Dr. Jing Zhang, Co-director

Dr. Zhang attended Sichuan University for her undergraduate study and received her Ph.D. training at the University of Nottingham from Prof. Robert G Lloyd, a Royal Society member and world-class expert in the field of DNA repair, recombination, and replication. Supported by the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award, Dr. Zhang established a synthetic lethal screening assay in E. coli to confirm the known synthetic lethal interaction between RecG and RuvABC and identified a series of new synthetic lethal mutants of RecG as well as suppressors of RecG-RuvABC synthetic lethality. Characterization of these suppressors allowed Dr. Zhang to cast new light on the interplay between RecG and RuvABC in Holliday junction resolution and uncover previously unknown multifaceted roles for RecG helicase in DNA repair, recombination, and replication.

Dr. Zhang worked with Prof. Malcolm F. White for her postdoctoral training at the University of St Andrews from 2009 to 2015. Under Prof. White’s supervision, she investigated the CRISPR-Cas system, an RNA-guided adaptive immune system that protects bacteria and archaea against invading genetic elements. In particular, she studied two effector complexes, Csm and Cmr, and illustrated how the complexes execute sequence-specific cleavage of nucleic acids. These groundbreaking findings were published in Molecular Cell, Nucleic Acids Research, and PLosOne.

Contact Dr Jing Zhang: Jing.Zhang ‘at’ mbicr.org

Selected publications:

Zhang J, Graham S, Tello A, Liu H and White MF,?Multiple nucleic acid cleavage modes indivergent type III CRISPR systems,?NAR (2016), doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw020.

Rouillon C, Zhou M,?Zhang J?et al,?Structure of the CRISPR interference complex CSM reveals key similarities with Cascade,?Mol Cell (2013), 52(1):124-134.

Zebec Z, Manica A, Zhang J, White MF and Schleper C,?CRISPR-mediated targeted mRNA degradation in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus, NAR (2014), 42(8):5280-8.

Zhang J, Rouillon C, Kerou M et al,?Structure and mechanism of the CMR complex for CRISPR-mediated antiviralimmunity,?Mol Cell (2012), 45(3):303-313.

Zhang J, Kasciukovic T and White MF,?The CRISPR associated protein Cas4 is a 5’to 3’ DNA exonuclease?with an iron-sulfur cluster,?PLoS One (2012), 7(10): e47232.

Zhang J, Mahdi AA, Briggs GS and Lloyd RG,?Promoting and avoiding recombination: contrasting activities of the Escherichia coli RuvABC?Holliday junction resolvaseand RecG?DNA translocase Genetics?(2010), 185(1):23-37.