Dr. Yan Zhang, Professor at College of Life Sciences, Peking University. Dr. Zhang is interested in the involvement of signal transduction pathway in Alzheimer’s disease, the mechanisms of neuronal cell death and the axonal degeneration in various neurodegenerative diseases. Her research has resulted in publications in Neuron, PNAS, Cell Reports，Prog Neurobiol, Nat Methods, Nat Protocol, J Cell Biol, Neurosci Biobehav Rev, J Neurosci, Cell Death Differ, Cell Death Dis, JACS, J Cell Sci, etc.
1993 - 1997, B.Sc. , Psychology , Peking University
1997 - 1999, M.Sc. , Psychology, Carleton University
1999 - 2003, Ph.D. , Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University
2005 - 2012, Associate Professor , College of LIfe Sciences, PKU
2012 - present, Professor , College of LIfe Sciences, PKU
Honors and Awards
2018 Wowen in Science
2014 NSFC Distinguish Young Investigator Fund
2009 - present，International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine，editorial board
2011 - present，World Journal of Neurology，editorial board
2021 - present, Brain Research Bulletin, editorial board
1．Cell death mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases
2．Neuronal polarity and biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease
3．Mechanisms of axonal degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease
Representative Peer-Reviewed Publications
1. Sun Z, Wang B, Chen C, Li C, Zhang Y*. 5-HT6R mull mutation induces synaptic and cognitive defects. 2021, Aging Cell. 20: e13369.
2. Hu L, Wang B, Zhang Y*. Serotonin 5-HT6 receptors affect cognition in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease by regulating cilia function. 2017, Alzheimer’s Res Thera. 9: 76.
3. Finci L, Zhang J, Sun X, Smock RG, Meijers R, Xiao J, Zhang Y*, Wang J-H*. Structure of unliganded membrane-proximal domains FN4-FN5-FN6 of DCC. 2017, Protein Cell. 8: 701-705.
4. Liu Y, Bhowmick T, Liu Y, Gao X, Mertens HDT, Svergun DI, Xiao J*, Zhang Y*, Wang J-H*, Meijers R*. Structural basis for Draxin-modulated axon guidance and fasciculation by Netrin-1 through DCC. 2018, Neuron. 97: 1-7.
5. Sun X, Wu Y, Gu M, Liu Z, Ma Y, Li J, Zhang Y* , Selective filtering defect at the axon initial segment in Alzheimer , PNAS , 2014 , 111: 14271-14276.
6. Finci LI, Krüger N, Sun X, Zhang J, Chegkazi M, Wu Y, Schenk G, Mertens HDT, Svergun DI, Zhang Y*, Wang J-H*, Meijers R* , The crystal structure of netrin-1 in complex with DCC reveals the bi-functionality of netrin-1 as a guidance cue , Neuron , 2014 , 83: 839-849.
7. Sun X, Wu Y, Gu M, Zhang Y* , MiR-342-5p Decreases Ankyrin G Level in Alzheimer’s Disease Transgenic Mouse Models , Cell Reports , 2014 , 6: 264-270.
8. Chen Q, Sun X, Zhou X-H, Liu J-H, Wu J, Zhang Y*, Wang J-H* , N-terminal horseshoe conformation of DCC is functionally required for axon guidance and may be shared by other neural receptors , J Cell Sci , 2013 , 126: 186-195.
9. Cui J, Wang Y, Dong Q, Wu S, Xiao X, Hu J, Chai Z* and Zhang Y* , Morphine protects against intracellular amyloid toxicity by inducing estradiol release and upregulation of Hsp70 , J Neurosci , 2011 , 31: 16277-16240.
10. Wang Y, Cui J, Sun X and Zhang Y* , Tunneling-nanotube development in astrocytes depends on p53 activation , Cell Death Differ , 2011 , 18: 732-742.
Scientific Writing in Life Sciences
research in my laboratory focuses on understanding the cell death mechanisms in
neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). My group has
found that intracellular amyloid β is toxic to neurons and can trigger cell
death in neurons during early AD development. Furthermore, my group
studied the roles of a cell-cell connecting structure tunneling-nanotube in
transferring cellular contents, including amyloid β, to propagate cell death
from cells to cells to induce a cascade of neurodegeration. In the other hand
of neurodegeration, my group found that the alteration and plasticity of axon
and axon initial segment (AIS) in AD models. In future work my lab will
investigate the mechanisms of the plasticity of axon and AIS and how this would
be affected in AD models.