Baylor College of Medicine

The Roy and Lillie Cullen Building, with the Alkek Fountain at the entrance.
Dr. Xiang "Shawn" Zhang has been named director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Xiang Zhang named director of Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center

Molly Chiu


Houston, TX -
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Xiang Zhang
Dr. Xiang Zhang

Dr. Xiang “Shawn” Zhang has been named director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine after serving as interim director since March 2022. Zhang is a professor of molecular and cellular biology and a McNair Scholar at Baylor. He also holds a William T. Butler, M.D., Endowed Chair for Distinguished Faculty and is a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Dr. Zhang’s commitment to furthering the field of breast cancer research and training the next generation of scientists makes him the ideal leader for the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor College of Medicine.

Zhang received a Bachelor of Science degree in genetics and genetic engineering from Fudan University in Shanghai and a doctorate from Columbia University. He joined the faculty at Baylor in 2011 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Zhang’s lab investigates biological mechanisms and therapeutic strategies of breast cancer metastasis. The lab is currently investigating early-stage bone colonization of disseminated breast cancer cells and breast cancer-induced immunosuppression. In 2018, he received a Michael E. DeBakey Excellence in Research Award from Baylor. He also has been honored with numerous other research awards, including the Era of Hope Scholar from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, the Career Catalyst Research Award from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Sue Eccles Young Investigator Award from the Metastasis Research Society and the Laura Zisken Prize from Stand Up To Cancer. He has published more than 100 papers, including numerous first/senior author publications in high-impact journals.

“I am extremely honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead the Breast Center, a powerhouse of breast cancer research worldwide, as well as a home that has nurtured my scientific career,” Zhang said. “I am standing on the shoulders of previous Breast Center leaders, and I hope to continue our success in conducting cutting-edge research for better care of patients.”

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