Zhu Lab:Lab Members

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Lixinzhu.jpg PI: Lixin ZHU Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Director, Research Laboratory, Digestive Disease and Nutrition Center,

Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York at Buffalo,

3435 Main Street, 422 BRB, Buffalo, NY14214

(716) 829-2191 (Office), (716) 829-2192 (Lab), (716) 829-3585 (Fax)

[lixinzhu@buffalo.edu] Faculty web page Lab web page

He is responsible for the overall administration and direction of all the research projects.

After graduation from Nankai University, a top research university in China, he was accepted into the graduate program in Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences.With his mentors, Professors Guang-Di Li and Yuan Wang, he studied the molecular virology of hepatitis C and developed attenuated live-viral vaccines against hepatitis C, using the modified vaccinia virus Ankara stain as the vector. In this collaborative work, he, Professor Wang’s group and Dr. Gerd Sutter’s group (then in the Institute for Molecular Virology, GSF, Munich, Germany) demonstrated that the invented vaccines are able to elicit protective humoral and cellular immune responses targeting hepatitis C antigens in a murine model.

His postdoc research was all about gastric parietal cell. His major work was focused on a phosphoprotein called ezrin. This protein is discovered in parietal cell and other cells almost simultaneously. Using FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) technique, he studied ezrin conformation in a relatively native state. With his mentor Dr. John G. Forte (University of California, Berkeley), he demonstrated how ezrin phosphorylation regulates the conformation and activity of this protein and the effects on parietal cell acid secretion. His discovery that ezrin phosphorylation is underwent fast turnover may shed light on similar phosphorylation events in different model systems. Besides this, he also participated in the studies of parietal cell membrane trafficking, in collaboration with Dr. Serhan Karvar (University of Southern California).

His current research interests are expanded from gastric parietal cell into the whole GI tract. Together with the dedicated M.D. researchers (Dr. R. Baker, Dr. S. Baker, Dr. H. Hashmi, Dr. D. Gelfond) in DDNC, he has the ambitions to identify biomarkers for NASH and other GI diseases, to better understand the pathophysiology of these diseases for better diagnosis and treatments.


1995,9-2001,8 Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Ph. D. obtained in August 2001.

Mentor: Prof. Guangdi Li

Projects: Molecular biology of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Development of an evaluation system for HCV vaccine. Development of a live viral vaccine against HCV.

1991,9-1995,7 Department of biochemistry and molecular biology, Nankai University, China

bachelor’s degree of science, June, 1995. Graduated with honor.

Mentor: Professor Shufang Wang

Project: Effect of agrobacterium tumefacients elicitors on the accumulation of indole alkaloids in catharanthus roseus calli

Working experience

2009,2- Assistant professor, Director of GI Laboratory, Digestive Disease and Nutrition Center, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

2003,7-2009,1 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of molecular and cell biology,

University of California, Berkeley.

Mentor: Prof. John G. Forte

Projects: Ezrin function in gastric parietal cells, renal proximal tubule cells and small intestine enterocytes: phosphorylation regulation on ezrin conformation and activity. SNARE proteins in gastric parietal cells.

2002,8-2003,7 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of molecular and cell biology,

University of California, Berkeley.

Mentor: Prof. Hsiao-Ping Moore

Project: The constitutive-like secretory pathway of protein secretion from immature secretory granule in pituitary cells.

2001,8-2002,8 Assistant researcher, Shanghai Institute of biochemistry and cell biology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Mentor: Prof. Yuan Wang

Projects: Development of a DNA vaccine against HCV. Induction of apoptosis by HCV E2.

1999,5-2000,10 Visiting scientist, Institute of Molecular Virology, National research center of environment and health, Munich, Germany.

PI: Dr. Gerd Sutter

Project: Development of a live viral vaccine against HCV.

Honors and awards

2011 Professional Development Award, University at Buffalo.

2010-2011 Discovery Seminar Course Award, University at Buffalo.

2010- Editorial board member, the Journal of Biological Medicine.

