Bokai Zhu, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
The Zhu lab is studying the role of dynamic proteostasis in the regulation of metabolism and aging, with a focus on the 12h ultradian clock.
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For more information: https://www.bzhulab.com/
A native of Beijing, China, Bokai received his B.S. degree from Peking University, China and received his Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University with Dr. Jeffrey Peters, working on the function of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ in skin tumorigenesis. After that, he continued with his post-doctoral training with Dr. Bert W O’Malley at Baylor College of Medicine at Houston, working on the elucidation of regulatory mechanisms and functions of biological rhythms. He was later promoted to the instructor position as a junior faculty at Baylor. During his tenure at Baylor College of Medicine, his research focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms of circadian rhythms regulation and the cross-talk between circadian rhythms and hepatic cellular metabolism. Recently, he uncovered a novel mammalian 12h-clock clock that runs independently from the circadian rhythm to coordinate cellular stress response with metabolism. He joined the Aging Institute at Pittsburgh School of Medicine in September, 2018.
Read more: Department of Medicine Faculty Profile
Rinsky M, Weizman E, Ben-Asher HW, Eyal G, Zhu B, Levy O. Temporal gene expression patterns in the coral Euphyllia paradivisa reveal the complexity of biological clocks in the cnidarian-algal symbiosis. Sci Adv. 2022 Sep 16;8(37):eabo6467. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abo6467. Epub 2022 Sep 16. PMID: 36112690.
Zhu B. Logic of the Temporal Compartmentalization of the Hepatic Metabolic Cycle. Physiology (Bethesda). 2022 Sep 1;37(5):0. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00003.2022. Epub 2022 Jun 6. PMID: 35658626; PMCID: PMC9394779.
Asher G, Zhu B. Beyond circadian rhythms: emerging roles of ultradian rhythms in control of liver functions. Hepatology. 2022 May 19. doi: 10.1002/hep.32580. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35591797.
Meng H, Gonzales NM, Jung SY, Lu Y, Putluri N, Zhu B, Dacso CC, Lonard DM, O’Malley BW. Defining the mammalian coactivation of hepatic 12-h clock and lipid metabolism. Cell Rep. 2022 Mar 8;38(10):110491. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110491. PMID: 35263593; PMCID: PMC8958721.
Dion W, Ballance H, Lee J, Pan Y, Irfan S, Edwards C, Sun M, Zhang J, Zhang X, Liu S, Zhu B. Four-dimensional nuclear speckle phase separation dynamics regulate proteostasis. Sci Adv. 2022 Jan 7;8(1):eabl4150. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abl4150. Epub 2022 Jan 5. PMID: 34985945; PMCID: PMC8730402.
Ballance H, Zhu B. Revealing the hidden reality of the mammalian 12-h ultradian rhythms. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2021 Apr;78(7):3127-3140. doi: 10.1007/s00018-020-03730-5. Epub 2021 Jan 15. PMID: 33449146; PMCID: PMC8407301.
Meng H, Gonzales NM, Lonard DM, Putluri N, Zhu B, Dacso CC, York B, O’Malley BW. XBP1 links the 12-hour clock to NAFLD and regulation of membrane fluidity and lipid homeostasis. Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 4;11(1):6215. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-20028-z. PMID: 33277471; PMCID: PMC7718229.
Pan Y, Ballance H, Meng H, Gonzalez N, Kim SM, Abdurehman L, York B, Chen X, Schnytzer Y, Levy O, Dacso CC, McClung CA, O’Malley BW, Liu S, Zhu B. 12-h clock regulation of genetic information flow by XBP1s. PLoS Biol. 2020 Jan 14;18(1):e3000580. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000580. PMID: 31935211; PMCID: PMC6959563.
Zhu B, Zhang Q, Pan Y, Mace EM, York B, Antoulas AC, Dacso CC, O’Malley BW. A Cell-Autonomous Mammalian 12 hr Clock Coordinates Metabolic and Stress Rhythms. Cell Metab. 2017 Jun 6;25(6):1305-1319.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2017.05.004. PMID: 28591634; PMCID: PMC5526350.
Zhu B, Gates LA, Stashi E, Dasgupta S, Gonzales N, Dean A, Dacso CC, York B, O’Malley BW. Coactivator-Dependent Oscillation of Chromatin Accessibility Dictates Circadian Gene Amplitude via REV-ERB Loading. Mol Cell. 2015 Dec 3;60(5):769-783. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2015.10.024. Epub 2015 Nov 21. PMID: 26611104; PMCID: PMC4671835.
Current Lab Members
William Dion, Graduate Student
Syeda Kubra, Postdoctoral Associate
Aishwarya Ponna, Undergraduate Student
Michelle Sun, Research Specialist
Daniella Santucci, Undergraduate Student
Megan Ye, BS, Laboratory Research Technician
Bugra Zengin, MD, Visiting Scholar