Dr. Yuesheng Zhang Yuesheng Zhang, MD, PhD

Yuesheng Zhang


Special Interests:

Cancer chemoprevention Chemopreventive activity and mechanism of action of dietary isothiocyanates Molecular basis of gender disparity in bladder cancer risk Novel functions of prolidase Experimental therapeutics of EGFR- and/or HER2-positive cancer Plasma-based protein degradation and intervention Mechanism of p53 regulation

About Yuesheng Zhang


Dr. Yuesheng Zhang joined the faculty of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2003 and has been a Professor of Oncology since 2007. He has also been a Professor of the Roswell Park Graduate Division, the State University of New York Graduate College since 2003. He came to Roswell Park from the University of Arizona, Arizona Cancer Center, where he served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Zhang earned his M.D. in 1984 and M.S. in 1988 from Zhejiang University School of Medicine (Formerly Zhejiang Medical University, Hangzhou, China), and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences in 1996 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, USA), where he also completed postdoctoral fellowship and served as a junior faculty member.

Dr. Zhang is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Dr. Zhang is also a member of the editorial boards of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, and Journal of Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis. He has served and continues to serve on many NIH study sections and AACR grant review panels.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Member and Professor of Oncology
  • Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Department of Cancer Prevention and Control
  • Member, Developmental Therapeutics Program
  • Professor, Program of Molecular Pharmacology and Cancer Therapeutics


Education and Training:

  • 1996 - PhD - Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • 1988 - MS - Pathophysiology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
  • 1984 - MD - Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China


  • Postdoctoral Fellow - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
  • Editorial Board Member, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
  • Editorial Board Member, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis


Research Overview:

Dr. Zhang has had a long standing interest in naturally occurring isothiocyanates as cancer chemopreventive agents, bladder cancer chemoprevention, and the molecular basis of gender disparity in bladder cancer risk. While these studies are continuing in Dr. Zhang’s lab, his group also recently discovered that human prolidase is an inhibitory ligand of EGFR (ErbB1) and HER2 (ErbB2). EGFR and HER2 are oncogenic cell surface receptor tyrosine kinases and play important roles in various cancers. Studies to further understand the interaction of prolidase with EGFR and HER2 and to assess the cancer therapeutic activity of recombinant human prolidase are ongoing. Dr. Zhang’s lab recently discovered that intracellular prolidase is an essential regulator of p53 tumor suppressor. Studies to better understand prolidase regulation of p53 and its role in cancer prevention and treatment is continuing. Moreover, Dr. Zhang’s lab is also continuing research on a recently discovered a protein degradation pathway in the plasma, termed the FXII-FVII pathway, which may be highly important for development of certain disease biomarkers and protein therapeutics.

Dr. Zhang has authored or co-authored over 130 journal articles, book chapters and meeting abstracts. As of January 2018, his papers have been cited over 12,100 times.

Featured on Cancer Talk


Full Publications list on PubMed
  • Veeranki OL, Bhattacharya A, Marshall JR, Zhang Y. Organ-specific exposure and response to sulforaphane, a key chemopreventive ingredient in broccoli: implications for cancer prevention. British Journal of Nutrition 2013; 109: 25-32.
  • Yang L, Li Y, Ding Y, Choi KS, Kazim AL, Zhang Y. Prolidase directly binds and activates epidermal growth factor receptor and stimulates downstream signaling. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2013; 288: 2365-2375.
  • Guo Y, Zhang Y, Wen D, Duan W, An T, Shi P, Wang J, Li Z, Chen X, Li C. The modest impact of transcription factor Nrf2 on the course of disease in an ALS animal model. Laboratory Investigation 2013; 93: 825-833.
  • Zhang Y. Understanding the gender disparity in bladder cancer risk: The impact of sex hormones and liver on bladder susceptibility to carcinogens. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part C 2013; 31: 287-304.
  • Bhattacharya A, Li Y, Shi Y, Zhang Y. Enhanced inhibition of urinary bladder cancer growth and muscle invasion by allyl isothiocyanate and celecoxib in combination. Carcinogenesis 2013; 34: 2593-2599.
  • Tang L, Paonessa JD, Zhang Y, Ambrosone CB, McCann SE. Total isothiocyanate yield from raw cruciferous vegetables commonly consumed in the United States. Journal of Functional Foods 2013; 5: 1996-2001.
  • Zucker S, Fink E, Bagati A, Mannava S, Bianchi-Smiraglia A, Bogner P, Wawrzyniak JA, Foley C, Leonova KI, Grimm M, Moparthy K, Ionov Y, Wang J, Liu S, Sexton S, Kandel ES, Bakin A, Zhang Y, Kaminski N, Segal B, Nikiforov M. Nrf2 amplifies oxidative stress via induction of Klf9. Molecular Cell 2014; 53: 916-928.
  • Yang L, Li Y, Zhang Y. Identification of prolidase as a high affinity ligand of the ErbB2 receptor and its regulation of ErbB2 signaling and cell growth. Cell Death & Disease 2014; 5: e1211.
  • Bhattacharya A, Klaene JJ. Li Y, Paonessa JD, Stablewski AB, Vouros P, Zhang Y. The inverse relationship between bladder and liver in 4-aminobiphenyl-induced DNA damage. Oncotarget 2015; 6: 836-845.
  • Veeranki OL, Bhattacharya A, Tang L, Marshall JR, Zhang Y. Cruciferous vegetables, isothiocyanates, and prevention of bladder cancer. Current Pharmacology Reports 2015; 1: 272-282.
  • Yang L, Li Y, Bhattacharya A, Zhang Y. Inhibition of ERBB2-overexpressing tumors by recombinant human prolidase and its enzymatically inactive mutant. EBioMedicine 2015; 2: 396-405.
  • Ling X, Westover D, Cao F, Cao S, He X, Kim HR, Zhang Y, Chan DC, Li F. Synergistic effect of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) on cisplatin efficacy in vitro and in vivo. American Journal of Cancer Research 2015; 5: 2516-2530.
  • Bhattacharya A, Zhang Y. Role of homeopathy in integrative cancer care. Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis 2015; 6: e118.
  • Yang L, Li Y, Bhattacharya A, Zhang Y. A plasma proteolysis pathway comprising blood coagulation proteases. Oncotarget 2016; 7: 40919-40938.
  • Yang L, Li Y, Bhattacharya A, Zhang Y. Dual inhibition of ErbB1 and ErbB2 in cancer by recombinant human prolidase mutant hPEPD-G278D. Oncotarget 2016; 7: 42340-42352.
  • Yang L, Li Y, Bhattacharya A, Zhang Y. PEPD is a pivotal regulator of p53 tumor suppressor. Nature Communications 8: 2052: 2017; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02097-9.
  • Yang L, Bhattacharya A, Li Y, Zhang Y. Anticoagulants inhibit proteolytic clearance of plasma amyloid beta. Oncotarget 2017; https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23718.