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Xiaotian Zhang

Xiaotian Zhang

Regular Member

Assistant Professor

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Zhang lab focuses on the gene expression regulation in disease and development. We are interested in the gene expression reuglation during the normal development process and more importantly, how these gene expression control programs are hijacked in diseases particularly cancer. Focusing on the normal and malignant hematopoiesis, the Zhang lab has pioneered in many fields of gene expression regulation including:

(1). The discovery of extreme long 3D genome interactions between Polycomb target loci in hematopoietic stem cells (Zhang et al, Molecular Cell 2020.). 
(2) The discovery of the mutant NPM1 protein as a transcriptional amplifier on chromatin, which transformed the study of this common leukemic mutant protein in acute myeloid leukemia (Wang et al, Cancer Discovery, 2022).
(3). The discovery of novel non-coding genomic elements in globin switch regulation (Himadewi, et al, eLife, 2021).

We are currently working on the following research topics:

(1). The transcriptional hijacking mechanism by mutant NPM1 protein in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) through IDR and liquid-liquid phase separation.
(2). The regulation and therapeutic targeting of extreme long-range Polycomb loci interactions in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells.
(3). 3D genome organized by transcriptional factors in the hemoglobin switch and the novel gene therapy for hemoglobinopathies.

Zhang lab uses interdisciplinary approaches combining biochemistry and molecular biology, epigenomics, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, and bioinformatics. Zhang lab also extensively utilizes omics tools like ChIP-Seq, CUT&RUN and Hi-C in leukemia cell line and mouse model. Interested students will learn to conduct one of these assays, and perform bioinformatic analysis on omics data during her/his tutorial.



Education & Training

Ph.D. - Baylor College of Medicine - 2016

Research Opportunities