Dr. Zhang is a co-founder of Ensem Therapeutics. His research interests focus on developing and applying biophysical and biochemical techniques, including NMR spectroscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, X-ray crystallography, computational modeling, and next-gen sequencing, to visualize the dynamic ensemble nature of RNA and RNA-Binding Proteins with the goal of applying this knowledge to develop RNA and Ribonucleoprotein (RNP)-targeted therapeutics for human diseases. His innovative works have made seminal contributions towards understanding the structure-dynamics-function relationship of RNA, including the first direct 3D atomic visualization of RNA motions and the first functional establishment of excited conformational state in complex RNAs. These technological advancements have empowered his research team and many other labs in the field to delineate molecular mechanisms of diverse RNA-dependent processes and their dysregulations in cancer and other diseases.
Dr. Zhang is Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Co-Director of the RNA Discovery Center, and Co-Director of the Biomolecular NMR Core at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan under the guidance of Dr. Hashim Al-Hashimi and completed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Juli Feigon at UCLA as a Baltimore Family Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation.