Research

Zhu Lab Members

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Yi Zhu, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

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Yi Zhu
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I grew up in a small town in eastern China and moved to Hefei, where I graduated with a bachelor’s of Science from the University of Science and Technology of China. I then moved to Salt Lake City, where I obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Utah, followed by postdoctoral training at the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. I moved to Houston in 2019 to start my lab at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine. My research focuses on understanding metabolism and obesity using biochemistry, molecular biology, and the rodent model. I am particularly interested in intercellular communication and its potential to treat obesity and other metabolic diseases. I enjoy nature, art, and working on science. I hold a strong belief that the greatest scientific discovery should be simple, evident, and artistic. I like simple things in life as well.

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Mingyang (Rachael) Huang- Research Assistant II

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Mingyang (Rachael) Huang
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I joined the Children's Nutrition Research Center in June of 2020. It is a privilege to work with Dr. Zhu’s Lab on various challenging and innovative projects, which allows me to
develop lab practical techniques and project management awareness. My favorite thing about this lab is being surrounded by a group of enthusiastic, proficient, and supportive people. Prior to pursuing my passion for wellness by receiving my M.S. in nutrition and food science at Wayne State University in Michigan, I obtained my M.D. from Yanbian University in China. In my free time I enjoy acrylic painting, doing yoga, playing table tennis, and spending time with my family and shiba inu DouDou.

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Sarah Ishtiaq, Research Technician II

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Sarah Ishtiaq
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I graduated from the University of Houston with a B.S in Biology. I joined Dr. Zhu’s lab at CNRC in September 2021 soon after my graduation in May 2021. I am a research technician responsible for molecular biology procedures such as DNA/RNA/protein isolation, qPCR, western blotting as well as metabolic testing, mouse husbandry, and data analysis. I enjoy working alongside my lab members and the precious bond we share. I am thoroughly grateful for the learning experience, and I plan to continue my education in the medical field. Outside of the lab, I like to spend time with my family and friends, paint, cook, and eat delicious foods.

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Xi Chen, M.D. Research Associate

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Xi Chen
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I received my M.D. and Master of Medicine from Xiangya Medical School of Central South University in China. After that, I completed a pediatric residency and served as an attending doctor in the Second Xiangya Hospital. Now, I am pursuing a Ph.D. by conducting research collaboratively with Xiangya Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine. Since the autumn of 2020, I have been working on metabolism and obesity in Dr. Zhu’s laboratory. This laboratory has allowed me to follow my passion because it offers a healthy work environment and a supportive team. Outside of the lab, I enjoy drawing, exercising, traveling and cooking.

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