XIAOCHANG ZHANG, PhD
Prof. Zhang obtained his B.S and Ph.D degrees in Developmental Genetics from Fudan University Shanghai. His graduate works with Professor Min Han uncovered the long-sought linkers between the nucleus and centrosome during radial neuronal cell migration in neocortex, and showed that the Sun1/2-Syne1/2 complex is required for cortical layer formation. He worked with Professor Christopher A. Walsh at Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital as a postdoc fellow and showed that cell type-specific alternative RNA splicing is required for human brain development. Dr. Zhang started as an assistant professor in the Department of Human Genetics and the Grossman Institute in Jan 2018. His current research focuses on the roles of RNA metabolism in neocortex development and neurological disorders.
CAI QI, PhD
Dr. Qi obtained his PhD from Peking University in 2014 working on epigenetic regulation of dendritic arborization. Before joining the Zhang lab, Cai has been working on synapse formation/axon regeneration and evolutionary cortical development. At UChicago, Cai is interested in molecular mechanisms underlying cell type specification and neurological disorders such as autism.
XIANGBIN (Cham) RUAN, MD PhD
Dr. Ruan graduated from Wuhan University in 2010 with a B.A. in clinical medicine. He obtained his PhD from Peking Union Medical College in Prof. Boqin Qiang’s lab, and he was co-mentored by Prof. Weimin Zhong (Yale). His PhD thesis investigated the roles of microRNAs in cortical layer formation, and their cross-talk with Wnt signaling. Xiangbin is interested in RNA metabolism in neural cell fate determination.
1st Year Graduate Student in GGSB (Genetic, Genomic and System Biology) Program of the University of Chicago. Received B.S degree in Biology Honor Program from the University of Iowa with three years bench work experience as an undergrad researcher in DNA damage repair and chromosome synapsis in meiosis. Interested in the genetics and pathogenesis in brain development disorder, especially Autism Spectrum Disorder. Current rotation project is about testing the efficiency and specificity of base editors.
1. Rachel Reichman, Zhuoyue Shi, Robert Malone and Sarit Smolikove. (2018) Mitotic and Meiotic Functions for the SUMOylation Pathway in the Caenorhabditis elegans Germline. Genetics 208(4):1421-1441.
2. Yannan Qin, Yanni Chen, Juan Yang, Fei Wu, Lingyu Zhao, Fuquan Yang, Peng Xue, Zhuoyue Shi, Tusheng Song and Chen Huang. (2017). Serum glycopattern and Maackia amurensislectin-II binding glycoproteins in autism spectrum disorder. Scientific Reports 7:46041.
After earning my bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in Fudan University in China, I begin graduate school at UChicago to continue my education in human genetics. My interest lies on the roles of alternative splicing in neurodevelopment and relevant diseases.
Irena is an undergraduate working towards a dual degree in biochemistry and chemistry. Before joining the Zhang Lab, Irena studied CRISPR and methods to improve gene editing efficiency, with other internships exploring her interests in alternative DNA repair pathways and genetic and epigenetic regulation of embryonic development. In the Zhang Lab, Irena is studying the involvement of adducin in various aspects of neural development.