Di Zhao, Ph.D.
Dr. Di Zhao received her Ph.D. degree from Fudan University and postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Ronald A. DePinho here at MD Anderson. Her postdoc studies focus on the biological function of chromatin remodeler CHD1 in prostate cancer. Dr. Zhao has published research articles as the first author or corresponding author in Nature (2017), Cancer Discovery (2020), Cancer Cell (2013), JCI (2014), and Cancer Research (2022). Dr. Zhao has been awarded a variety of fellowships and awards, including the Odyssey Fellowship at MDACC (2016), Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award (2017), NIH/NCI Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) (2018), CPRIT Recruitment of First-Time Tenure-Track Faculty Award (2019), UT System Rising STARs Award (2019), Prostate Cancer SPORE CEP Award (2020), among others. Dr. Zhao’s laboratory in the ERO department at MD Anderson focuses on the functional genomics of prostate cancers with two primarily directions towards (1) understanding how oncogenic signaling pathways co-opt with the tumor microenvironment to promote prostate cancer development and metastasis, and (2) searching for biomarkers and context-specific therapeutic targets for precision cancer medicine.
Haoyan Li earned her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Biology from the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2019. During her Ph.D. studies, she focused on inhibiting cIAP1 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity as a strategy for targeting c-MYC oncogenic activity and identified D19. In addition, she differentiated the distinct biological consequences of inhibiting or activating the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity of cIAP1.
Chenling Meng performed her graduate studies with Yin Xia at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and received her Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences in 2017. In the Xia laboratory, Chenling found that L3MBTL2 interacts with RNF8 and regulates chromatin remodeling during spermatogenesis. She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Xia lab to study the role of Hippo pathway in epididymal differentiation and maturation. Since joining Dr. Zhao's lab in 2019, Chenling has applied her previously acquired knowledge to find applications in prostate cancer research and personalized cancer therapy.
Wei Shi joined the lab in 2020. He earned his Ph.D. in cell biology from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China in 2019. During his Ph.D. studies, he focused on the immunoregulation functions of Btla (B and T lymphocyte attenuator) and its receptor Hvem (Herpes virus entry mediator) in hepatitis. With a developed concanavalin A-induced zebrafish disease model, he found that Btla could inhibit the activation of Cd8+ T cells when combining with Hvem expressed on hepatocytes, thereby maintaining hepatic homeostasis. In our laboratory, he desires to elucidate the mechanism of the immune checkpoints network in prostate cancer.
Sr. Research Assistant
Yin received her Ph. D. degree in Surgical Sciences from Kobe University in Kobe, Japan in 2002. She joined MD Anderson in 2013 and began her position as a Sr. Research Assistant in Dr. Zhao's lab in April, 2020. Yin has extensive research experience in mitochondrial biology, cell biology and molecular biology. In addition, she has many years of experience in the development, breeding and management of transgenic animals. She is expecting her expertise to contribute to the clinical prevention and therapy of prostate cancer.
Feiyu Chen received her PhD degree from the University of Hong
Kong. Her doctoral study focuses on hepatocellular carcinoma and
revealed the role of lncRNA Malat1 in initiation and metastasis of
hepatocellular carcinoma. She extended the mechanism to drug discovery
and intended to identify new potential medicine from herbal medicine
for cancer therapy. She joined Zhao Lab in 2021 and expects to map
oncogenic signaling pathway in prostate cancer subtype.