Dr. Jin-San Zhang obtained both his M.D. and Ph.D at Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences (Now Norman Bethune College of Medicine, Jilin University) in Changchun, China. He then joined the National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Oncology, Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) and Chinese Academy of Medical Science (CAMS), Beijing on a National Postdoctoral fellowship, where he later became a faculty member at their Postgraduate School in 1995. He was an Associate Professor at National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, PUMC/CAMS, when he joined Mayo Clinic in 1997. Dr. Zhang became a faculty at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology with an Assistant Professorship in Medicine in 2002. He became the Principle Research Scientist at the Division of Oncology Research, Schulze Center for Novel Therapeutics in 2008, and has been spearheading the pancreatic cancer research program supported by Mayo Pancreatic cancer SPORE with Dr. Daniel Billadeau. He has been interested in basic cancer biology as well as translational research particularly on pancreatic cancer. Dr. Zhang’s expertise covers cancer cell signaling, epigenetic regulation, cancer stem cells and discovery of therapeutic targets.


Area of Interest

• Stem cell factors and epigenetic reprogramming during early carcinogenesis with a focus on pancreas and lung
• Signaling network of EGFR(mutant) and FGFR family members in pancreatic as well as lung cancer
• Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK3) signaling and regulation of inflammatory factors in pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
• Hippo signaling mechanism in regulation and maintenance of pancreatic cancer cell stemness.

