Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Xiaoyu Zhang, PhD

Dr. Zhang is developing small molecules that promote targeted protein degradation in human cancers. Conventional small molecule anticancer drugs act by directly inhibiting the functions of proteins. Although targeted cancer therapies have been successful in recent years, many oncogenic proteins are still considered “undruggable” because the conventional drug design strategy fails to interfere with these proteins. One way to target “undruggable” oncogenic proteins may be to create a new type of small molecule that delivers these proteins to the cellular degradation system, thereby promoting their destruction. By integrating chemical tools, proteomic platforms, and molecular biology approaches, Dr. Zhang aims to develop protein degraders as a new drug modality to expand treatment opportunities in human cancer.

Project title: “Discovery of chemical probes that support targeted protein degradation in human cancer”
Institution: Northwestern University
Award Program: Dale Frey Scientist
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Chemical Biology