cancers. 2019 Jun 11;11(6). pii: E804. doi: 10.3390/cancers11060804
As extracellular glutamine levels decline, asparagine becomes an essential amino acid. Hui S, Ghergurovich JM, Fan J, Intlekofer AI, White RM, Rabinowitz JD, Thompson CB§ , Zhang J§ (§ co-corresponding author). Cell Metabolism. 2018; 27 (2): 428-438. PMCID: PMC5803449
Cancer cell metabolism: the essential role of the nonessential amino acid, glutamine. Zhang J, Pavlova NN, Thompson CB. The EMBO journal. 2017; 36(10):1302-1315. PMID: 28420743
Repression by RB1 characterizes genes involved in the penultimate stage of erythroid development. Zhang J, Loyd MR, Randall MS, Morris JJ, Shah JG, Ney PA. Cell Cycle. 2015;14(21):3441-53.
Serine catabolism regulates mitochondrial redox control during hypoxia. Ye J, Fan J, Venneti S, Wan YW, Pawel B, Zhang J, Finley LWS, Lu C, Lindsten T, Cross JR, Qing G, Liu Z, Simon MC, Rabinowitz JD, Thompson CB. Cancer Discovery. 2014; 4(12):1406-1417.
Asparagine plays a critical role in regulating cellular adaptation to glutamine depletion. Zhang J, Fan J, Venneti S, Cross JR, Takagi T, Bhinder B, Djaballah H, Kanai M, Cheng EH, Judkins AR, Pawel B, Baggs J, Cherry S, Rabinowitz JD, Thompson CB. Molecular cell. 2014; 56(2):205-18. PMID: 25242145
Titles & Appointments
- Assistant Professor of Pediatrics