Shichun Zheng MD


Assistant Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery




Dr. Zheng's research interests have been focused on molecular cancer epidemiology, including genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in human cancers, as well as development of new research approaches for molecular epidemiological studies of cancer in different populations.

In cancer cells, DNA methylation patterns are severely dysregulated and characterized by overall hypomethylation and paradoxical CpG island hypermethylation, which is associated with transcriptional inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. Dr. Zheng has been applying not only commonly used techniques, such as methylation-specific PCR and quantitative methylation-specific PCR, but also a large-scale integrated approach, involving chromatin immunoprecipitation microarray (ChIP-chip), to gain insight into the relative contribution of this epigenetic mechanism in the formation of human brain tumors. In addition to epigenetic mechanisms, Dr. Zheng has been utilizing expression microarray (gene chip) to study gene expression profile and its relationship with histological classes, age, survival, and other factors.

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1974-77: General Medicine, Medical College, Xian, China
1984-87: Human Parasitology, Medical University, Xian, China
1987-1991: Assistant Professor of Medicine, Xian Medical University, China
1991-1992: Associate Professor of Medicince, Xian Medical University, China
1992-1996: Postgraduate Researcher, UCSF
1996-1998: Assistant Specialist, UCSF
1998-2000: Associate Specialist, UCSF
2000-2005: Specialist, UCSF

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

1982-1992: Society of Immunology, China
1988-1992: Society of Medical Parasitology, China
1990-1992: Vice Director, Department of Medical Parasitology, Xian Medical University
1990-1992: Secretary General, Society of Parasitology, Shaanxi Province
1998-present: American Association of Cancer Research

Selected Honors and Awards

1992-1994: Sir Run Run Shaw Scholarship

Selected Recent Publications

Zheng S, Houseman EA, Morrison Z, Wrensch MR, Patoka JS, Ramos C, Haas-Kogan DA, McBride S, Marsit CJ, Christensen BC, Nelson HH, Stokoe D, Wiemels JL, Chang SM, Prados MD, Tihan T, Vandenberg SR, Kelsey KT, Berger MS, Wiencke JK. DNA hypermethylation profiles associated with glioma subtypes and EZH2 and IGFBP2 mRNA expression. Neuro Oncol 2011 Mar;13(3):280-9.

Christensen BC, Smith AA, Zheng S, Koestler DC, Houseman EA, Marsit CJ, Wiemels JL, Nelson HH, Karagas MR, Wrensch MR, Kelsey KT, Wiencke JK. DNA methylation, isocitrate dehydrogenase mutation, and survival in glioma. J Natl Cancer Inst 2011;103(2):143-53.

Marsit CJ, Houseman EA, Christensen BC, Gagne L, Wrensch MR, Nelson HH, Wiemels J, Zheng S, Wiencke JK, Andrew AS, Schned AR, Karagas MR, Kelsey KT. Identification of methylated genes associated with aggressive bladder cancer. PLoS One 2010;5(8):e12334.

Diakos C, Zhong S, Xiao Y, Zhou M, Vasconcelos GM, Krapf G, Yeh RF, Zheng S, Kang M, Wiencke JK, Pombo-de-Oliveira MS, Panzer-Grümayer R, Wiemels JL. TEL-AML1 regulation of survivin and apoptosis via miRNA-494 and miRNA-320a. Blood 2010;116(23):4885-93.

Christensen BC, Kelsey KT, Zheng S, Houseman EA, Marsit CJ, Wrensch MR, Wiemels JL, Nelson HH, Karagas MR, Kushi LH, Kwan ML, Wiencke JK. Breast cancer DNA methylation profiles are associated with tumor size and alcohol and folate intake. PLoS Genet 2010;6(7):e1001043.

McBride SM, Perez DA, Polley MY, Vandenberg SR, Smith JS, Zheng S, Lamborn KR, Wiencke JK, Chang SM, Prados MD, Berger MS, Stokoe D, Haas-Kogan DA. Activation of PI3K/mTOR pathway occurs in most adult low-grade gliomas and predicts patient survival. J Neurooncol 2010;97(1):33-40.

