Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Beihang University, 2005-2010
B.S. in Bioengineering, Henan University, 2001-2005
Hemodynamic shear stress, inflammation (e.g. NLRP3 inflammasome and TLR4), mitochondrial DNA damage, programmed cell death (e.g., apoptosis, autophagy, and pyroptosis) and efferocytosis, and their roles in the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and aging. Our studies also focus on stem cell therapy, such as use of mesenchymal stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, to treat cardiovascular diseases. One of our current studies is trying to computationally integrate state-of-the-art single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) with bulk RNA-sequencing and mass spectrometry-driven proteomics to generate a multi-omics whole organ resource of molecular/cellular alterations.
My graduate work focused on hemodynamic shear stress and atherosclerosis, and I designed a step-flow chamber and pioneered the usage of a helical flow model to analyze lipids uptake along the aorta and identify novel mechanism of concentration polarization of LDL in endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. During my postdoctoral training, I continued to research mechanisms of concentration polarization of ox-LDL in apoptosis and autophagy as well as inflammation and immune response in atherosclerosis, hypertension, and myocardial infarction. My main work as an Assistant Professor focused on proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), efferocytosis, and pyroptosis in myocardial infarction. My research interests as an Associate Professor have shifted to PCSK9 and vascular aging; and hemodynamics-mediated endothelial efferocytosis and SOX9 biology in atherosclerosis and vascular aging.
As the senior and corresponding author, I recently published several peer-reviewed scientific articles in Cardiovascular Research, Basic Research in Cardiology, and Theranostics. I have also published many peer-reviewed publications as the first author or corresponding author. As a PI, I have obtained NIH grants and some intramural grants and have experience leading research teams.
- Liu S, Wu J, Stolarz A, Zhang H, Boerma M, Byrum SD, Rusch NJ, Ding Z*. PCSK9 attenuates efferocytosis in endothelial cells and promotes vascular aging. Theranostics. 2023; 13:2914-2929.
- Stolarz AJ, Mu S, Zhang H, Fouda AY, Rusch NJ, Ding Z*. Endothelial Cells – Macrophage-Like Gatekeepers? Front Immunol. 2022;13:902945.
- Li X, Brickell A, Wang X, Zhou S, Ding Z*. NADPH oxidase promotes PCSK9 secretion in macrophages. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2021, 153:42-43.
- Wang X, Li X, Liu S, Brickell A, Zhang J, Wu Z, Zhou S, Ding Z*. PCSK9 regulates pyroptosis via mtDNA damage in chronic myocardial ischemia. Basic Res Cardiol. 2020, 115:66.
- Liu S, Deng X, Zhang P, Wang X, Fan Y, Zhou S, Mu S, Mehta JL, Ding Z*. Blood flow patterns regulate PCSK9 secretion via MyD88 mediated proinflammatory cytokines. Cardiovasc Res. 2020; 116:1721-32.
- Ding Z*, Pothineni NVK, Goel A, Lüscher TF, Mehta JL. PCSK9 and inflammation: Role of shear stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines and LOX-1. Cardiovasc Res. 2020;116:908-915.
- Ding Z*, Wang X, Liu S, Zhou S, Kore R, Mu S, Deng X, Fan Y, Mehta JL. NLRP3 inflammasome via IL-1β regulates PCSK9 secretion. Theranostics. 2020, 10:7100-7110.
- Ding Z*, Wang X, Liu S, Shahanawaz J, Theus S, Fan Y, Deng X, Zhou S, Mehta JL. PCSK9 expression in the ischemic heart and its relationship to infarct size, cardiac function and development of autophagy. Cardiovasc Res. 2018;114:1738-1751.
- Ding Z*, Liu S, Wang X, Theus S, Deng X, Fan Y, Zhou S, Mehta JL. PCSK9 regulates the expression of scavenger receptors and ox-LDL uptake in macrophages. Cardiovasc Res. 2018;114:1145-1153. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1piQoxaQnuzoTf/bibliography/public/