Zhi Sheng recognized as Scholar of the Week

Zhi Sheng, Ph.D.

Zhi Sheng, Ph.D.

Zhi Sheng, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, was recognized as Scholar of the Week on the Virginia Tech research website on January 29.

The Office of the Vice President for Research gives the honor to Virginia Tech faculty members who are doing outstanding work in their fields. The goal of the program is to recognize individuals while also telling people about research and scholarly activities at the university.

Sheng researches glioblastoma, a lethal and incurable brain cancer. Current treatments of chemotherapies and surgery often fail to keep the cancerous cells at bay, resulting in a median survival rate of just over a year for glioblastoma patients. Sheng works to understand the cancer and to develop new therapeutic interventions.

Sheng has made headway with an innovative strategy using the cell’s ability to self-digest, known as autophagy, as well as programmed cell death, known as apoptosis. Both characteristics are often misregulated in cancer stem cells and contribute to learned drug resistance. Sheng has contributed to the discovery of a molecular mechanism that affects autophagy and apoptosis and led to further understanding of why cancer cells endure such rigorous treatments.