Faculty | Ying Zhang, Ph.D.

Ying Zhang

Research assistant professor

Dr. Ying Zhang has obtained her Doctorate from University of Montreal in 2016, majoring in Pathology and Cellular Biology. Then, she perused her post-doctoral research at Tsinghua University with Professor Hang Hubert Yin, working on the investigation of the function of extracellular vesicles (exosomes) in autoimmune diseases. Currently, Dr. Zhang is a Research Assistant Professor at Tsinghua University, co-PI in Professor Yin’s laboratory.


Introduction

Dr. Ying Zhang has obtained her Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Shandong University and her Doctorate from University of Montreal in Pathology and Cellular Biology. Then, she perused her post-doctoral research at Tsinghua University with Professor Hang Hubert Yin. Currently, Dr. Zhang is a Research Assistant Professor at Tsinghua University.  

Research Experiences

During her Ph.D., she was working on endothelial biology at Professor Jean-Philippe Gratton’s laboratory in Montreal. Her work showed that endothelial nitric oxide synthase-dependent S-nitrosylation of beta-Catenin prevents its association with TCF4 and inhibits proliferation of endothelial cells in Wnt signaling.
During her post-doctoral studies, she found that extracellular vesicles (EV) derived from ODN (Toll-like receptor-9 agonist)-stimulated macrophages transfer and activate Cdc42 in recipient cells and thereby increase cellular permissiveness to EV uptake. Her work provided novel insights into a general mechanism suggesting a general mechanism of EV-mediated uptake of pathogen-associated molecular patterns.  

Research Interest

Dr. Zhang is currently working on the role of extracellular vesicles in intercellular communication and their function in autoimmune diseases. Extracellular vesicles are small vesicles released from cells, which were composed of lipid, protein and nucleic acids such as DNA, mRNA, microRNA, lncRNA, circRNA, ect.. The diameters of extracellular vesicles range from tens to thousands of nanometers. Exosomes are a type of small extracellular vesicles with diameters approximately 30 – 150 nm. Almost all types of cells secrete exosomes which participate in various physiological and pathological process including inflammatory immune response, intercellular cell communication, cell viability, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. Dr. Zhang’s current research interest includes:
(1) The composition of extracellular vesicles and their biological function in autoimmune diseases;
(2) The biogenesis, release and uptake of extracellular vesicles and their role in intercellular communication;
(3) The potential of extracellular vesicles in disease diagnosis and therapeutics.  

Recent Publications:

1. Zhang, Y.; Jin, X.; Liang, J.; Guo, Y.; Sun, G.; Zeng, X.; Yin, H. Extracellular vesicles derived from ODN-stimulated macrophages transfer and activate Cdc42 in recipient cells and thereby increase cellular permissiveness to EV uptake. Sci Adv 2019, 5 (7), eaav1564.
2. Zhang, Y.; Chidiac, R.; Delisle, C.; Gratton, J. P. Endothelial NO Synthase-Dependent S-Nitrosylation of beta-Catenin Prevents Its Association with TCF4 and Inhibits Proliferation of Endothelial Cells Stimulated by Wnt3a. Mol Cell Biol 2017, 37 (12).
3. Chidiac, R.; Zhang, Y.; Tessier, S.; Faubert, D.; Delisle, C.; Gratton, J. P. Comparative Phosphoproteomics Analysis of VEGF and Angiopoietin-1 Signaling Reveals ZO-1 as a Critical Regulator of Endothelial Cell Proliferation. Mol Cell Proteomics 2016, 15 (5), 1511.