Dr Danxi Zhu works with the Cancer Genetics and Functional Genomics research group as a postdoctoral researcher. She utilises state-of-the-art genetically engineered mouse models, organoid models, and molecular biology techniques to elucidate the functions of Mediator kinases.

Dr Zhu also works with the Next Generation Precision Medicine team, led by Prof Ron Firestein.

Dr Zhu received her Master of Medicine from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. She then commenced her PhD in 2019 at Monash University in the Cancer Genetics and Functional Genomics lab, supervised by Prof Ron Firestein. Her study focused on exploring the role of Mediator kinases in intestinal homeostasis and colorectal cancer.  Dr Zhu was awarded her PhD in 2023, and she continues her work as a postdoctoral scientist, finishing additional work to map the function of CDK8/19 in the context of colon cancer tumour initiation.

Selected publications

  • Dannappel MV, Zhu D, Sun X, Chua HK, Poppelaars M, Suehiro M, Khadka S, Lim Kam Sian TC, Sooraj D, Loi M, Gao H, Croagh D, Daly RJ, Faridi P, Boyer TG, Firestein R (2022) CDK8 and CDK19 regulate intestinal differentiation and homeostasis via the chromatin remodeling complex SWI/SNF. J Clin Invest, 132:e158593.

  • Sooraj D, Sun C, Doan A, Garama DJ, Dannappel MV, Zhu D, Chua HK, Mahara S, Wan Hassan WA, Tay YK, Guanizo A, Croagh D, Prodanovic Z, Gough DJ, Wan C, Firestein R (2021) MED12 and BRD4 cooperate to sustain cancer growth upon loss of mediator kinase. Mol Cell, 82:123-139.e7.

  • Wan C, Mahara S, Sun C, Doan A, Chua HK, Xu D, Bian J, Li Y, Zhu D, Sooraj D, Cierpicki T, Grembecka J, Firestein R (2021) Genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9 screen of Wnt/β-catenin signaling identifies therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer. Sci Adv, 7:eabf2567.

  • Liang Y, Zhu D, Hou L, Wang Y, Huang X, Zhou C, Zhu L, Wang Y, Li L, Gu Y, Luo M, Wang J, Meng X (2020) MiR-107 confers chemoresistance to colorectal cancer by targeting calcium-binding protein 39. Br J Cancer, 122:705-714.

  • Liang Y, Hou L, Li L, Li L, Zhu L, Wang Y, Huang X, Hou Y, Zhu D, Zou H, Gu Y, Weng X, Wang Y, Li Y, Wu T, Yao M, Gross I, Gaiddon C, Luo M, Wang J, Meng X (2020) Dichloroacetate restores colorectal cancer chemosensitivity through the p53/miR-149-3p/PDK2-mediated glucose metabolic pathway. Oncogene, 39:469-485.

  • Liang Y, Zhu D, Zhu L, Hou Y, Hou L, Huang X, Li L, Wang Y, Li L, Zou H, Wu T, Yao M, Wang J, Meng X (2019) Dichloroacetate Overcomes Oxaliplatin Chemoresistance in Colorectal Cancer through the miR-543/PTEN/Akt/mTOR Pathway. J Cancer, 10:6037-6047.