Donna Zhang, PhD. was a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia and was recruited to UA in August 2005. Dr. Lau serves as her faculty mentor. Additionally, Donna is mentored by Drs. Jay Gandolfi and Terrence Monks and was successful in securing extramural funding, including the NIEHS ONES award and ACS grant within two years after arriving UA.
She has established several research projects, including (i) mechanistic regulation of Nrf2 by Keap1, (ii) The protective role of Nrf2 against arsenic-induced toxicity and carcinogenicity, (iii) Role of Nrf2 in chemoprevention and in chemoresistance, (iv) cross-talk between Nrf2 and the p53-p21 pathway. In the four years since Dr. Zhang’s arrival to UA she has published 21 peer-reviewed papers in high impact journals, such as Molecular Cell and Molecular and Cellular Biology.
SWEHSC has played a critical role in Dr. Zhang’s career development by providing state-of-the-art facilities to assist Dr. Zhang’s research. Moreover the expertise provided by these facilities has been instrumental to Dr. Zhang’s ability to rapidly establish a well-funded research program. SWEHSC also serves as catalyst to promote collaboration between Drs. Zhang and Wondrak who subsequently received a Pilot Project titled "Targeting Nrf2 for photoprotection," which enabled them to obtain necessary data for a NIH RO1 grant under preparation. Moreover Dr. Zhang has benefited from many regular RFG meetings and the center annual retreat which provided Dr. Zhang with excellent opportunities to share her research with other center members and establish campus-wide collaborations.