Zhang Lab

Dr. Yu Zhang
Yu Zhang, MD, PhD

Dr. Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Investigative Medicine within the Center for Immunobiology at WMed. Dr. Zhang obtained her MD degree in 2008 at Capital Medical University in China. She received her PhD degree in 2013 under the mentorship of Dr. Kirill Lobachev at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she identified key genetic players in preventing genome structure variations mediated by unstable DNA repeats. She further pursued postdoctoral training with Dr. Frederick Alt at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she revealed a fundamental role of chromatin loop extrusion in mediating V(D)J recombination during B cell development.  Dr. Zhang was a fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society from 2014-2017 and a special fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society from 2017-2019.

Research Interests

Antibody diversification, Genome instability, 3D genome architecture

We are hiring multiple positions! Highly motivated postdoctoral researchers and research assistant/associates are welcome to join Dr. Zhang's lab! If you are interested, please send your cover letter, CV and contact info for three references to yu.zhang@med.wmich.edu. For more information about these opportunities, check out the medical school’s latest job opportunities.

Research Focus

The numerous antibodies in our body are generated through a process called antibody diversification and play a pivotal role in protecting us from infectious diseases and cancer. Conversely, abnormal antibody diversification underlies diseases ranging from immunodeficiency to autoimmunity and contributes to oncogenic translocations in various leukemias and lymphomas. Therefore, understanding antibody diversification can provide fundamental mechanistic insights for these diseases and fulfill the knowledge gap that is critical for therapeutic target design for lymphoid cancers. Zhang lab’s research focuses on identifying key mechanisms that promote antibody diversification and suppress associated oncogenic lesions in B lymphocytes with various state of art approaches, including CRISPR/Cas9 mediated genome engineering and various next generation sequencing techniques.

Lab Personnel

FuJung Chang
 FuJung Chang
 Laboratory Assistant 2
 fujung.chang@med.wmich.edu
Yun-Chu Chen
 Yun-Chu Chen
 Laboratory Assistant 2
 yunchu.chen@med.wmich.edu
Brigette Berke
 Brigette Berke
 Laboratory Assistant 1
 brigette.berke@med.wmich.edu
Hanna Nordbeck
 Hanna Nordbeck
 Laboratory Assistant 1
 hanna.nordbeck@med.wmich.edu
Tiffany Hangse
 Tiffany Hangse
 WMed Student
 tiffany.hangse@med.wmich.edu
 

Recent Publications

Our laboratory group is committed to pursuing inquiry, disseminating knowledge, and fostering critical thinking that encourages lifelong learning. Take a look at a comprehensive listing of Dr. Zhang's most recent publications.

Lab News

  • December 1, 2020: The Zhang lab is funded by a five-year NIH R01 grant! See more in WMed News.
  • September 11, 2019: Dr. Zhang's study on V(D)J recombination is published on Nature! See more in WMed News.