Yong Zhu PhD

Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health)

Research Interests

Circadian genes; MicroRNAs; Shift-work; Breast Cancer; Lymphoma; Prostate Cancer

Current Projects

  • Molecular Epidemiology of Circadian Genes and Human Cancers
  • Molecular Epidemiology of Methylation-related Genes and Human Cancers
  • Molecular Epidemiology of Micro-RNA and Human Cancers

Research Summary

Dr. Zhu's research interests are oriented towards the use of the molecular epidemiological approach in the study of genetic susceptibility biomarkers and their interactions with environmental exposures in human disease development. Dr. Zhu has been developing and validating novel phenotypic and genotypic assays and biomarkers for several cancer types, including non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, breast, bladder, lung and prostate cancer. By utilizing various techniques in genetics, epigenetics, cytogenetics, cell biology, and computational biology, my studies have identified biomarkers that can characterize inherited predisposition and cellular response to environmental factors. Current research focuses on studying the role of two transcriptional factors, circadian genes and microRNAs, in tumorigenesis.


Selected Publications

  • Zhu, Y., Brown, H., Zhang, Y., Stevens, R.G., and Zheng, T. Period3 Structural Variation: A Circadian Biomarker Associated with Breast Cancer in Young Women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 14(1): 268-70, 2005.
  • Zhu, Y., Spitz, M.R., Amos, C.I., Lin, J., Schabath, M.B., and Wu, X. An Evolutionary Perspective on SNP Screening in Molecular Cancer Epidemiology. Cancer Research 64: 2251-2257, 2004
  • Zhu, Y., Zheng, T., Zhang, Y., Stevens, R., and Boyle, P. Does “Clock” Matter in Prostate Cancer? Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 15(1): 3-5, 2006.
  • Hoffman A, Zheng T, Yi CH, Weidhaas J, Slack F, Zhang Y, Leaderer D, Zhu Y. MicroRNA miR-196a-2 and breast cancer: a genetic and epigenetic association study and functional analysis. Cancer Research July 15;69 (14), 2009, PMID: 19567675
  • Yi CH, Zheng T, Leaderer D, Hoffman A, Zhu Y. Cancer-related transcriptional targets of the circadian gene NPAS2 identified by genome-wide ChIP-on-chip analysis. Cancer Letter May 18, 2009, PMID: 19457610
  • Hoffman A, Zheng T, Stevens RG, Ba Y, Zhang Y, Leaderer D, Yi CH, Holford TR, Zhu Y. Clock-cancer connection in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: a genetic association study and pathway analysis of the circadian gene Cryptochrome 2. Cancer Research Apr 15;69(8):3605-13, 2009, PMID: 19318546

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