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Meet the Experts: Autophagy – How Cells Eat Invaders and Their Own Waste
April 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thinking about majoring or pursuing a career in the biosciences?
Ever wonder how cells eat invaders and their own wastes?
This is your chance to meet Qing Zhong, MD, PhD. He is the associate professor of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Zhong studies the biochemical regulation of autophagy in mammalian cells. Autophagy is the crucial waste cleaning system for the cell. Removal of damage organelles, protein aggregates and invading pathogens relies on autophagy. Autophagy is also important for organelle biogenesis and stress response. Dysfunction of autophagy has been implicated in a broad spectrum of human diseases, including cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, infectious diseases and metabolic diseases. During autophagy, a double membrane vesicle termed autophagosome is formed with engulfed cellular cargoes and then fused with lysosomes for degradation. Dr. Zhong is specifically interested in dissecting the biochemical mechanisms in this process including lipid modification, membrane deformation, membrane curvature sensing, cargo recruitment, and membrane tethering/fusion. Understanding the key regulatory steps in this pathway will allow us to develop new therapeutic tools for human diseases. Dr. Zhong also studies cancer drugs induced apoptosis and necrosis, and their interconnection with autophagy.