Dr. Zhu is an expert on molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, particularly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). His recent focus is on RNA binding proteins and RNA metabolism in these diseases. With thorough understanding of pathways regulating protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions, protein degradation and aggregation, RNA metabolism and stress granules, he is also interested in developing novel therapeutics.
The Zhu laboratory studies RNA binding proteins and RNA metabolism including protein translation and stress granules under physiological and pathological conditions. We are also interested in protein phase separation and aggregation in vitro and in vivo and their relevance in human diseases. We strive to better understand the molecular mechanisms for neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and other diseases such as cancer. In addition, we are interested in therapeutic development targeting the molecules identified in the mechanistic studies.