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Teaching Staff

Professor ZHENG Chaogu

Professor ZHENG Chaogu

Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, HKU

BSc(USTC); MSc(IBP, CAS); PhD(Columbia)

  • 3917 3349
  • 2858 3477
  • KBSB 4S13

Research Interests

  • Neuronal cell fate determination and subtype differentiation
  • The mechanisms of synaptogenesis and neural circuit assembly
  • Neurite growth and axon regeneration
  • Regulation of microtubule dynamics
  • Modeling of neurodegenerative diseases
  • Genomic change in the evolution of neuronal diversity
  • Development of new tools in genetic engineering

Current Research

  • The effects of tubulin posttranslational modification on neurite growth and regeneration of the touch receptor neurons in C. elegans
  • Regulation of neurite development by ubiquitination, HSP90 chaperone, and alternative mRNA splicing.
  • Regulation of terminal differentiation by Hox genes
  • Modeling of neurodegenerative diseases using C. elegans neurons
  • Comparative genomics of nerve system evolution among nematodes

Research Team

Dr. Chenyin Wang, postdoctoral research fellow

Dr. Fuqiang Ma, postdoctoral research fellow

Ms. Wing Yan Leung, Final year project student


  • Columbia University

Publications and News

  1. Zheng, C., Jin, F.Q., Trippe, B.L., Wu, J., and Chalfie, M. Inhibition of cell fate repressors secures the differentiation of the touch receptor neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans. Development. (in press)
  2. Shi, L.#, Zheng, C.#, Shen, Y., Chen, Z., Silveira, E.S., Zhang, L., Liu, C., De Sena-Tomas, C., Targoff, K., and Min, W. Optical Imaging of Metabolic Dynamics in Animals. Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 6;9(1):2995. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05401-3. (# co-first author)
  3. Zheng, C., Diaz-Cuadros, M., Jao, S.L., Nguyen, K.C., Hall, D.H., and Chalfie, M. Distinct effects of tubulin isotype mutations on neurite growth in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mol Biol Cell. 2017 Oct 15;28(21):2786-2801 (Highlights from MBoC Selection)
  4. Zheng, C., Diaz-Cuadros, M., and Chalfie, M. GEFs and Rac GTPases control directional specificity of neurite extension along the anterior-posterior axis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jun 21;113(25):6973-8.
  5. Zheng, C. Chalfie, M. Securing Neuronal Cell Fate in C. elegans. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2016;116:167-80 (Invited review)
  6. Zheng, C., Diaz-Cuadros, M., Chalfie, M. Hox Genes Promote Neuronal Subtype Diversification through Posterior Induction in Caenorhabditis elegans.  Neuron. 2015 Nov 4;88(3):514-27. (Previewed by Philippidou and Dasen)
  7. Zheng, C., Jin, F.Q., Chalfie, M. Hox Proteins Act as Transcriptional Guarantors to Ensure Terminal Differentiation. Cell Rep. 2015 Nov 17;13(7):1343-52. (Recommended to F1000 prime)
  8. Zheng, C., Diaz-Cuadros, M., Chalfie, M. Dishevelled attenuates the repelling activity of Wnt signaling during neurite outgrowth in Caenorhabditis elegans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
  9. Zheng, C., Karimzadegan, S., Chiang, V., Chalfie, M. Histone methylation restrains the expression of subtype-specific genes during terminal neuronal differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Genet. 2013 Dec;9(12):e1004017

Awards and Honours

  • 2016 Peter Sajovic Memorial Prize, Columbia University
  • 2015 Kavli Award for Distinguished Research in Neuroscience, Columbia University