Dr. Zhizhong Zheng, Phostdoctoral Researcher






My research primarily focuses on the evolution of the PYHIN (IFI200/HIN-200) gene family across mammals and its potential association with mammalian lifespan. Proteins of the mammalian PYHIN family are involved in defence against infection through recognition of foreign DNA and induction of inflammasomes and interferons. PYHIN genes were lost entirely in all bats, a mammalian lineage that the species within are generally long-lived, while there are a lot of them in mouse, which is short-lived. By investigating the PYHIN family composition and their expression pattern in different mammalian lineages and by in vitro functional assays, I’m trying to provide some evidences supporting this implication.