Our lab is focused on the following areas of research:
- Neuroblastoma pathogenesis. Dr. Zhu's laboratory focuses on exploring the in vivo contributions of new genetic findings emerging from integrative genomic studies to neuroblastoma pathogenesis, uncovering molecular mechanisms that underlie the tumor initiation and progression, and developing novel targeted therapies for this devastating childhood malignancy.
- Tumor metastasis. Dr. Zhu is particularly interested in taking advantage of an innovative zebrafish model of neuroblastoma metastasis to define the mechanisms underlying the metastasis of neuroblastoma cells in vivo. She is using novel forward and reverse genetic approaches to identify novel genes and pathways that are critical for this metastatic disease.
- Phosphatase signaling in tumorigenesis. An additional area of focus is understanding the role of aberrantly regulated phosphatases signaling, including the SHP2 and the PTPRD tyrosine phosphatases and their pathways, in malignant transformation and progression of neuroblastoma and different types of cancers.