Zhonghua Gao, PhD
During mammalian development, hundreds of cell types derived from a single zygote are maintained throughout cell cycles. Deregulation of cell identity is often associated with pathogenesis such as cancer. Despite identical genetic information, cells with distinct identity are controlled by the differential epigenetic landscape. Dr. Zhonghua Gao's research interest is to understand how cell identity is established and maintained via epigenetic mechanisms, particularly how Polycomb group complexes are involved in regulating chromatin structure and gene transcription.
Dr. Gao's lab has established an in vitro neuronal differentiation model using both mouse and human embryonic stem cells. These efforts led to an identification and characterization of novel essential component for a sub-type of PRC1 complex.
The lab is currently continuing to investigate how this regulation controls cell fate determination as well as its involvement in diseases such as cancer and autism.
Dr. Gao is part of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology program at Penn State College of Medicine.
- Casein Kinase I
- Autistic Disorder
- Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase