Faculty Profile - University of Houston
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Faculty Profile

Shaun Xiaoliu ZhangShaun Xiaoliu Zhang

Director, Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling
M.D. Anderson Professor
Department of Biology and Biochemistry
Research Division:
Cell and Molecular Biology (Primary)

Office: Science & Engineering Research Center, 3005
Contact: shaunzhang@uh.edu - (832) 842-8842

Education: M.D., Tongji Medical College, HUST, Ph.D., Australian National University


The major goals of Dr. Shaun Xiaoliu Zhang’s research are to develop novel biotherapies for the unmet needs in cancer treatment, especially for solid tumors. Specifically, the research efforts are mainly focused on the following areas: 1) Cancer virotherapy, 2) Cancer immunotherapy, 3) Gene therapy, and 4) mRNA-based vaccines for cancer treatment and prevention of virus infections. Some of the therapeutic agents developed in his lab are currently being translated into clinical applications for hard-to-treat malignant diseases.

  • X. Zhang. A. J. D. Bellett, R. Tha Hla, A. W. Braithwaite and A Mullbacher (1991). Adenovirus type 5 E3 gene products interfere with the expression of the cytotoxic T cell immunodominant E1a antigen. Virology. 180: 199-206.
  • X. Zhang. A. J. D. Bellett, A. Mullbacher and A. W. Braithwaite (1992). Down-regulation of E1a expression by E3 gene products in group C adenoviruses. Immunol. Cell Bio. 70: 65-71.
  • Xiaoliu Zhang, Alan. J. D. Bellett, Ron Tha Hla., Tracey Voss., Arno Mullbacher and A. W. Braithwaite (1994). Down-regulation of Adenovirus E1a by E3 gene products: evidence for translational control of E1a by E3 14.5kD/or E3 10.4kD products. J. Gen. Virol. 75:1943-1951.
  • X. Zhang, S. Efstathiou and a. Simmons (1994). Identification of novel herpes simplex virus replicative intermediates with field inversion gel electrophoresis: Implication for the viral DNA amplification strategies. Virology. 202: 530-539.
  • X. Zhang, P. Li and C. J. Burrell (1994). Establishment of persistent HIV-1 infection in vitro is accompanied by reduction of NF- kB. Arch. Virol. 138: 169-176.
  • X. Zhang, Helen O’Shea, Clare Entwisle, Mike Boursnell, S. Efstathiou and Stephen Inglis (1998). An efficient selection system for packaging herpes simplex virus amplicons. J. Gen. Virol. 79: 125-131.
  • B. Slobedman, X. Zhang, and A. Simmons (1999). Herpes simplex virus genome isomerization: origins of adjacent long segments in concatemeric viral DNA. J. Virol. 73: 810-813.
  • X. Zhang, M. Alwis, S. Hart, F. Fitzke, S. Inglis, M. Boursnell, R. Levinshy, C. Kinnon, R. Ali and A. Thrasher (1999). High titre rAAV production from replicating amplicons and gH- herpes vectors. Hum Gene Ther. 10(15): 2527-37
  • H. Wang, X. Fu, C. Ma, and X. Zhang (2001). Use of a uniquely designed HSV amplicon as a model to study viral replication mechanism. J. Virol. 75 (21): 10505-10510.
  • X. Fu and X. Zhang (2001). Systemic delivery of herpes simplex virus vectors mediated by liposome formulation. Mol. Ther. 4 (5): 447-453.
  • X. Fu and X. Zhang (2002). Potent Systemic Anti-tumor Activity from an Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus of Syncytial Phenotype. Cancer Res. 62(8): 2306-2312.
  • Fu, X. Wang, H. and X. Zhang (2002). High frequency of inter-molecule homologous recombination during HSV-mediated plasmid DNA replication. J. Virol. 76(12): 5866-5874.
  • X. Fu, L. Tao, A. Jin, R. Vile, M.K. Brenner and X. Zhang (2003). Expression of fusogenic membrane glycoprotein by an oncolytic herpes simplex virus provides potent synergistic anti-tumor effect. Mol. Ther. 7(6): 748-54.
  • X. Fu, L. Tao and X. Zhang (2003). The promoter of the strictly late viral gene UL38 is a tumor specific in the context of an oncolytic herpes simplex virus. Gene Ther. 10(17): 1458-1464.
  • Nakamori, M. Fu, X. Meng, F. Jin, A. Bast, R and X. Zhang (2003). Enhanced therapy of metastatic ovarian cancer with a double fusion oncolytic herpes simplex virus. Clin. Cancer Res. 9(7): 2727-2733.
  • Mikihito Nakamori, Xinping Fu, Curtis A. Pettaway and Xiaoliu Zhang (2004). Potent antitumor activity after systemic delivery of a doubly fusogenic oncolytic herpes simplex virus against metastatic prostate cancer. The Prostate. 60(1): 53-60.
  • Mikihito Nakamori, Xinping Fu, Raphael Rousseau, Si-Yi Chen and Xiaoliu Zhang (2004). Destruction of nonimmunogenic mammary tumor cells by a fusogenic oncolytic herpes simplex virus induces potent antitumor immunity. Mol. Ther. 9(5): 658-665.
  • X. Fu, M. Nakamori and X. Zhang. (2005). Fusogenic Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus. In: Virus Therapy of Human Cancers. Sinkovics & Horvath eds. (New York: marcel dekker Inc.) pp713-738.
  • Min Li; Joel A. Rodriguez; William E. Fisher; Xiaoliu Zhang; Changyi Chen ; Qizhi Yao (2006). Viral Vectors in Pancreatic Cancer Gene Therapy. Gene Therapy & Molecular Biology, 10: 61-70.
  • Fu X, Tao L, Prigge J, Cai R, Zhang X. (2006). A mutant type 2 herpes simplex virus deleted for the protein kinase domain of the ICP10 gene is a potent oncolytic virus. Mol. Ther. 13(5): 882-890.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao, Min L, William E. Fisher and Xiaoliu Zhang (2006) Effective treatment of pancreatic cancer xenografts with a conditionally replicating virus derived from type 2 herpes simplex virus. Clin. Cancer Res. 12(10): 3152-3157.
  • Hongtao Li, Aurelie Dutuor, Lihua Tao, Xinping Fu and Xiaoliu Zhang (2007). Virotherapy with an HSV-2-derived oncolytic virus induces potent antitumor immunity against neuroblastoma. 2006. Clin. Cancer Res. 13(1): 316-322.
  • Hongtao Li, Aurelie Dutuor, Xinping Fu and Xiaoliu Zhang (2007). Induction of strong antitumor immunity by an HSV-2-based oncolytic virus in a murine mammary tumor model. Journal of Gene Medicine. 9(3): 161-169.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao and Xiaoliu Zhang (2007). A novel oncolytic virus derived from type 2 herpes simplex virus has potent therapeutic effect against metastatic ovarian cancer. Cancer Gene Therapy. 14: 480-487.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao, Robert Amato and Xiaoliu Zhang (2007). Antitumor effects of two newly constructed oncolytic herpes simplex viruses against renal cell carcinoma. International Journal of Oncology. 30(6): 1561-1567.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao, Xiaoliu Zhang (2007). An HSV-2-based oncolytic virus deleted in the PK domain of the ICP10 gene is a potent inducer of apoptotic death in tumor cells. Gene Therapy. 14(12): 1-8.
  • Hontao Li, Zihua Zeng, Xinping Fu and Xiaoliu Zhang (2007). Co-administration of an HSV-2-based oncolytic virus with cyclophosphamide leads to synergistic antitumor effect and induction of tumor-specific immune responses in the Lewis Lung tumor model. Cancer Res. 67, 7850-7855.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao and Xiaoliu Zhang (2010). A Short Polypeptide from HSV-2 ICP10 gene can Induce Antigen Aggregation and Autophagosomal Degradation for Enhanced Immune Presentation. Human Gene Ther. 21:1687–1696.