Yuan Zhuang

Yuan Zhuang
Professor of Immunology
Third Year Mentor - Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology Study Program (MIDIP)
Campus mail: 328 Jones Building, 207 Resear, Box 3010 DUMC, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 613-7824

Research in our laboratory focuses on molecular mechanism of lymphocyte development and genetic basis of lymphoid diseases such as leukemia and autoimmune disorders. We are using mouse models to investigate the role of E2A and other related transcription factors in lymphocyte development and immune function. We have shown that E2A plays an essential role in regulating both B and T cell development. Mice deficient for E2A cannot produce any B cell and exhibit high incidence of T cell leukemia. Separate studies also indicated that E2A is involved in the development of autoimmune disorders. Our current and future studies are to combine genetic, molecular biology, and immunology means to determine gene expression programs during lymphocyte development.

The mechanistic studies of gene function in animal models provide important clues in understanding relevant human diseases. It has been shown that about 20-30% of pediatric acute lymphocytic leukemias (ALL) are linked to chromosomal rearrangements at the E2A gene locus. Most of these genetic defects produce oncogenic forms of E2A proteins, which are the possible cause of leukemia. The use of animal models allows us to further define the molecular events underlying the disease development. Our long term goal is to provide molecular basis for early diagnosis and treatment of relevant lymphoid system diseases. 

Laboratory website:  Http://sites.duke.edu/zhuanglab

Education and Training

  • Yale University, Ph.D. 1989