Jin Zhang

Title(s)Professor, Pharmacology
SchoolVc-health Sciences-schools
Address9500 Gilman Drive #
La Jolla CA 92093
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Ph.D.University of Chicago
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)2021Global Scholar Award
    UC San Diego2019Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring
    American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)2019Elected Fellow
    International Chemical Biology Society2019Inaugural ICBS Global Lectureship Award
    National Cancer Institute2015Outstanding Investigator Award
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)2014Elected Fellow
    American Cancer Society2012Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry
    American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)2012John J. Abel Award in Pharmacology
    the Vilcek Foundation2010Creative Promise Honoree in Biomedical Research
    NIH2009Director’s Pioneer Award
    the Biophysical Society2009Margaret Oakley Dayhoff Award

    Collapse Overview 
    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. The past decades have seen tremendous progress in identifying the molecular components that constitute the structural, biochemical and mechanical networks that control various life processes. Less well developed is our understanding of how these components are precisely regulated to achieve the functional specificity within a living cell, which may be simultaneously reacting to multiple inputs from the changing environment. It has been increasingly clear that the key lies 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. This allows us to unravel chemical mechanisms of life processes in the framework of cellular time and space, where molecular changes can be directly linked to functional effects. Combing genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors, superresolution imaging, targeted biochemical perturbations and mathematic modeling, the Zhang laboratory is investigating the spatiotemporal regulation of cAMP/PKA, Ca2+/calcineurin, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, Ras/ERK and AMPK pathways, in the context of energy metabolism, axon polarization and genesis, insulin secretion by β cells as well as tumorigenesis.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Signal Transduction by PI3K/mTOR
    NIH R01DE030497Apr 1, 2021 - Mar 31, 2026
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Live-cell Activity Architecture in Cancer
    NIH R35CA197622Aug 1, 2015 - Jul 31, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Mechanisms of Compartmentalized cAMP Signaling
    NIH R01DK073368Jan 15, 2006 - Apr 30, 2026
    Role: Principal Investigator

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