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao, Armando Rivera, Shana Williamson, Xiao-Tong Song, Nabil Ahmed and Xiaoliu Zhang (2010). A simple and sensitive method for measuring tumor-specific T cell cytotoxicity. PLoS ONE. 5(7): e11867.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao, Armando Rivera1 and Xiaoliu Zhang (2011). Rapamycin enhances the activity of oncolytic herpes simplex virus against tumor cells that are resistant to virus replication. Int J. Cancer. 129(6):1503-1510.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao and Xiaoliu Zhang (2011). Virotherapy induces massive infiltration of neutrophils in a subset of tumors defined by a strong endogenous interferon response activity. Cancer Gene Ther. 18(11):785-794. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2011.
  • Armando Rivera, Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao and Xiaoliu Zhang (2011). Modification of the syngeneic murine 4T1 mammary tumor model for immunotherapy studies. ISRN Immunology. 2011:1-8. doi:10.5402/2011/238379.
  • Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao, Armando Rivera, Bart De Geest and Xiaoliu Zhang (2012). Construction of an oncolytic herpes simplex virus that precisely targets hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Molecular Therapy. 20(2):339-46. doi: 10.1038/mt.2011.265.
  • Xinping Fu, Armando Rivera, Lihua Tao and Xiaoliu Zhang (2012). Incorporation of the B18R gene of vaccinia virus into an oncolytic HSV can significantly improve its antitumor activity. Molecular Therapy. 20(10):1871-81. doi: 10.1038/mt.2012.113.
  • Xinping Fu, Armando Rivera, Lihua Tao and Xiaoliu Zhang (2013). Genetically modified T cells targeting neovasculature efficiently destroy tumor blood vessels, shrink established solid tumors, and increase nanoparticle delivery. International Journal of Cancer. 133(10):2483-92. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28269.
  • Chu J, Deng Y, Benson DM Jr, He S, Hughes T, Zhang J, Peng Y, Mao H, Yi L, Ghoshal K, He X, Devine SM, Zhang X, Caligiuri MA, Hofmeister CC, Yu J. (2013). CS1-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered natural killer cells enhance In Vitro and In Vivo anti-tumor activity against human multiple myeloma. Leukemia. 2013 Sep 26. doi: 10.1038/leu.2013.279.
  • Kim Anthony, Abhijit More and Xiaoliu Zhang (2014). Activation of silenced cytokine gene promoters by the synergistic effect of TBP-TALE and VP64-TALE activators. PLoS One. 22;9(4):e95790. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095790. eCollection 2014.
  • Zhen Yang , Liangzi Deng , Yucheng Lan , Xiaoliu Zhang, Zhonghong Gao , Ching-Wu Chu, Dong Cai , Zhifeng Ren (2014). Molecular extraction in single live cells by sneaking in and out magnetic nanomaterials. PNAS. 111(30): 10966-71.
  • Shana Williamson Loya and Xiaoliu Zhang (2015). Enhancing The Bystander Killing Effect Of An Oncolytic HSV By Arming It With A Secretable Apoptosis Activator. Gene Ther. 22, 237–246.
  • X. Fu, L. A. Rivera, Tao and X. Zhang (2015). An HSV-2 based oncolytic virus can function as an attractant to guide migration of adoptively transferred T cells to tumor sites. Oncotarget. 6(2):902-914.
  • Kwan Joong Joo, Hongtao Li, Xiaoliu Zhang and Seth P. Lerner (2015). Therapeutic Effect on Bladder Cancer with a Conditionally Replicating Oncolytic Virus Derived from Type II Herpes Simplex Virus. Bladder Cancer. 1(1): 81-90.
  • Armando Rivera, Xinping Fu, Lihua Tao and Xiaoliu Zhang (2015). Expression of mouse CD47 on human cancer cells profoundly increases tumor metastasis in murine models. BMC Cancer. 15(1): 964-974