Zhipeng Lu

Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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RNA molecules fold into structures and intermolecular interactions to execute a second layer of genetic instructions beyond encoding proteins. Functions of RNA structures are pervasive and diverse, including many levels of gene regulation, guiding, scaffolding and catalysis. RNA molecules are directly involved in a variety of human diseases, such as genetic disorders resulting from mutations in noncoding RNAs, RNA binding proteins, and infections caused by RNA viruses (like HIV, HCV, Ebola, etc.). My research combines computational, chemical and biological approaches, and aims to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of RNA machines. These studies will lead to new understanding and therapies targeting human diseases.


  • NHGRI: K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award, 2017-2022
  • RNA Society: RNA Society Scaringe Award, 2017-2017
  • Stanford University: Jump Start Award for Excellence in Research, 2016-2017
  • Damon Runyon Foundation, Sohn Foundation: Damon Runyon-Sohn Fellowship, 2015-2017
  • UNC Chapel Hill: Graduate Student Transportation Grant, 2013-2013
  • Siyuan Foundation, HK, China: Siyuan Scholarship, 2006-2007
  • Fudan University: People’s Scholarship, 2005-2008


  • Structural modularity of the XIST ribonucleoprotein complex Nat Commun. 2020 12 02; 11(1):6163. . View in PubMed
  • RISE: a database of RNA interactome from sequencing experiments Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 01 04; 46(D1):D194-D201. . View in PubMed
  • PARIS: Psoralen Analysis of RNA Interactions and Structures with High Throughput and Resolution Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1649:59-84. . View in PubMed
  • Mechanistic insights in X-chromosome inactivation Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 Nov 05; 372(1733). . View in PubMed
  • RNA Duplex Map in Living Cells Reveals Higher-Order Transcriptome Structure Cell. 2016 May 19; 165(5):1267-1279. . View in PubMed
  • Decoding the RNA structurome Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2016 Feb; 36:142-8. . View in PubMed
  • Metazoan tRNA introns generate stable circular RNAs in vivo RNA. 2015 Sep; 21(9):1554-65. . View in PubMed
  • Developmental analysis of spliceosomal snRNA isoform expression G3 (Bethesda). 2014 Nov 21; 5(1):103-10. . View in PubMed
  • Vicinal: a method for the determination of ncRNA ends using chimeric reads from RNA-seq experiments Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 May; 42(9):e79. . View in PubMed
  • RIP-seq analysis of eukaryotic Sm proteins identifies three major categories of Sm-containing ribonucleoproteins Genome Biol. 2014 Jan 07; 15(1):R7. . View in PubMed
  • Developmental arrest of Drosophila survival motor neuron (Smn) mutants accounts for differences in expression of minor intron-containing genes RNA. 2013 Nov; 19(11):1510-6. . View in PubMed
  • REV3L confers chemoresistance to cisplatin in human gliomas: the potential of its RNAi for synergistic therapy Neuro Oncol. 2009 Dec; 11(6):790-802. . View in PubMed
  • Hypermethylation of hepatic Gck promoter in ageing rats contributes to diabetogenic potential Diabetologia. 2008 Aug; 51(8):1525-33. . View in PubMed

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