Effective July 1, 2009, Dr. Yi Zhang, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator has been named a Kenan Distinguished Professor.
University endowed professorships are designations created through gifts to the University to recognize excellence in teaching and research. A large number of endowed professorships available to the University come from the various Kenan professorships which have been credited with attracting or retaining outstanding faculty members and adding substantially to UNC's high academic standing.
Dr. Zhang is a leader in the burgeoning field of epigenetics, where researchers are searching for the mechanisms that control gene expression that are independent of the DNA sequence itself. His recent series of papers describes discovery of many of the enzymes known to modify the packaging of DNA by proteins known as histones. He works with model organisms ranging from yeast to human cells, using a combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics.
Learn more about Dr. Zhang's research: http://www.med.unc.edu/~zhangyi/lab.htm.