Zhihong Wang, PhD

Zhihong Wang

Zhihong Wang PhD

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


BS, Chemistry, Yantai University

MS, Chemistry, Xiamen University

PhD, Chemistry, University of Utah

Postdoctoral Training, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Research Interests

  • Illuminating the molecular mechanisms of aberrant activation of oncogenic kinases
  • Dissecting the affected signaling pathways where oncogenic kinases lie in
  • Examining the effects of posttranslational modification on enzyme activity and its physiological role


Protein phosphorylation, catalyzed by kinases, is the most universal mechanism of regulating protein function and transmitting signals throughout the cell. Aberrant activation of kinases causes dysfunction of cell signaling and regulatory pathways, resulting in numerous human diseases including cancer. Our laboratory is interested in the molecular logic of kinase function under normal and pathological conditions. By integrating techniques from biochemistry, proteomics, molecular biology, and cell biology, we currently study the molecular mechanism of BRAF activation, regulation, and oncogenesis. The long-term goal of our research is to enhance our biochemical understanding of the origin of cancer and to provide a better molecular basis for drug development.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Wang, Z. & Cole, P.A. Catalytic Mechanism and Regulation of Protein Kinases. Methods in Enzymology. In press. (2014).

Wang, Z., Raines, L., Hooy, R.M., Roberson, H., Leahy, D.J., and Cole, P.A. Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Mig6 Reduces Its Inhibition of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor. ACS Chem. Biol. 8, 2372-2376 (2013).  Note: The results were featured in the Faculty 1000 Cell Biology.

Wang, Z., Longo, P.A., Terrant, M.K., Kim, K., Head, S., Leahy, D.L., and Cole, P.A. Mechanistic Insights into the Activation of Oncogenic Forms of EGF Receptor. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 18, 1388-1393 (2011).  Note: The results were highlighted by Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. News and Views 19, 1-3 (2012)

Wang, Z., Wang, Y., and Hegg, E.L. Regulation of Heme A Biosynthetic pathway: Different Regulation of Heme A Synthase and Heme O Synthase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Bio. Chem. 284, 839-847 (2009).

Wang, Z. & Hegg, E.L. Assembly of Cytochrome c Oxidase: Synthesis and Insertion of the Metal Cofactors. ACS Symposium Series in Bioorganic Chemistry Chapter 4, 47-61 (2009).

Brown, B.M.*, Wang, Z.*, Brown, K.R.*, Cricoo, J.A., and Hegg, E.L. Heme O Synthase and Heme A Synthase from Bacillus Subtilis and Rhodobacter sphaeroides Interact in Escherichia coli. Biochemistry 43, 13541-13548 (2004). *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Contact Information

Office location: Griffith Hall, Room 340
Mailing address: Box # 48
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215-596-7082
Office Fax: 215-596-8543

z [dot] wang [at] usciences [dot] edu