Department of Bio-Medical Sciences - PCOM

Dianzheng Zhang, PhD


Email: dianzhengzh@pcom.edu
Office: 215-871-6588
Publications and Selected Works

Dr. Zhang’s general interest is the nutrient control of gene expression in health and disease. Particularly, he is interested in the regulation of gene expression by micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, as well as phytochemicals.

As living organisms, we continuously exchange chemical components with the environment; the exchange nutrients are implicated in the regulation of gene expression and cell fates, which ultimately confer life or death. With increasing knowledge of the importance of nutrition in our aging population, medicine is shifting its focus from treatment of acute diseases, to the prevention of cancer and chronic diseases. It has been estimated that thirty to fifty percent of all chronic diseases are preventable by attention to dietary factors.

Present research projects in his laboratory are focused on, but not limited to, the (1) molecular mechanisms of chemo-preventive effects of different phytochemicals, especially resveratrol, in prostate cancer development, (2) mechanisms of resveratrol effects on tensin expression and prostate cancer, and (3) the underlying molecular mechanisms of TMPRSS fusion with ETS transcriptional factors (ERG in particular) in cancer prevention and gene therapy.

  • Education

    PhD, Nutritional Science, The University of Arizona, Tucson, 2001
    MS, Biochemistry, Hunan Medical University, Changsha, P. R. China, 1987
    BS, Chemistry, Qufu Teaching University Qufu, Shandong, P. R. China

  • Courses

    Dr. Zhang teaches the following courses: Introduction to Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Cellular and Molecular Basis of Medicine (CMBM). Dr. Zhang’s courses cover the following content areas: hormonal regulation of metabolisms, ATP and energy generation, dietary carbohydrate metabolism, dietary proteins, fatty acid synthesis, and lipoproteins.

  • Research

    Research Keywords

    Prostate cancer
    Androgen receptor

  • Awards

    2008 Visiting Professor: Changsha Medical College, Hunan Province, PRC

    2007 Visiting Professor: Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Central South University, Hunan Province, PRC

    2006 Young Researcher Scholarship for AICR/WCRF International Research Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer (2006, Washington, D.C.) American Institute of Cancer Research and World cancer Research Fund International

    2005 Outstanding Performance and Excellence in Scientific Presentation The 2005 Texas Chapter Annual Symposium

    2003 Award for Excellent Presentation of Research Society of Chinese Biochemists in America, Texas Chapter

    1990 Advanced Research Award Hunan province, P. R. China

    1989 Excellent Teaching Award Hunan Medical University, P. R. China

  • Grants

    Resveratrol, Aging and Prostate Cancer. $5000 (2006); The Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging (CCDA), Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Effects of Resveratrol in Aging and Prostate Cancer, $15,859; 01/01/2007-21/31/2010, 2006 Formula Grant, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Health Statistics and Research

    Chromosomal Translocation-Induced Overexpression of ERG and Prostate Tumorigenesis, $15,000; 07/2008-06/2010, Christian R. Mary F. Lindback Foundation

    Modification of Resveratrol and Identification of More Potent Prostate Cancer Prevention Reagents: $300,000; 6/1/2010-5/31/2013 SynStar Inc.