Christensen BC, Houseman EA, Marsit CJ, Zheng S, Wrensch MR, Wiemels JL, Nelson HH, Karagas MR, Padbury JF, Bueno R, Sugarbaker DJ, Yeh RF, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT. Aging and environmental exposures alter tissue-specific DNA methylation dependent upon CpG island context. PLoS Genet 2009;5(8):e1000602.

Christensen BC, Marsit CJ, Houseman EA, Godleski JJ, Longacker JL, Zheng S, Yeh RF, Wrensch MR, Wiemels JL, Karagas MR, Bueno R, Sugarbaker DJ, Nelson HH, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT. Differentiation of lung adenocarcinoma, pleural mesothelioma, and nonmalignant pulmonary tissues using DNA methylation profiles. Cancer Res 2009;69(15):6315-21.

Houseman EA, Christensen BC, Karagas MR, Wrensch MR, Nelson HH, Wiemels JL, Zheng S, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT, Marsit CJ. Copy number variation has little impact on bead-array-based measures of DNA methylation. Bioinformatics 2009;25(16):1999-2005.

Marsit CJ, Christensen BC, Houseman EA, Karagas MR, Wrensch MR, Yeh RF, Nelson HH, Wiemels JL, Zheng S, Posner MR, McClean MD, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT. Epigenetic profiling reveals etiologically distinct patterns of DNA methylation in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Carcinogenesis 2009;30(3):416-22.

Christensen BC, Houseman EA, Godleski JJ, Marsit CJ, Longacker JL, Roelofs CR, Karagas MR, Wrensch MR, Yeh RF, Nelson HH, Wiemels JL, Zheng S, Wiencke JK, Bueno R, Sugarbaker DJ, Kelsey KT. Epigenetic profiles distinguish pleural mesothelioma from normal pleura and predict lung asbestos burden and clinical outcome. Cancer Res 2009;69(1):227-34.

Houseman EA, Christensen BC, Yeh RF, Marsit CJ, Karagas MR, Wrensch M, Nelson HH, Wiemels J, Zheng S, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT. Model-based clustering of DNA methylation array data: a recursive-partitioning algorithm for high-dimensional data arising as a mixture of beta distributions. BMC Bioinformatics 2008 Sep 9;9:365.
Kwan ML, Ambrosone CB, Lee MM, Barlow J, Krathwohl SE, Ergas IJ, Ashley CH, Bittner JR, Darbinian J, Stronach K, Caan BJ, Davis W, Kutner SE, Quesenberry CP, Somkin CP, Sternfeld B, Wiencke JK, Zheng S, Kushi LH. The Pathways Study: a prospective study of breast cancer survivorship within Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Cancer Causes Control 2008;19(10):1065-76.
Wiencke JK, Zheng S, Morrison Z, Yeh RF. Differentially expressed genes are marked by histone 3 lysine 9 trimethylation in human cancer cells. Oncogene 2008;27(17):2412-21.
Wiencke JK, Zheng S, Jelluma N, Tihan T, Vandenberg S, Tamguney T, Baumber R, Parsons R, Lamborn KR, Berger MS, Wrensch MR, Haas-Kogan DA, Stokoe D. Methylation of the PTEN promoter defines low-grade gliomas and secondary glioblastoma. Neuro Oncol 2007;9(3):271-9.
Marsit CJ, Zheng S, Aldape K, Hinds PW, Nelson HH, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT. PTEN expression in non-small-cell lung cancer: evaluating its relation to tumor characteristics, allelic loss, and epigenetic alteration. Hum Pathol 2005;36(7):768-76.
Wiemels JL, Zhang Y, Chang J, Zheng S, Metayer C, Zhang L, Smith MT, Ma X, Selvin S, Buffler PA, Wiencke JK. RAS mutation is associated with hyperdiploidy and parental characteristics in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia 2005;19(3):415-9.
Smith MT, McHale CM, Wiemels JL, Zhang L, Wiencke JK, Zheng S, Gunn L, Skibola CF, Ma X, Buffler PA. Molecular biomarkers for the study of childhood leukemia. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2005;206(2):237-45.