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    Jin Zhang

    SchoolUniversity of California, San Diego
    Address9500 Gilman Drive #0702
    CA La Jolla 92093
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      Collapse Biography 
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      Ph.D.University of Chicago

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      Collapse Overview
      Our ultimate goal is to understand how cells, the basic units of life, sense changing environments and orchestrate specific responses to carry out life processes. Recent years have seen tremendous progress in identifying molecular components constituting a signaling network that control various life processes. Less well developed is our understanding of how these components are precisely regulated to achieve signaling specificity within a living cell, which may be reacting to multiple inputs simultaneously. The key is believed to lie in the spatiotemporal information encoded in a particular cellular context.

      We are investigating the molecular mechanisms and functional roles of such spatiotemporal regulation by taking a "native biochemistry" approach. With the help of a series of new molecular tools and the state-of-art imaging technology, we study the properties and action of protein kinases and second messengers in living biological systems. Current projects include engineering novel fluorescent biosensors to track the activities of second messengers, kinases and phosphatases and investigating the spatiotemporal regulation of cAMP/PKA, Ca2+/calcineurin, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, MAPK and AMPK pathways, in the context of energy metabolism, cell differentiation or insulin secretion by ß cells. Quantitative measurement from live-cell fluorescence imaging is combined with mechanistic computational modeling for systems analyses of signaling networks.

      Collapse Interests
      Spatiotemporal regulation of signal transduction

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