2009- Pre-reviewer, Editorial board member, the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

2008 Takeda Research Award, the American Physiological Society.

2007-2008 Science News Editor, the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

1999-2000 Fellowship for visiting scholars, from the International Bureau of the BMBF, Germany.

1995-2001 Fellowship from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

1991-1992 First-class scholarship for excellent students, Nankai University.


2010 - , Development of an animal model for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and the use thereof, Peter and Tommy Fund, Inc. (Role: co-PI)

2009 - , Regulation of potassium channels in gastric parietal cells, SUNY at Buffalo start-up fund. (Role: PI)

2001 - 2002, Development of a recombinant vaccine against hepatitis C virus (HCV): recombinant MVA-HCV live vaccine and combinational rMVA and DNA vaccine, from the National 863 High Technology Project of China, No. 863-102-07-02-02. (Role: PI)


Ad hoc reviewers

  1. Fertility and Sterility (a journal)
  2. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (a journal)
  3. World Journal of Gastroenterology (a journal)
  4. Agence Nationale de la Recherche (The French National Research Agency)
  5. Neurochemistry International (a journal)
  6. PLoS One (a journal)
  7. Medical Science Monitor (a journal)


  1. Fellow selection committee
  2. PIF (Pediatric GI residency Program Information Form) review committee
  3. Research evaluation committee for ACGME (The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) site visit


1.The American Physiological Society, Gastrointestinal and Liver Section.

2.The American Society for Cell Biology.

3.The American Association for the Advancement of Science.

4.The American Gastroenterological Association.


Wensheng LIU, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from University at Buffalo. He completed his postdoctoral training in Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His research was focused on the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer. Dr. Liu joined our research laboratory in July, 2009. His research interests include membrane trafficking in the gastric parietal cells and the molecular pathogenesis and non-invasive biomarkers of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis.


Raza Patel, M.D., MPH

Dr. Patel received his medical degree and masters degree in public health from the University of Utah. He joined the pediatrics residency program at the University at Buffalo and completed residency in June 2008. After which he joined the pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition fellowship program at the University at Buffalo in July 2008. His research interests in GI include inflammatory bowel disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, obesity, and variety of liver diseases

Razan H Alkhouri.jpg

Razan H Alkhouri M.B.B.S.

Dr. Alkhouri received her medical degree from Jordan University for Science and Technology. She joined the pediatrics residency program at the University at Buffalo and completed residency in June 2009. After which she joined the pediatric gastroenterology hepatology and nutrition fellowship program at the University at Buffalo in July 2009. In 2009 Dr. Alkhouri won the Putnam Award for patient care. Her interests in GI include inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and variety of liver diseases. She is board certified in Pediatrics

Sonal Desai.jpg

Sonal Desai, MD

Dr. Desai received her BA in Biochemistry from the University of Texas in Austin, TX. Prior to attending medical school, she worked in the Research and Development Division of Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company and focused on developing surface modified microtiter plates. She received her MD from the American University of the Caribean School of Medicine in St. Maartin, Netherlands Antilles. In June 2009, she completed her Pediatric Residency from UMDNJ in Newark, NJ. She joined the University at Buffalo as a fellow in Pediatric Gastroenterolgy Hepatology and Nutition in July 2009.


Diana Alexandra Moya, MD

Dr. Moya received her Medical Degree from the Universidad de la Sabana in Bogota, Colombia in 2003. After practicing for a few years as an in-house physician in her home country, she moved to the USA. She completed her pediatrics training at the University of South Alabama Pediatric Residency Program in June 2010. Subsequently, she joined the Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition Fellowship Program at the University at Buffalo. During her residency training, Dr. Moya received the Robert O. Harris, III Award granted to the best second year resident in 2009. She also received the Core Curriculum Hall of Fame Award for excellent performance in Core Curriculum series for two consecutive years. Her interest in GI includes small bowel pathology and inflammatory bowel disease.


Zebunnissa Memon, MD

Dr. Memon obtained her medical degree from Dow Medical University, Karachi Pakistan. She completed her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, and then joined Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition fellowship program in July 2010. Her interests include nutrition, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and eosinophilic esophagitis.

Information about other people is coming soon.