Dr Liang Zhang (張亮博士)

PhD (The University of Iowa)

Assistant Professor

Dr Liang Zhang

Contact Information

Office: 1B-210, 2/F, Block 1,
To Yuen Building
Phone: +852 3442-4495
Fax: +852 3442-0549
Email: liangzhang.28@cityu.edu.hk
Web: Lab Homepage
CityU Scholars

Research Interests

  • Cancer-microenvironment interaction
  • Mass spectrometry and proteomics
  • Exosomes
  • Wnt signaling
  • Cell migration and metastasis

Dr Liang Zhang received his Bachelor of Medicine (MD equivalent) degree in 2001 with honor from Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing, China. He obtained his PhD degree from the University of Iowa and his PhD research was on delineating the cellular mechanisms that determine the transduction efficiency of adeno-associated virus (AAV) in normal epithelia and cancer cells, under the supervision of Dr John Engelhardt. He performed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr Jeffrey Wrana on dissecting the signaling mechanisms of cancer metastasis, at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto, Canada.

Research Interests

Our research is driven by our interests in understanding how inter- and intracellular signal transduction are implicated in human physiology and diseases.  We apply integrative approaches that combine proteomics and systems biology tools to dissect the wiring of signaling networks. Our current focus is to elucidate the mechanisms by which cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment communicate with each other. The reciprocal interactions between cancer cells and the stromal tissues are recognized as a hallmark of cancer that plays a prime role in tumor initiation, growth, angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis, as well as drug resistance. Over the next few years, my team will engage in the following areas of research:

  1. Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling in cancer metastasis.
  2. Biology of extracellular vesicles.
  3. Non-conventional roles of immunoglobulins.
  4. Integrative approaches to discover novel cancer targets and therapeutics.

For more details about these projects, please visit https://zhanglab.wixsite.com/website/research.

Available Positions

With respect to training, the underpinning goal of our laboratory is to endow the trainees with comprehensive knowledge of advanced developments and outstanding research skills in cancer biology and biotechnology so that they would become leaders in the academic, industrial or government sectors. Motivated candidates who have strong interests in our research are always welcome to join the laboratory as PhD students, research assistants and postdoctoral fellows. Please directly contact Dr Liang Zhang (liangzhang.28@cityu.edu.hk) for more details.

To apply for PhD positions, please refer to the departmental website for information and guidelines. Students are encouraged to apply for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme and other opportunities.


  1. Tang J, Zhang J, Liu Y, Liao Q, Huang J, Geng Z, Xu W, Sheng Z, Lee G, Zhang Y, Chen J, Zhang L, Qiu X . Lung squamous cell carcinoma cells express non-canonically glycosylated IgG that activates integrin-FAK signaling. Cancer Letters (2018) Aug 28; 430:148-159. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2018.05.024
  2. Zhang L, Wrana JL. Regulation of Rho GTPases from the lateral sides of migrating cells. Small GTPases. (2016) Sep 22:0.
  3. Zhang L, Luga V, Armitage SK, Musiol M, Won A, Yip CM, Plotnikov S, Wrana JL. A lateral signaling pathway coordinates shape volatility during cell migration.Nat Communications. (2016) May; 7:11714.
  4. Zhang L, Wrana JL. The emerging role of exosomes in Wnt secretion and transport. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. (2014) Aug; 27:14-19.
  5. Luga V*, Zhang L*, Viloria-Petit AM, Ogunjimi AA, Inanlou MR, Chiu E, Hosein AN, Buchanan M, Basik M, Wrana JL. Exosomes mediate stromal mobilization of autocrine Wnt-planar cell polarity signaling in breast cancer metastasis. Cell. (2012) Dec; 151(7):1542-56. (*Equal contribution authors)
    This paper was commented in Nat Rev Cancer. 13(2): 75 and was highlighted in Nat. Med. 19(2):142. It is also recommended by Faculty of 1000.
  6. Daulat AM, Luu O, Sing A, Zhang L, Wrana JL, McNeill H, Winklbauer R, Angers S. Mink1 regulates β-catenin-independent Wnt signaling via Prickle phosphorylation. Mol Cell Biol. (2012) Jan; 32(1):173-85.
  7. Narimatsu M, Bose R, Pye M, Zhang L, Miller B, Ching P, Sakuma R, Luga V, Roncari L, Attisano L, Wrana JL. Regulation of planar cell polarity by Smurf ubiquitin ligases. Cell. (2009) Apr; 137(2):295-307.
  8. Liu X, Luo M, Zhang L, Ding W, Yan Z, Engelhardt JF. Bioelectric properties of chloride secretion by polarized airway epithelia from human, pig, ferret and mouse. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. (2007) Mar; 36(3):313-23.
  9. Yan Z, Lei-Butters DC, Liu X, Zhang Y, Zhang L, Luo M, Zak R, Engelhardt JF. Unique biologic properties of recombinant AAV1 transduction in polarized human airway epithelia. J Biol Chem. (2006) Oct; 281:29684-92.
  10. Ding W*, Zhang LN*, Yeaman C, Engelhardt JF. rAAV2 traffics through both the late and the recycling endosomes in a dose-dependent fashion. Mol Ther. (2006) Apr; 13:671-82. (*Equal contribution authors)
  11. Li Q, Harraz MM, Zhou W, Zhang LN, Ding W, Zhang Y, Eggleston T, Yeaman C, Banfi B, Engelhardt JF. Nox2 and Rac1 regulate H2O2-dependent recruitment of TRAF6 to endosomal interleukin-1 receptor complexes. Mol Cell Biol. (2006) Jan; 26:140-54.
  12. Liu X, Luo M, Zhang LN, Yan Z, Zak R, Ding W, Mansfield SG, Mitchell LG, Engelhardt JF. Spliceosome-mediated RNA trans-splicing with recombinant adeno-associated virus partially restores cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator function to polarized human cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells. (2005) Sep; Hum Gene Ther. 16:1116-23.
  13. Ding W, Zhang L, Yan Z, Engelhardt JF. Intracellular trafficking of adeno-associated viral vectors. Gene Ther. (2005) Jun; 12:873-80.
  14. Zhang LN, Karp P, Gerard CJ, Pastor E, Laux D, Munson K, Yan Z, Liu X, Godwin S, Thomas CP, Zabner J, Shi H, Caldwell CW, Peluso R, Carter B, Engelhardt JF. Dual therapeutic utility of proteasome modulating agents for pharmaco-gene therapy of the cystic fibrosis airway. Mol Ther. (2004) Dec; 10:990-1002.
  15. Qiu X, Zhu X, Zhang L, Mao Y, Zhang J, Hao P, Li G, Lv P, Li Z, Sun X, Wu L, Zheng J, Deng Y, Hou C, Tang P, Zhang S, Zhang Y. Human epithelial cancers secrete immunoglobulin G with unidentified specificity to promote growth and survival of tumor cells. Cancer Res. (2003) Oct; 63:6488-95.