top publication

1. Baumgart A, Chen NM, Zhang JS, Billadeau DD, Singh S, Fink D, Ströbel P, Klindt C, Hessmann E, Gress T, Ellenrieder V, Neesse S. GSK-3β governs inflammation -induced NFATc2 signaling hubs to promote pancreatic cancer progression. Molecular Cancer Therapy 2015 (In press)
2.Hessmann E, Zhang JS, Chen NM, Hasselluhn M, Liou GY, Storz P, Ellenrieder V, Billadeau DD and Koenig A. NFATc4 Regulates Sox9 Gene Expression in Acinar Cell Plasticity and Pancreatic Cancer Initiation. Stem Cell International 2015 (In press).
3.Osborne DG, Piotrowski JT, Dick CJ, Zhang JS, Billadeau DD. SNX17 Affects T Cell Activation by Regulating TCR and Integrin Recycling. J Immunol. 2015 May 1;194(9):4555-66. PMID: 25825439
4.Chen NM, Singh G, Koenig A, Liou GY, Storz P, Zhang JS, Regul L, Nagarajan S, Kühnemuth B, Johnsen SA, Hebrok M, Siveke J, Billadeau DD, Ellenrieder V, Hessmann E. NFATc1 Links EGFR Signaling to Induction of Sox9 Transcription and Acinar-Ductal Transdifferentiation in the Pancreas. Gastroenterology. 2015 May;148(5):1024-1034. PMID: 25623042
5.Singh SK, Chen NM, Hessmann E, Siveke J, Lahmann M, Singh G, Voelker N, Vogt S, Esposito I, Schmidt A, Brendel C, Stiewe T, Gaedcke J, Mernberger M, Crawford HC, Bamlet WR, Zhang JS, Li XK, Smyrk TC, Billadeau DD, Hebrok M, Neesse A, Koenig A, Ellenrieder V. Antithetical NFATc1-Sox2 and p53-miR200 signaling networks govern pancreatic cancer cell plasticity. EMBO J. 2015 Feb 12;34(4):517-30. PMID: 25586376
6.Deng ZH, Gomez TS, Osborne DG, Phillips-Krawczak CA, Zhang JS*, Billadeau DD*. Nuclear localized FAM21 participates in NF-κB-dependent gene regulation in pancreatic cancer cells. J Cell Sci. 2015 Jan 15; 128(2):373-84. PMID: 25431135.
7.Phillips-Krawczak CA, Singla A, Starokadomskyy P, Deng Z, Osborne DG, Li H, Dick CJ, Gomez TS, Koenecke M, Zhang JS, Dai H, Sifuentes-Dominguez LF, Geng LN, Kaufmann SH, Hein MY, Wallis M, McGaughran J, Gecz J, van de Sluis B, Billadeau DD, Burstein E. COMMD1 is linked to the WASH complex and regulates endosomal trafficking of the copper transporter ATP7A. Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Oct 29. pii: mbc.E14-06-1073. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25355947
8.Meng XW, Koh BD, Zhang JS, Flatten KS, Schneider PA, Billadeau DD, Hess AD, Smith BD, Karp JE, Kaufmann SH. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors sensitize cancer cells to death receptor-mediated apoptosis by enhancing death receptor expression. J Biol Chem. 2014 Jul 25;289(30):20543-58. PMID: 24895135
9.Baumgart S, Chen NM, Siveke JT, König A, Zhang JS, Singh SK, Wolf E, Bartkuhn M, Esposito I, Heßmann E, Reinecke J, Nikorowitsch J, Brunner M, Singh G, Fernandez- Zapico ME, Smyrk T, Bamlet WR, Eilers M, Neesse A, Gress TM, Billadeau DD, Tuveson D, Urrutia R, Ellenrieder V. Inflammation-induced NFATc1-STAT3 transcription complex promotes pancreatic cancer initiation by KrasG12D. Cancer Discovery. 2014 Jun;4(6):688-701. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-13-0593. Epub 2014 Apr 2. PMID: 24694735
10.Zhang JS*, Herreros-Villanueva M, Koenig A, Deng Z, de Narvajas AA, Gomez TS, Meng X, Bujanda L, Ellenrieder V, Li XK, Kaufmann SH, Billadeau DD*. Differential activity of GSK-3 isoforms regulates NF-κB and TRAIL- or TNFα induced apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. Cell Death Dis. 2014 Mar 27;5:e1142. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2014.102. PMID: 24675460
11.Herreros-Villanueva M, Bujanda L, Billadeau DD, Zhang JS*. Embryonic stem cell factors and pancreatic cancer. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Mar 7;20(9):2247-54. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i9.2247. Review. PMID: 24605024
12.Artal-Martinez de Narvajas A, Gomez TS, Zhang JS, Mann AO, Taoda Y, Gorman JA, Herreros-Villanueva M, Gress TM, Ellenrieder V, Bujanda L, Kim DH, Kozikowski AP, Koenig A, Billadeau DD. Epigenetic Regulation of Autophagy by the Methyltransferase G9a. Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]
13.SOX2 promotes dedifferentiation and imparts stem cell-like features to pancreatic cancer cells. Herreros-Villanueva M#, Zhang JS#, Koenig A, Abel EV, Smyrk TC, Bamlet WR, de Narvajas AA, Gomez TS, Simeone DM, Bujanda L, Billadeau DD. Oncogenesis. 2013 Aug 5;2:e61. doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2013.23. PMID: 23917223 (shared first author)
14.Lomberk G, Grzenda A, Mathison A, Escande C, Zhang JS, Calvo E, Miller LJ, Iovanna J, Chini EN, Fernandez-Zapico ME, Urrutia R. Kruppel-like Factor 11 Regulates the Expression of Metabolic Genes via an Evolutionarily Conserved Protein Interaction Domain Functionally Disrupted in Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young. J Biol Chem. (2013) 288(24): 17745-58. 15.Hu Z, Gu Y, Han B, Zhang JS, Li Z, Tian K, Young CY, Yuan H. Knockdown of AGR2 induces cellular senescence in prostate cancer cells. Carcinogenesis (2012). 33:1178-86.
16.Daftary GS, Lomberk GA, Buttar NS, Allen TW, Grzenda A, Zhang JS, Zheng Y, Mathison AJ, Gada RP, Iovanna JL, Billadeau DD, Prendergast FG, Urrutia R. A Detailed Structural- Functional Analysis of Kruppel-like Factor 16 (KLF16) Reveals Novel mechanism for Silencing Sp/KLF-sites in Metabolism and Endocrinology. J Biol Chem. (2012) 287(10): 7010-25.
17.Baumgart S, Glesel E, Singh G, Chen NM, Reutlinger K, Zhang JS, Billadeau DD, Fernandez-Zapico ME, Gress TM, Singh SK, Ellenrieder V. Restricted Heterochromatin Formation Links NFATc2 Repressor Activity With Growth Promotion in Pancreatic Cancer. Gastroenterology. (2012) 142:388-398.
18.Zhang JS*, Koenig A, Harrison A, Ugolkov AV, Fernandez-Zapico ME, Couch FJ, Billadeau DD*. Mutant K-Ras Increases GSK-3β Gene Expression via an ETS-p300 Transcriptional Complex in Pancreatic Cancer. Oncogene (2011) 30:3705-15.
19.Meng XW, Peterson KL, Dai HM, Schneider P, Lee SH, Zhang JS, Koenig A, Bronk S, Billadeau DD, Gore GJ and Kaufmann SH. High cell surface death receptor expression determines type I versus type II signaling. J Bio Chem. (2011) 286:35823-33
20.Zhang JS*, Koenig A, Young CY and Billadeau DD*. GRB2-Mediated Interaction Couples RhoU to Activated EGFR Signaling. Mol. Biol. of Cell (2011). 22:2119-30. PMC3113775
21.He R, Chen Y, Chen Y, Ougolkov AV, Zhang JS, Savoy DN, Billadeau DD, Kozikowski AP. Synthesis and biological evaluation of triazol-4-ylphenyl-bearing histone deacetylase inhibitors as anticancer agents. J Med Chem. (2010). 53(3):1347-56. PMC2919064
22.Vanaja, D. K., M. E. Grossmann, J. C. Cheville, M. H. Gazi, A. Gong, J. S. Zhang, K. Ajtai, T. P. Burghardt and C. Y. Young. \"Pdlim4, an Actin Binding Protein, Suppresses Prostate Cancer Cell Growth.\" Cancer Invest 27, no. 3 (2009): 264-72. 13.
23.Wang, N., Q. Zheng, J. S. Zhang and Y. Zhao. \"Molecular Cloning and Characterization of a Novel Mouse Actin-Binding Protein Zfp185.\" J Mol Histol 39, no. 3 (2008): 295-302.
24.Wang, N., J. S. Zhang, Q. Zheng and Y. Zhao. \"The Unique Localization of Zfp185 at Uropod of Mouse T Lymphocytes.\" Scand J Immunol 67, no. 4 (2008): 340-4.
25.Grzenda A, Lomberk G, Zhang JS, Urrutia R. Sin3: master scaffold and transcriptional corepressor. Biochim Biophys Acta. (2009). 1789(6-8):443-50.