UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Mei Zhang, PhD

Mei Zhang
Assistant Professor of Developmental Biology


Contact Information

Contact Information

Magee-Womens Research Institute
204 Craft Avenue, A410
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-641-7740
Email: meizhang@pitt.edu
Fax: 412-641-2458

Administrative Assistant
Name: Maria Harper
Phone: 412-641-7724
Email: harperm2@mail.magee.edu
Fax: 412-641-2458

Research Keywords

Research Keywords

Breast cancer; tumor heterogeneity; cancer stem cells, signaling pathways

Research Summary

Research Summary

Dr. Zhang's lab is interested in studying the intratumoral heterogeneity of breast cancer, the interactions between cancer stem cells with the local microenvironment, and characterizing the spatial distribution and behaviors of cancer stem cells during tumor growth using both mouse models and patient-derived xenograft models of breast cancer.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  • Chang CH, Zhang M, Rajapakshe K, Coarfa C, Edwards D, Huang S, Rosen JM. Mammary stem cells and tumor-initiating cells are more resistant to apoptosis and exhibit increased DNA repair activity in response to DNA damage. Stem Cell Reports. 2015 Aug 19. pii: S2213-6711(15)00215-5. PubMed Link
  • Zhang M, Tsimelzon A, Chang CH, Fan C, Wolff A, Perou CM, Hilsenbeck SG, Rosen JM. Intratumoral heterogeneity in a Trp53-null mouse model of human breast cancer. Cancer Discov. 2015 May;5(5):520-33. PubMed Link
  • Wei W, Tweardy DJ, Zhang M, Zhang X, Landua J, Petrovic I, Bu W, Roarty K, Hilsenbeck SG, Rosen JM, Lewis MT. STAT3 signaling is activated preferentially in tumor-initiating cells in claudin-low models of human breast cancer. Stem Cells. 2014 Oct;32(10):2571-82. PubMed Link
  • Vadakkan TJ, Landua JD, Bu W, Wei W, Li FH, Wong STC, Dickinson ME, Rosen JM, Lewis MT, and Zhang M. Wnt-responsive cancer stem cells are located close to distorted blood vessels, and not in hypoxic regions in a p53 null mouse model of human breast cancer. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Jul;3(7):857-66. PubMed Link
    Shared Resources Used: CF
  • Zhang M and Rosen JM. Cancer Stem Cells. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine (R.A. Meyers, ed.), Wiley-VCH Publishers, New York, 2012, Volume 2, 603-625.
  • Herschkowitz JI, Zhao W, Zhang M, Murrow GW, Edwards D, Knezevic J, Greene SB, Hilsenbeck SG, Mani SA, Medina D, Perou CM, and Rosen JM. Comparative oncogenomics identifies breast tumors enriched in functional cancer stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Feb 21;109(8):2778-83. PubMed Link
  • Atkinson RL, Zhang M, Peddibhotla S, Contreras A, Diagaradjane P, Krishnan P, Hilsenbeck S, Woodward W, Chang JC, Rosen JM. Thermal enhancement with optically activated gold nanoshells sensitizes breast cancer stem cells to radiation therapy. Sci. Transl. Med. 2010: 2, 55ra79. PubMed Link
  • Zhang M, Atkinson RL, and Rosen JM. Selective targeting of radiation-resistant tumor-initiating cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 23;107(8):3522-7. PubMed Link
  • Zhang M, Behbod F, Atkinson RL, Landis MD, Kittrell F, Edwards D, Medina D, Tsimelzon A, Hilsenbeck S, Green J, Michalowska AM, Rosen JM. Identification of tumor-initiating cells in a p53-null mouse model of breast cancer. Cancer Res. 2008;68(12):4674-4682. PubMed Link
  • Zhang M and Rosen JM. Stem cells in the etiology and treatment of cancer. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2006 Feb;16(1):60-64. PubMed Link

See all pubs (Pubmed)

Shared Resource Usage

Shared Resource Usage

  • Animal Facility
  • Biostatistics Facility
  • Cytometry Facility
  • In Vivo Imaging Facility

Department Website









Last modified: 9/9/15