Dekai Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
Joint Assistant Professor
Dekai Zhang earned his M.S. and M.D. in Internal Medicine at Harbin Medical University and his Ph.D. in Cancer and Cell Biology at The University of Hong Kong. At Yale University School of Medicine, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, he undertook postdoctoral studies for Cancer Research and Immunobiology. Before he joined the IBT in September 2005, he was a research associate scientist in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale University. Currently he is an assistant professor in the Center for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases at the Institute of Biosciences & Technology, Texas A&M Health Science Center.
Our laboratory is studying the molecular mechanisms of innate immune recognition by identification and analysis of receptors involved in innate immune recognition and activated signaling pathways. We are particularly interested in the recently identified family of Toll-like receptors, which play a critical role in the mounting of innate immune responses. We wish to understand the mechanisms by which TLRs recognize different pathogen associate molecular patterns (PAMPs), as well as the regulatory mechanisms of TLR signal pathways that lead to NF-κB activation. We are also interested in studying the important links between chronic infection, inflammation and cancer by utilizing biochemical as well as whole animal approaches.