YINGMING ZHAO, PHD
Professor, Ben May Department for Cancer Research, The University of Chicago
Yingming’s main research interests lie in developing and applying MS-based proteomics technologies to discovery of undescribed cellular pathways (with current focus on protein post-translational modification (PTM) pathways and epigenetic mechanism) and identification of biomarkers for precision medicine. He uses an integrated approach, involving proteomics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology to decode PTM networks that have implications for human health and are not amenable to conventional techniques. His lab recently discovered nine types of new lysine acylation pathways: propionylation, butyrylation, crotonylation, malonylation, succinylation, glutarylation, and 2-hydroxyisobutyrylation, 3-hydroxybutyrylation, benzoylation. They identified about 500 new histone marks, which more than doubles the number of previously described histone marks that were discovered over the past few decades. They identified and characterized protein substrates, specific binders and regulatory enzymes for the new PTM pathways. His laboratory demonstrates that the new PTM pathways have critical roles in epigenetic regulation and cellular metabolism. And these pathways contribute to physiology changes and cellular dysfunctions associated with diverse inborn metabolic diseases, therefore offering new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Yingming also uses the proteomics technology for identifying proteomic signatures, proteins and protein PTMs (including histone marks), that can classify tumors and predicting drug sensitivity. He is a co-inventor of numerous patents and co-authored 175 peer reviewed papers (H-Index: 80).
Yingming Zhao received his Ph.D. degree from the Rockefeller University under Professor Brian Chait in 1997. He is a co-founder and scientific advisor for multiple biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.