Versiti - Nan Zhu, PhD | Versiti Blood Research Institute

Nan Zhu, PhD

Nan  Nan  profile

Nan Zhu, PhD


Hematopoiesis & Stem Cell Biology

Versiti Blood Research Institute

Assistant Professor
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy
Medical College of Wisconsin

Education and Training

Postdoctoral Training
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Brigham and Women's Hospital and Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

Doctoral Training
Boston University, Boston, MA

Contact Information

My laboratory studies the epigenetic regulation of stem cells and how dysregulation of these pathways contributes to cancer development. Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in maintaining tissue-specific gene expression patterns and are essential for normal development processes such as hematopoiesis. In normal blood cell development, hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) sits at the top of a hierarchy and has the unique ability to self-renew and differentiate into all blood lineages. HSC self-renewal is tightly controlled, and epigenetic regulators play critical roles in this process. In leukemia, cancer cells often harbor multiple genetic mutations that enable them to acquire aberrant self-renewal ability. Mutations in epigenetic regulators are frequently found in leukemia, highlighting their importance in malignancy.  

We are interested in understanding the epigenetic regulation of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. We approach this by studying the role of epigenetic regulators in normal and malignant hematopoietic stem cell function. The model systems we use include in vitro cell lines as well as in vivo murine model systems. We use techniques such as standard biochemical assays, multi-parameter flow cytometry and bulk and single cell genomic and transcriptome profiling by next generation sequencing. We are actively investigating epigenetic factors including histone demethylase and chromatin remodeling factors in normal blood development and in development of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

  • R37CA229751 Zhu (PI) 2019-2024

Olivia Arnold
Graduate Student

Click Here for a full list of publications from Dr. Nan Zhu

Selected Publications
  1. Deshpande AJ, Zhu N. Silencing with SAFB: a new role for HOXA9 in AML. Blood. 2023 Apr 6;141(14):1653-1655. doi: 10.1182/blood.2022019244. PubMed PMID: 37022737; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10113172.
  2. Arnold O, Barbosa K, Deshpande AJ, Zhu N. The Role of DOT1L in Normal and Malignant Hematopoiesis. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022;10:917125. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2022.917125. eCollection 2022. Review. PubMed PMID: 35712672; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9197164.
  3. Bluemn T, Schmitz J, Zheng Y, Burns R, Zheng S, DeJong J, Christiansen L, Arnold O, Izaguirre-Carbonell J, Wang D, Deshpande AJ, Zhu N. Differential roles of BAF and PBAF subunits, Arid1b and Arid2, in MLL-AF9 leukemogenesis. Leukemia. 2022 Apr;36(4):946-955. doi: 10.1038/s41375-021-01505-w. Epub 2022 Jan 12. PubMed PMID: 35022500; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10095935.
  4. Heimbruch KE, Fisher JB, Stelloh CT, Phillips E, Reimer MH Jr, Wargolet AJ, Meyer AE, Pulakanti K, Viny AD, Loppnow JJ, Levine RL, Pulikkan JA, Zhu N, Rao S. DOT1L inhibitors block abnormal self-renewal induced by cohesin loss. Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 31;11(1):7288. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-86646-9. PubMed PMID: 33790356; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8012605.
  5. Bluemn T, Schmitz J, Chen Y, Zheng Y, Zhang Y, Zheng S, Burns R, DeJong J, Christiansen L, Izaguirre-Carbonell J, Wang D, Zhu N. Arid2 regulates hematopoietic stem cell differentiation in normal hematopoiesis. Exp Hematol. 2021 Feb;94:37-46. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2020.12.004. Epub 2020 Dec 17. PubMed PMID: 33346030; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC10041880.
  6. Lenard A, Xie HM, Pastuer T, Shank T, Libbrecht C, Kingsley M, Riedel SS, Yuan ZF, Zhu N, Neff T, Bernt KM. Epigenetic regulation of protein translation in KMT2A-rearranged AML. Exp Hematol. 2020 May;85:57-69. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2020.04.007. Epub 2020 May 11. PubMed PMID: 32437908; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8362846.
  7. Chen Y, Yu M, Zheng Y, Fu G, Xin G, Zhu W, Luo L, Burns R, Li QZ, Dent AL, Zhu N, Cui W, Malherbe L, Wen R, Wang D. CXCR5(+)PD-1(+) follicular helper CD8 T cells control B cell tolerance. Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 27;10(1):4415. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12446-5. PubMed PMID: 31562329; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6765049.
  8. Izaguirre-Carbonell J, Christiansen L, Burns R, Schmitz J, Li C, Mokry RL, Bluemn T, Zheng Y, Shen J, Carlson KS, Rao S, Wang D, Zhu N. Critical role of Jumonji domain of JMJD1C in MLL-rearranged leukemia. Blood Adv. 2019 May 14;3(9):1499-1511. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2018026054. PubMed PMID: 31076406; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6517669.
  9. Tang J, Zhu N, Rao S, Carlson KS. Stem cell damage after chemotherapy- can we do better?. Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2019 Mar;32(1):31-39. doi: 10.1016/j.beha.2019.02.001. Epub 2019 Feb 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 30927973.
  10. Deshpande A, Chen BR, Zhao L, Saddoris K, Kerr M, Zhu N, Mali P, Deshpande AJ. Investigation of Genetic Dependencies Using CRISPR-Cas9-based Competition Assays. J Vis Exp. 2019 Jan 7;(143). doi: 10.3791/58710. PubMed PMID: 30663717.
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