Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research
Office Room #: 215
164 Frelinghuysen Road Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: (848) 445-4940
Fax: (732) 445-0687
Wei-Xing Zong, PhD
Professor and Co-Leader, John L. Colaizzi Chair in Pharmacy
Education & TrainingPhD - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Piscataway, NJ
MS and BS - Nankai University, Tianjing, China
Post-Doctoral Fellowship - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Research InterestsResearch in the Zong laboratory focuses on cell metabolism and protein homeostasis during oncogenesis and cancer treatment. We study apoptosis, autophagy, ER stress, ROS, and metabolism. We use biochemical, molecular biological, and cell biological methodologies, as well as genetically engineered mouse models and clinical samples.
1. Cancer metabolism
Metabolic programs are known to be altered in cancers arising from various tissues. Malignant transformation can alter signaling pathways related to metabolism and increase the demand for both energy and biomass for the proliferating cancerous cells. This scenario is further complexed by the crosstalk between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment. We how oncogenes regulate reprogramming of cancer cell metabolism, and how metabolic changes affect oncogenesis and tumor response to therapeutics.
2. Oncogenic regulation of protein homeostasis
We study how phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) regulate autophagy and endocytosis, and how these functions are involved in oncogenesis. Another line of research in the lab is to understand how PI3-kinases and c-Myc oncogenes regulate cancer cell metabolism.
3. Proteotoxic stress and signaling
Many cell types including cancer cells are often under the stress of misfolded proteins that leads to many molecular consequences such as increased reactive oxygen species (ROS), unfolded protein response signaling, and cell death. Inhibition of protein degradation is an emerging anti-cancer strategy. A major line of research in the lab is to understand the mechanisms underlying these molecular events. Ongoing projects focus on the regulation of redox homeostasis by the ubiquitin E3 ligase TRIM21, and how this pathway impacts cancer development and therapy.