Personal profile

Dr. Zhiqiang Zhang earned his Ph.D. in Life Science from the University of Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China, in 1999. He held faculty appointments at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas, and the Baylor research Institute, Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Dallas, Texas, and  adjunct faculty appointment at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, before becoming a member of Houston Methodist Research Institute in 2014. As a member of the Research Institute Transplant Immunology Research Program, he directs a research program focusing on inflammation and virus infection. 

Research interests

Innate immunity plays a critical role in initiating immune response and pathogen clearance upon microbial infection. Using pattern recognition receptors, including intracellular receptors or cell surface receptors, immune cells sense and respond to pathogenic microbial infection. This triggers activation of various anti-pathogen signaling cascades leading to anti-microbial, type I interferon (IFN), and/or proinflammatory cytokine responses. Understanding the effect of various microbial infections on receptors and signaling pathways will provide molecular insights into the host defense machinery and potential therapeutic targets for treating microbial infection. In contrast, uncontrolled nucleic acid sensing, especially self-nucleic acid sensing, and excessive production of type 1 IFN and proinflammatory cytokines, have been implicated in the development of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Knowing the self-nucleic acid sensing systems in immune cells will help us develop receptor antagonists as a new form of therapy for autoimmune diseases.

Studies conducted by Dr. Zhang ’s group indicate that many helicases are critical cytosolic sensors that recognize RNA, DNA, or c-di-GMP, triggering the IFN host immune response mediated by MAVS, TRIF, or STING. The anti-microbial pathogen activities of these helicases are regulated by protein ubiquitination. Further studies indicate that these helicases as well as the well-known IFI16, play little role in sensing neutrophil-derived mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is the major inducer of IFN in SLE. Dr.
Zhang ’s group has:
i) Characterized DNA-binding proteins in monocyte. They expect to identify the cytosolic sensor to mtDNA.
ii) Screened all 70 members in the TRIM family and has found that at least 6 other TRIMs play important roles in regulating nucleic acid sensing.

Together, their studies will focus on revealing the unknown host defense mechanisms, autoimmune mechanisms, and ubiquitin-signaling pathways.

Keywords

    Research Area Keywords

  • Immunobiology & Inflammation

    Free-text keywords

  • Autoimmune mechanisms, Virus infection, Type I interferon , Proinflammatory cytokine response

Fingerprint

Dendritic Cells
Concept: Dendritic Cells
Weight: 100%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Interferon Type I
Concept: Interferon Type I
Weight: 92%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Innate Immunity
Concept: Innate Immunity
Weight: 83%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
RNA Polymerase II
Concept: RNA Polymerase II
Weight: 66%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Myeloid Cells
Concept: Myeloid Cells
Weight: 64%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
RNA Viruses
Concept: RNA Viruses
Weight: 57%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
Concept: Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
Weight: 54%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Poly I-C
Concept: Poly I-C
Weight: 51%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
RNA
Concept: RNA
Weight: 41%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Inflammasomes
Concept: Inflammasomes
Weight: 40%
Domain: Medicine & Life Sciences
Research OutputsResearch Output authored by Zhiqiang Zhang is tagged with the concept

Journals

Journal of Immunology

ISSNs: 0022-1767

Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1550-6606

Journal

8

Nature Immunology

ISSNs: 1529-2908

Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1529-2916

Nature Publishing Group

Journal

5

Nature Microbiology

Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 2058-5276

Nature Publishing Group

Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 9.11 SJR 7.536 SNIP 3.301

Journal

2

Genes and Development

ISSNs: 0890-9369

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Journal

2

Nature communications

ISSNs: 2041-1723

Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 2041-1723

Nature Publishing Group

Journal

2
has published Research OutputsResearch Output by Zhiqiang Zhang

Research Network

Visualization: Institutional Network

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Zhiqiang Zhang

Visualization: Co-author Network

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Zhiqiang Zhang

Shared Pub. Internal Organizations

7

Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration

Organizational unit: Programs

1

Center for Inflammation & Epigenetics

Organizational unit: Programs

1

Department of Nanomedicine

Organizational unit: Departments

1
has Research OutputsResearch Output by Zhiqiang Zhang

Shared Pub. External Organizations

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

External organization: Unknown

8

Baylor Institute for Immunology Research

External organization: Unknown

8

Center for Gene Regulation, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

External organization: Unknown

4

Sun Yat-Sen University

External organization: Academic

4

Baylor College of Medicine

External organization: Unknown

3
has Research OutputsResearch Output by Zhiqiang Zhang

Shared Pub. Internal co-authors

has co-authored Research OutputsResearch Output with Zhiqiang Zhang

Shared Pub. External co-authors

Yong Jun Liu

External person

14

Leiyun Weng

External person

8

Musheng Bao

External person

8

David S Gilmour

External person

7

Bin Yuan

External person

6
has co-authored Research OutputsResearch Output with Zhiqiang Zhang

ID: 2285717