Heng Zhu, Ph.D.

Headshot of Heng Zhu
  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Research Interests

Viral oncology; Transcription regulation; Systems biology; Protein chip approach to study proteomics; Host-pathogen interaction; Protein networks; Signal transduction ...read more


Dr. Heng Zhu is a full professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences and oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His research focuses on developing high-throughput screening technologies, including proteome arrays, VirD arrays, and a highly multiplexed DAPPL platform to investigate important basic science and translational questions. 

Dr. Zhu is a pioneer proteomics technologist who co-invented protein microarray technology. Currently, his team is engaged in understanding the impacts of DNA epigenetic modifications on transcriptional regulation, characterization of function GWAS SNPs, and biomarker discovery.

Dr. Zhu received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Peking University in Beijing, China. He earned his Ph.D. from Clemson University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at Yale University. Dr. Zhu joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2004.

Dr. Zhu's work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including two Chair's Awards from the Gordon Research Conference.

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  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Ph.D.; Clemson University (South Carolina) (1999)
  • B.S.; Peking University (China) (1990)

Additional Training

  • Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2004, Proteomics

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Zhu's research goals are to discover and characterize the activities of large collections of proteins to build signaling networks for better understanding the mechanisms of biological processes, and to identify biomarkers for important human diseases. More specifically, Dr. Zhu and his team are interested in analyzing protein posttranslational modifications, identifying important components involved in various signaling networks and studying host-pathogen interactions on the proteomics level.

Selected Publications

Hu S, Wan J, Su Y, Song Q, Zeng Y, Nguyen HN, Shin J, Cox E, Rho HS, Woodard C, Xia S, Liu S, Lyu H, Ming GL, Wade H, Song H, Qian J, Zhu H. "DNA methylation presents distinct binding sites for human transcription factors." Elife. 2013 Sep 3;2:e00726. doi: 10.7554/eLife.00726.

Newman RH, Hu J, Rho HS, Xie Z, Woodard C, Neiswinger J, Cooper C, Shirley M, Clark HM, Hu S, Hwang W, Jeong JS, Wu G, Lin J, Gao X, Ni Q, Goel R, Xia S, Ji H, Dalby KN, Birnbaum MJ, Cole PA, Knapp S, Ryazanov AG, Zack DJ, Blackshaw S, Pawson T, Gingras AC, Desiderio S, Pandey A, Turk BE, Zhang J, Zhu H, Qian J. "Construction of human activity-based phosphorylation networks." Mol Syst Biol. 2013;9:655. doi: 10.1038/msb.2013.12.

Jeong JS, Jiang L, Albino E, Marrero J, Rho HS, Hu J, Hu S, Vera C, Bayron-Poueymiroy D, Rivera-Pacheco ZA, Ramos L, Torres-Castro C, Qian J, Bonaventura J, Boeke JD, Yap WY, Pino I, Eichinger DJ, Zhu H, Blackshaw S. "Rapid identification of monospecific monoclonal antibodies using a human proteome microarray." Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Jun;11(6):O111.016253. doi: 10.1074/mcp.O111.016253. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Lu JY, Lin YY, Sheu JC, Wu JT, Lee FJ, Chen Y, Lin MI, Chiang FT, Tai TY, Berger SL, Zhao Y, Tsai KS, Zhu H, Chuang LM, Boeke JD. "Acetylation of yeast AMPK controls intrinsic aging independently of caloric restriction." Cell. 2011 Sep 16;146(6):969-79. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.07.044. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Hu S, Xie Z, Onishi A, Yu X, Jiang L, Lin J, Rho HS, Woodard C, Wang H, Jeong JS, Long S, He X, Wade H, Blackshaw S, Qian J, Zhu H. "Profiling the human protein-DNA interactome reveals ERK2 as a transcriptional repressor of interferon signaling." Cell. 2009 Oct 30;139(3):610-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.08.037.

Contact for Research Inquiries

Edward D. Miller Research Building
733 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 410-502-0878
Fax: 410-502-1872

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

BCMB Graduate Program
Chemistry-Biology Interface Program

Activities & Honors


  • Chair's Award, Gordon Research Conference, 2000
  • Chair's Award, Gordon Research Conference, 1998
  • Member of Gamma Sigma Delta, The Honor Society of Agriculture, 1994 - 1999


  • American Pathopathology Society, 1995 - 1999
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