Headshot of Ping Zhuang

Zhengping Zhuang, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Neuro-Oncology Branch


Dr. Zhuang is a research scientist leading the Cancer Stem Cell Biology Program within the NCI Center for Cancer Research’s Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB). His program uses critical patient observations to drive bench research, which is then translated for clinical use. He has investigated the role of hypoxia signaling in tumor pathophysiology throughout his career, which led him to discover a unique neuroendocrine tumor syndrome caused by a somatic gain-of-function mutation in the genes encoding hypoxia-inducible factor 2α (HIF2α), causing Pacak-Zhuang syndrome. 

This model has helped him explore the role of hypoxia signaling in tumor pathophysiology, including brain tumors. His lab is currently investigating hypoxia signaling, IDH mutations, and p53 mutations in brain tumor development and progression—using patient-derived stem cell and neuroprogenitor cell in vitro and in vivo models. His lab is also applying these findings to the development of novel therapeutic agents, including immunomodulating agents and CAR-T cell therapies for brain tumors. Some of these agents have already entered clinical trials at the NOB.

> Explore the NOB's Research Programs

Areas of Expertise

1) Cancer biology 2) Cancer genetics 3) Translational research 4) Astrocytoma 5) Hypoxia-inducible factor 2 6) Neuro-oncology

Information for Patients

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Selected Key Publications

Transgenic Mouse Model of Polycythemia, Paraganglioma, and Somatostatinoma with Epas1 Gain-of-function Mutation.

Wang H., Cui J., Yang C., Rosenblum J., Zhang Q., Song Q., Pang Y., Fang F., Sun M., Dmitriev P., Gilbert M.R., Eisenhofer G., Pacak K., Zhuang Z
Cancers. 11(5): 667, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Targeting Hypoxia Downstream Signaling Protein, CAIX, for CAR-T Cell Therapy against Glioblastoma.

Cui J., Zhang Q., Song Q., Wang H., Dmitriev P., Sun M., Indig I., Rosenblum J., Yang K., Yao Y., Gilbert M.R., Zhuang Z.
Neuro-Oncology. 21(11): 1436-46, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Pharmacologic inhibition of protein photastase-2A, with novel inhibitor LB-100, achieves durable immune-mediated antitumor activity when combined with PD-1 blockade.

Ho W.S., Wang H., Maggio D., Kovach J.S., Zhang Q., Song Q., Marincola F.M., Heiss J.D., Gilbert M.R., Lu R., Zhuang Z.
Nature Communications. 9(1): 2126, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

β-catenin signaling initiates the activation of astrocytes and its dysregulation contributes to the pathogenesis of astrocytomas

Yang C, Iyer RR, Yu AC, Yong RL, Park DM, Weil RJ, Ikejiri B, Brady RO, Lonser RR, and Zhuang Z.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109(18): 6963-8, 2012. [ Journal Article ]

Somatic HIF2A gain-of-function mutations in paraganglioma with polycythemia

Zhuang Z, Yang C, Lorenzo F, Merino M, Fojo T, Kebebew E, Popovic V, Stratakis CA, Prchal JT, and Pacak K.
New Engl J Med. 367(10): 922-30, 2012. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

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Special Volunteer
Anthony Cappadona
Special Volunteer
Vikram Chandrashekhar
Yasemin Cole
Research Fellow
Tara Doucet-O'Hare, Ph.D.
Iris Indig
Timothy Kung
Special Volunteer
Rogelio Medina, M.D.
Predoctoral Fellow (MRSP)
Halle Ronk
Special Volunteer
Jared Rosenblum, M.D.
Staff Scientist
Herui Wang, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Juan Ye, Ph.D.
Special Volunteer
David Zhao, M.D.