NIBR
POSTDOCTORAL PROGRAM

male4Juan Zhang, PhD 
(Co-Mentor: Maroof Hasan, MD, PhD)

Analytical Sciences & Imaging
Basel, Switzerland


Autoimmune diseases (AID) are often complex and characterized by heterogeneous clinical phenotypes and diverse pathological consequences. Multiple factors contribute to disease pathogenesis and organ-specific manifestations. In order to develop innovative therapies, better understanding of the disease mechanisms is essential. Patients with complex AID also present with dysregulation of metabolic pathways including oxidative stress and energy metabolism. The pathological consequences of these alterations, however, remain unclear.

The focus of our future studies is to uncover novel mechanisms involved in immunometabolic regulatory pathways, identify useful biomarkers, and develop novel innovative approaches for better patient characterization and selection of effective therapeutics. We employ cutting-edge technologies such as transcriptomics and metabolomics together with immune profiling to explore the complex interplay between immunometabolic factors and how such factors act in concert for the development of organ-specific pathologies.

Selected Publications

EBI2 Is highly expressed in multiple sclerosis lesions and promotes early CNS migration of encephalitogenic CD4 T cells.  
Wanke F, Moos S, Croxford AL, Heinen AP, Gräf S, Kalt B, Tischner D, Zhang J, Christen I, Bruttger J, Yogev N, Tang Y, Zayoud M, Israel N, Karram K, Reißig S, Lacher SM, Reichhold C, Mufazalov IA, Ben-Nun A, Kuhlmann T, Wettschureck N, Sailer AW, Rajewsky K, Casola S, Waisman A, Kurschus FC.
Cell Reports. 2017 Jan; 18(5):1270-1284.

GPR91 senses extracellular succinate released from inflammatory macrophages and exacerbates rheumatoid arthritis.
Littlewood-Evans A, Sarret S, Apfel V, Loesle P, Dawson J, Zhang J, Muller A, Tigani B, Kneuer R, Patel S, Valeaux S, Gommermann N, Rubic-Schneider T, Junt T, Carballido J.
J Exp Med. 2016 Aug 22; 213(9):1655-1662.

Oxysterols direct immune cell migration via EBI2
Hannedouche S*, Zhang J*, Yi T*, Shen W, Nguyen D, Pereira JP, Guerini D, Baumgarten BU, Roggo S, Wen B, Knochenmuss R, Noël S, Gessier F, Kelly LM, Vanek M, Laurent S, Preuss I, Miault C, Christen I, Karuna R, Li W, Koo DI, Suply T, Schmedt C, Peters EC, Falchetto R, Katopodis A, Spanka C, Roy MO, Detheux M, Chen YA, Schultz PG, Cho CY, Seuwen K, Cyster JG, Sailer AW. *equal contribution
Nature. 2011 Jul; 475(7357): 524–527.

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