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Lead Investigator Bio

Zhu Laboratory
Qiang Zhu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurodegenerative Science
 
 

Areas of expertise: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), neuron-glia interactions, genetics, epigenetics, behavioral neuroscience,  C9ORF72 repeat expansion, SOD1, neurodegenerative disease models, antisense oligonucleotides

Biography

Qiang Zhu, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist with deep expertise in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that give rise to neurodegenerative diseases. He earned his Ph.D. in anatomical sciences and neurobiology from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He then joined the lab of Dr. Don Cleveland at University of California, San Diego, as a postdoctoral fellow. While there, he co-led a collaborative team of researchers from academia and industry to investigate the C9ORF72 repeat expansion, the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). His work established the feasibility of an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated therapy, which is currently in clinical trials for treating the C9ORF72 ALS/FTD. He further elucidated the synergistic effects of gain of repeat toxicity and loss of the C9ORF72 function in driving the C9ORF72-associated ALS and FTD, which revealed new opportunities for drug development targeting this mutation. He recently developed new motor neuron disease models and is collaborating with the biotech industry to explore new treatments. Dr. Zhu has earned several awards for his scholarship, including the Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Starter Grant from the ALS Association.

Patent

Methods for reducing c9orf72 expression. PCT/US2017/027355, US2019/0142856 A1, 2016