Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine


Ming Zhan, Ph.D.


Ming Zhan, Ph.D.

Ming Zhan, Ph.D.

Associate Member
Chief of Bioinformatics
Department of Systems Medicine and Bioengineering
Houston Methodist Research Institute

E-mail: mzhan@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-8939


Ph.D. University of Western Ontario, Canada

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Victoria, Canada



Dr. Zhan graduated from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, with a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology. He did his postdoctoral training in human genomics at the University of Victoria. He later accepted the positions of senior scientist and project supervisor the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to work on drosophila and human genome projects for the Department of Energy Human Genome Program and Celera. In 2003, Dr. Zhan joined the National Institute on Aging as chief of the bioinformatics unit, where he founded the bioinformatics core facility and developed a research program in bioinformatics and systems biology of stem cells.

Dr. Zhan is the author of more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and the editor-in-chief of the book "Computational Biology of Embryonic Stem Cells". He is also editor-in-chief of the journal "Stem Cell Discovery" and an editorial board member for nine other professional journals. In addition, he serves as an ad hoc reviewer for multiple grant agencies and journals including Science, Nucleic Acids Research, Stem Cells, Genome Biology and Bioinformatics.

Description of Research

Dr. Zhan's research uses experimental and computational biology to assess bio-complexity, and tailors the functions and behavior of cells for therapeutic applications with approaches based on systems modeling and synthetic biology. His projects include multi-scale modeling of cancer stem cells and cancer development, and applications of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to regenerative treatments of neural degenerative disease.

Major Areas of Research

Stem cells, cancer, bioinformatics, systems biology, synthetic biology

Recent Publications

Zhan M (editor) (2012). Computational biology of embryonic stem cells. Bentham Science. DOI: 10.2174/97816080502531120101

Zhan M, Riordon DR, Yan B, Tarasova YS, Bruweleit S, Tarasov KV, Li RA, Wersto RP, Boheler KR. The B-MYB transcriptional network guides cell cycle progression and fate decisions to sustain self-renewal and the identity of pluripotent stem cells. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42350. PMID: 22936984

Yoon J-H, Abdelmohsen K, Srikantan S, Yang X, Martindale JL, De S, Huarte M, Zhan M, Becker KG and Gorospe M. LincRNA-p21 suppresses target mRNA translation. Mol Cell. 2012 Aug 24;47(4):648-55. PMID: 22841487

Abdelmohsen K, Tominaga K, Lee EK, Srikantan S, Kang MJ, Kim MM, Selimyan R, Martindale JL, Yang X, Carrier F, Zhan M, Becker KG, Gorospe M.  Enhanced translation by Nucleolin via G-rich elements in coding and non-coding regions of target mRNAs. Nucleic Acids Res.  2011;39(19):8513-30.  PMID: 21737422

Kuwano Y, Pullmann R, Marasa B, Abdelmohsen K, Lee E, Yang X, Martindale J, Zhan M, Gorospe M. NF90 selectively represses the translation of target mRNAs bearing an AU-rich signature motif. Nucleic Acids Res. 38(1):225-38, 2010. PMID: 19850717

Yang R, Zhan M, Nalabothul NR, Yang Q, Indig, FE, Carrier F. Functional significance for an hnRNP A18 signature RNA motif in the 3’UTR of Ataxia Telangiectasia and Rad3 related (ATR) transcript. J Bio Chem. 285(12):8887-93, 2010. PMID: 20103595

Wang C, Xuan J, Li H, Wang Y, Zhan M, Hoffman EP, Clarke R. Knowledge-guided gene ranking by coordinative component analysis. BMC Bioinformatics. 2010;11:162. PMID: 20353603

Swistowska AM, da Cruz AB, Han Y, Swistowski A, Liu Y, Shin S, Zhan M, Rao MS, Zeng X. Stage-specific role for shh in dopaminergic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells induced by stromal cells. Stem Cells Dev. 2010;19(1):71-82.  PMID: 19788370

Chang N, Yi J, Guo G, Liu X, Shang Y, Tong T, Cui Q, Zhan M, Gorospe M, Wang W. HuR uses AUF1 as a cofactor to promote p16INK4 mRNA decay. Mol Cell Biol. 2010;30(15):3875-86.  PMID: 20498276

Li H, Zhan M. Identifying conserved and divergent transcriptional modules by cross-species matrix decomposition on microarray data. J Proteomics Bioinformatics 2(3):117-125, 2009.

Han Y, Miller A, Mangada J, Liu Y, Swistowski A, Zhan M, Rao MS, Zeng X. Identification by automated screening of a small molecule that selectively eliminates neural stem cells derived from hESCs but not Dopamine neurons. Plos One 4(9):e7155, 2009.

Sun Y, Li H, Liu Y, Mattson MP, Rao MS, Zhan M. Evolutionarily conserved transcriptional co-expression guiding embryonic stem cell differentiation. Plos One 3(10): e3406, 2008.

Li H, Zhan M. Unraveling transcriptional regulatory programs by integrative analysis of microarray and transcription factor binding data. Bioinformatics 24(17):1874-1880, 2008.

Li H, Xuan J, Wang Y, Zhan M. Inferring gene regulatory network. Front Biosci13:263-275, 2008.

Zhan M. Genomic studies to explore self-renewal and differentiation properties of embryonic stem cells. Front Biosci 13:276-283, 2008.