Shenglong Zhang received his doctorate in organic chemistry from Columbia University and his post-doctoral training in Harvard University. He was among the first pioneers in developing the next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and spearheaded the development of an LC-MS-based direct RNA sequencing. The new RNA sequencing technology is completely independent of base complementarity and provides a general solution towards de novo RNA sequencing and modification analysis. Its application in RNA biology helps to answer the longstanding questions of: 1) how aberrant modifications in cellular RNA correlate with human diseases such as cancers, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders; 2) how RNA modification patterns and levels change in response to cellular environments and environmental stress. His studies also provide new perspectives into RNA epigenetic regulations and facilitate the identification of new RNA biomarkers and targets for drug discovery and personalized medicine.

Recent Projects and Research

  • Methodological development of the direct sequencing of RNAs and their modifications.
  • Development of facile and robust strategies for the synthetic preparation of non-canonical ribonucleosides and their incorporations into RNA.
  • Probing the breadth of regulatory roles of RNA modifications in gene expression.
  • Systems-level mapping of the roles of RNA modifications, and the modifications’ interactions with other cellular components, into a holistic regulatory network.
All Research Activities

Selected Publications

  • Björkbom A*, Lelyveld VS*, Zhang S*, Zhang W, Tam CP, Blain JC, Szostak JW. Bidirectional direct sequencing of non-canonical RNA by two-dimensional analysis of mass chromatograms. J Am Chem Soc., 2015, 137 (45): 14430-14438. | * Equal contribution
  • Zhang S, Blain JC, Zielinska D, Gryaznov SM, Szostak JW. Fast and Accurate Non-enzymatic Copying of an RNA-like Synthetic Genetic Polymer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA., 2013, 110 (44): 17732-17737. This work was highlighted in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA., 2013, 110 (44): 17601-17602; and was featured as a research highlight in Nature Chemistry, 2013, 5: 984-985
  • Zhang S, Zhang N, Blain JC, Szostak JW. Synthesis of N3´-P5´-linked Phosphoramidate DNA by Non-enzymatic Template-directed Primer Extension. J Am Chem Soc., 2013, 135 (2): 924-932.
  • Zhang N, Zhang S, Szostak JW. Activated Ribonucleotides Undergo a Sugar Pucker Switch upon Binding to a Single-Stranded RNA Template. J Am Chem Soc., 2012, 134 (8): 3691–3694.
  • Guo J, Xu N, Li Z, Zhang S, Wu J, Kim DH, Marma MS, Meng Q, Cao H, Li X, Shi S, Yu L, Kalachikov S, Russo JJ, Turro NJ, Ju J. Four-color DNA Sequencing with 3´-O-modified Nucleotide Reversible Terminators and Cleavable Fluorophore-modified Dideoxynucleotides. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA., 2008, 105 (27): 9145-9150.
  • >Wu J, Zhang S, Meng Q, Cao H, Li Z, Li X, Shi S, Kim DH, Bi L, Turro NJ, Ju J. 3´-O-labeled Reversible Terminators for Pyrosequencing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA., 2007, 104 (42): 16462-16467.

Courses Taught at New York Tech

  • CHEM 210 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 250 Organic Chemistry II
  • BIOL 425 Biomedical Research I

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