UNC Greensboro Center for Translational Biomedical Research


At the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Center for Translational Biomedical Research (CTBR) scientists are implementing pioneering biomedical discoveries to explore disease pathogenesis and to develop new methods for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. CTBR is co-directed by Zhanxiang Zhou, PhD, an expert in the study of alcohol-induced fatty liver disease (FLD), and Qibin Zhang, PhD, who studies lipids and type 1 diabetes.

Zhou and his research team study FLD and the effect of nutritional interventions on the prevention and treatment of the disease.  He’s uncovered organ-organ mechanisms and dietary deficiencies underlying the development of alcohol-induced FLD. He’s also discovered dietary interventions, such as zinc and niacin supplementation, that in animal models prevents and even reverses some of the liver damage caused by FLD.  Although the disease is very common, there are no treatments available.  Zhou is working to change that by developing therapeutic treatment options for alcohol-induced FLD that will one day receive approval  from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Zhang is developing ultrasensitive measurement capabilities for the analysis of lipids, which are the biomolecules underlying many human disorders such as cancer and diabetes. His National Institutes of Health funded research also focuses on the discovery of novel biomarkers for early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, a devastating disorder mostly occurring in children.

“Our goal is to build a first class research center focusing on early diagnosis and mechanistic understanding of human disease,” Zhang said. “We will develop novel methods for high throughout measurement of biomolecules, and apply these capabilities in clinical diagnosis and pathogenic understanding of human diseases for their early treatment and prevention.”


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