Jian Zhao Associate Professor, PI
Fudan University, Shanghai, China - BS, Genetics - 1996
Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences - MS, Cell Biology - 1999
The Ruperto-Carola University of Heidelberg, Germany - PhD, Cell Biology - 2004
German Cancer Research Center, Germany- Post Doctoral Fellowship, Cell Biology - 2004~2007
Associate Professor, PI - Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS), School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 03/2019 - Present
Professor - School of Medicine, Institute for Advanced Study, Tongji University, Shanghai 03/2016 - 02/2019
Director - Stem cell core facility, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine 06/2015 - 07/2018
Associate Professor - Lab of Cell Signaling, Institute of Biochemistry and cell biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biology Sciences (SIBS), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) 02/2007 - 02/2016
Assistant Research Professor - Young Scientists Group, Max-Planck Guest Laboratory, Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences 07/1996 - 09/2000
In more than a decade of research, I have focused on the study of new mechanisms of important signal transduction pathways in cell fate determination as well as in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Our major findings include:
1. Established a novel chemical-induced transdifferentiation technology, providing induced human neural (progenitor) cells for disease-modeling. A series of in vitro small molecule transdifferentiation induction systems were established, and the possible general formula of transdifferentiation was proposed, by which exploration of the regulatory mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases with human cells become possible.
2. Elucidated that the secretase protein complex as the key regulators of the development and progression of the Alzheimer’s diseases, providing a unique path for finding novel drugs that affects Aβ production and metabolism by various signal transduction proteins or protein complexes on the cell surface. We found that cell surface receptors, secretases and their regulatory proteins form functional secretase protein complexes (holo-secretase complex). Our results show that assembly of these secretase complex mediates the production of pathogenic β-amyloid, whereas intervention of which retards the generation of β-amyloid and Alzheimer's disease process. Our studies not only reveal new regulatory molecules in AD pathogenesis but propose new therapeutic strategies against the disease.
Our efforts will continue to focus on elucidating new mechanisms of key signal transduction pathways mediating the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative diseases based on our previous achievements.
Direction I. Generating induced human neural (progenitor) cells as disease-modeling system.
Direction II. Cellular surface protein complexes as novel targets for the Alzheimer's disease.
Direction III. Exploring the multiple etiological characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases and new strategies for systematic treatment with multiple targets
1. Wenxiang Hu, Binlong Qiu, Wuqiang Guan, Qinying Wang, Min Wang, Wei Li, Longfei Gao, Lu Shen, Yin Huang, Gangcai Xie, Hanzhi Zhao, Ying Jin, Beisha Tang, Yongchun Yu, Jian Zhao* and Gang Pei*. Direct Conversion of Normal and Alzheimer's Disease Human Fibroblasts into Neuronal Cells by Small Molecules. (2015) Cell Stem Cell. 17:204-12. [*Co-corresponding authors]
2. Lin Cheng, Longfei Gao, Wuqiang Guan, Jianxin Mao, Wenxiang Hu, Binlong Qiu, Jian Zhao, Yongchun Yu and Gang Pei. Direct conversion of astrocytes into neuronal cells by drug cocktail (2015) Cell Res. 25:1269–1272.
3. Jin Cui, Xiaoyin Wang, Xiaohang Li, Xin Wang, Chenlu Zhang, Wei Li, Yangming Zhang, Haifeng Gu, Xin Xie, Fajun Nan, Jian Zhao* and Gang Pei*. Targeting the γ-/β-secretase interaction reduces β-amyloid generation and ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease-related pathogenesis. (2015) Cell Discovery 1:15021. [Co-corresponding authorship and Co-first authorship]
4. Jianxin Mao, Shichao Huang, Shangfeng Liu, Xiao-Lin Feng, Miao Yu, Junjun Liu, Yi Eve Sun, Guoliang Chen, Yang Yu, Jian Zhao* and Gang Pei1*. A herbal medicine for Alzheimer's disease and its active constituents promote neural progenitor proliferation. (2015) Aging Cell. 14(5):784-96 [*Co-corresponding authors]
5. Xin Wang, Jin Cui, Wei Li, Xianglu Zeng, Jian Zhao* and Gang Pei*. γ-secretase modulators and inhibitors induce different conformational changes of presenilin 1 revealed by FLIM and FRET. (2015) Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 47:927-37 [*Co-corresponding authors]
6. Lin Cheng, Wenxiang Hu, Binlong Qiu, Jian Zhao*, Yongchun Yu, Wuqiang Guan, Min Wang, Wuzhou Yang and Gang Pei*. Generation of neural progenitor cells by chemical cocktails and hypoxia. (2014) Cell Res. 24:665-7 [Co-corresponding authorship and Co-first authorship]
7. Yujun Hou, Ying Wang, Jian Zhao*, Xiaohang Li, Jin Cui, Jianqing Ding, Ying Wang, Xianglu Zeng, Yun Ling, Xiaoheng Shen, Shengdi Chen, Chenggang Huang and Gang Pei*. Smart Soup, a Traditional Chinese Medicine Formula, Ameliorates Amyloid Pathology and Related Cognitive Deficits (2014) PLoS ONE (2014), 9(11):e111215. [Co-corresponding authorship and Co-first authorship]
8. Wenxiang Hu, Jian Zhao* and Gang Pei*. Activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor by Tranilast, an anti-allergy drug, promotes miR-302 expression and cell reprogramming. (2013) J Biol Chem. 288: 22973-84 [*Co-corresponding authors]
9. Xiaosong Liu, Xiaohui Zhao, Xianglu Zeng, Koen Bossers, Dick F. Swaab, Jian Zhao* and Gang Pei*. β-Arrestin1 regulates γ-secretase complex assembly and modulates amyloid-β pathology. (2013) Cell Res.,23:351-65. [*Co-corresponding authors]
10. Jian Zhao and Gang Pei. Arrestins in metabolic regulation. (2013) Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 118:413-27. (Review)
11. Xiaosong Liu and Jian Zhao. GPCR, a rider of Alzheimer’s disease. (2011) Frontiers in Biol. 6: 282-288. (Review)
12. Jian Zhao and Gang Pei. Why Cell Reprogramming is Functionally Linked to Aging? (2011) Aging, 3(8) (Review)