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Congratulations to Qi Zhang, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics who received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF)!

Qi Zhang, PhD

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

Dr. Zhang, assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will be provided with $987,435 over the next five years (beginning Feb 15, 2017) to support research into understanding the biogenesis of microRNAs, a class of evolutionarily conserved noncoding RNAs that regulate more than 60% of all protein genes and serve as critical regulators in all biological processes.

Dr. Zhang’s overall research program aims to develop and apply state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques, together with computational and biochemical approaches, to understand non-coding RNA functions and their misregulation in human diseases. The long-term goal of his program is to integrate this knowledge into developing RNA-based regulatory devices and RNA-targeted therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Please learn more on his lab website:

Dr. Zhang, is a also previous recipient of the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Scholar Award and a UNC Jefferson-Pilot Fellowship in Academic Medicine. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan and received postdoctoral training in UCLA as a Baltimore Family Postdoctoral Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation.