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Rugang Zhang

Rugang Zhang

Regular Member


SCRB4 - 3SCR3.4121

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Experimental Therapeutics

The Zhang laboratory studies ovarian cancer biology with the goal of developing novel therapeutic approaches to combat the disease with precision. In particular, the lab investigates how alterations in epigenetics— or the heritable changes that affects gene expression without alterations in the underlying DNA sequence—contribute to epithelial ovarian cancer. Despite great strides in identifying the various epigenetic enzymes/factors involved in cancer, the translational application of these findings in cancer intervention remains to be explored. For example, we are interested in epigenetic approaches to primer for and/or synergize with immunological therapy in epithelial ovarian cancer. The Zhang lab will pursue these issues in the coming years by focusing on the epigenetic SWItch/Sucrose Non-Fermentable (SWI/SNF) and PP2A complexes as proof of principles in the context of ovarian cancer. The ultimate goal of this line of investigation is to leverage these newly gained mechanistic insights for developing new therapeutics in a personalized manner based on one’s unique genetic and/or pathway signatures.

The Zhang laboratory also investigates the mechanisms that underlie aging in normal mammalian cells and how this process is implicated in tissue aging or evaded by tumor cells during malignant transformation. In particular, the lab focuses on epigenetic and metabolic pathways that regulate the aging process. For example, we are interested in how senescent cells modify tissue microenvironment through the senescence-associated secretory phenotype to affect tumor progression and therapy response. The overarching goal for identifying such mechanisms is the development of novel strategies to promote healthy aging and combat cancer.


Zhang Lab

Education & Training

Ph.D. - Chinese Academy of Sciences - 2022