Nothing gets Donna Zhang more excited than unlocking medical mysteries

News Release Date: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Donna Zhang, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the UA College of Pharmacy. Right now she is currently working on the mystery of why a protein can build or destroy a person's resistance to environmental toxins and diseases, including cancer.Her laboratory in the Skaggs Pharmaceutical Sciences Center has been focused on understanding the Nrf2 protein (a protein that regulates the defense systems in our bodies). Dr. Zhang is internationally recognized for her cutting-edge work in this area, which has garnered her the nickname “Nrf2 Queen.” Her work is moving us closer to the development of strategies to boost Nrf2 with dietary supplements to protect us from environmental toxins, to prevent cancer and to treat diabetes. Her laboratory is also developing drugs that inhibit Nrf2 in cancer and, thereby, increase the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs.