Qiang Zhang

Qiang Zhang, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Med Sci I, Room 4326B
1301 Catherine St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5637


Dr. Zhang has over 15 years of research experience in the field of cancer biology with specific emphasis on identifying novel molecular targets in pancreatic cancer and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) that are important in the response to radiation and immune checkpoint inhibitors. He is involved with several translational therapeutic projects to optimize the use of agents targeting ATM, PARP, DNA-PK, and FBXW7. Dr. Zhang also has extensive experience in mechanism-based studies of DNA double-strand break repair pathways and protein post-translational modifications. His expertise in laser microirradiation was essential in establishing this platform in the Experimental Irradiation Shared Resource in the UMCCC.

Areas of Interest

  • Targeting DNA damage repair pathways for radiotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibition in pancreatic cancer and DIPG
  • Identifying novel molecular mechanisms in DNA double-strand break repair


PhD: Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China 2009


  • R01 (CA240515), National Institutes of Health: Targeting the DNA damage response in combination with radiation to induce innate immunity and improve immunotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer, 08/2020-07/2025, Role: co-Investigator
  • Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center Grant: Therapeutic Potential of Combining PARP Inhibitor and Radiation in Histone 3K27M Mutant Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, 09/2022-08/2023, Role: PI

Published Articles or Reviews

Selected from 40 publications

  1. Parsels LA, Wahl DW, Koschmann C, Morgan MA, Zhang Q. Developing H3K27M mutant selective radiosensitization strategies in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Volume 37, March 2023
  2. Wang W, McMillan MT, Zhao X, Wang Z, Jiang L, Karnak D, Lima F, Parsels JD, Parsels LA, Lawrence TS, Frankel TL, Morgan MA, Green MD, Zhang Q. DNA-PK Inhibition and Radiation Promote Antitumoral Immunity through RNA Polymerase III in Pancreatic Cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2022 Jul 6;20(7):1137-1150.
  3. Zhang Q, Green MD, Lang X, Lazarus J, Parsels JD, Wei S, Parsels LA, Shi J, Ramnath N, Wahl DR, Pasca di Magliano M, Frankel TL, Kryczek I, Lei YL, Lawrence TS, Zou W, Morgan MA: Inhibition of ATM Increases Interferon Signaling and Sensitizes Pancreatic Cancer to Immune Checkpoint Blockade Therapy. Cancer Res 79(15): 3940-3951, 2019. PM31101760/PMC6684166
  4. Zhang Q, Mady ASA, Ma Y, Ryan C, Lawrence TS, Nikolovska-Coleska Z, Sun Y, Morgan MA.: The WD40 domain of FBXW7 is a poly(ADP-ribose)-binding domain that mediates the early DNA damage response Nucleic Acids Research 47: 4039-4053, 2019. PMC6486556
  5. Lan H, Tan M, Zhang Q, Yang F, Wang S, Li H, Xiong X, Sun Y: LSD1 destabilizes FBXW7 and abrogates FBXW7 functions independent of its demethylase activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116(25): 12311-12320, 2019. PM31152129/PMC6589684
  6. Zhang Q, Karnak D, Tan M, Lawrence TS, Morgan MA, Sun Y: FBXW7 Facilitates Nonhomologous End- Joining via K63-Linked Polyubiquitylation of XRCC4. Molecular Cell 61(3): 419-433, 2016. PM26774286
  7. Zhang Q, Zhang Y, Parsels JD, Lohse I, Lawrence TS, Pasca di Magliano M, Sun Y, Morgan MA: Fbxw7 Deletion Accelerates KrasG12D-Driven Pancreatic Tumorigenesis via Yap Accumulation. Neoplasia (United States) 18(11): 666-673, 2016. PM27764699
  8. Engelke CG, Parsels LA, Qian Y, Zhang Q, Karnak D, Robertson JR, Tanska DM, Wei D, Davis MA, Parsels JD, Zhao L, Greenson JK, Lawrence TS, Maybaum J, Morgan MA: Sensitization of pancreatic cancer to chemoradiation by the Chk1 inhibitor MK8776. Clinical Cancer Research 19(16): 4412-4421, 2013. PM23804422
  9. Zhang Q, Li Y, Zhang L, Yang N, Meng J, Zuo P, Zhang Y, Chen J, Wang L, Gao X, Zhu D: E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF13 involves spatial learning and assembly of the SNARE complex. Cell Mol Life Sci 70(1): 153- 65, 2013. PM22890573
  10. Huang W*, Smaldino PJ*, Zhang Q*, Miller LD, Cao P, Stadelman K, Wan M, Giri B, Lei M, Nagamine Y, Vaughn JP, Akman SA, Sui G: Yin Yang 1 contains G-quadruplex structures in its promoter and 5’-UTR and its expression is modulated by G4 resolvase 1. Nucleic Acids Research 40(3): 1033-1049, 2012. PM21993297 (co-first)
  11. Zhang Q, Meng Y, Zhang L, Chen J, Zhu D. RNF13: a novel RING-type ubiquitin ligase over-expressed in pancreatic cancer. Cell Res. 2009 Mar;19(3):348-57.