Dr. Wei Zhang

Associate Professor
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Phone number: 
SSC 2243
SSC 2206







The research interests in my lab are in the field of ubiquitin signaling, protein engineering, targeted protein degradation, genome stability, and cancer therapeutics. In the past years, my lab has been working on development of synthetic biology approaches to manipulate human cell signal transduction cascades to identify new molecular mechanisms and innovative therapeutic strategies.

 We have ~43 papers in high-impact journals. In University of Guelph, in early 2024 we published at ~21 papers. We greatly appreciate the following agencies provided funding support to this laboratory: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and the Early Researcher Awards program funded by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges & Universities.

  • BSc – School of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University
  • PhD – Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto
  • Postdoctoral Fellow - The Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto
  • Development of intracellular probes to delineate biochemical mechanisms of deubiquitinases
  • Engineering post-translational modifications to probe and rewire cell signaling for cancer therapeutics
  • Targeted protein degradation and stabilization

Complete list of publication and citations

name in bold: Zhang lab members; #: Co-first authors; *Corresponding authors

Research Articles:

  • Tessier TM#, Chowdhury A#, Stekel Z, Fux J, Sartori MA, Teyra A, Jarvik A, Chung A, Kurinov A, Sicheri F, Sidhu SS, Singer AU*, Zhang W*. (2024) Structural and functional validation of a highly specific Smurf2 inhibitor. Protein Science 33, e4885. https://doi.org/10.1002/pro.4885
  • Liu Q#, Mallette E#, Zheng, H, Zhang W*. (2023) Development of an OTUD1 ubiquitin variant inhibitor. Biochemical Journal 480,1317-1330.
  • Aminu B#, Fux J#, Mallette E, Petersen N, Zhang W*. (2022) Targeted Degradation of 53BP1 Using Ubiquitin Variant Induced Proximity. Biomolecules 12, 479. [Editor’s Choice]
  • Guo Y#, Liu Q#, Mallette E#, Caba C, Hou F, Fux J, LaPlante G, Dong A, Zhang Q, Zheng H, Tong Y*, Zhang W*. (2021) Structural and functional characterization of ubiquitin variant inhibitors for the JAMM-family deubiquitinases STAMBP and STAMBPL1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 297, 101107.

Book Chapter:

  • Liu Q, LaPlante G, Zhang W*. (2022) Targeting the Ubiquitination Cascade for Drug Discovery. Protein Homeostasis in Drug Discovery: A Chemical Biology Perspective. 179-225. John Wiley & Sons. [Edited by Drs. Milka Kostic & Lyn H. Jones]


  • Liang CT#, Roscow O#, Zhang W*. (2021) Recent developments in engineering protein-protein interactions using phage display. Protein Engineering, Design and Selection 34, 1-13.
  • LeBlanc N#, Mallette E#, Zhang W*. (2021) Targeted modulation of E3 ligases using engineered ubiquitin variants. The FEBS Journal 288, 2143-2165.

Graduate students:

  • Qi Liu (PhD)
  • Nathaniel Petersen (MSc)


  • Olivia Roscow
  • Julia Fux

Undergraduate courses:

BIOC*4050: Protein & Nucleic Acid Structure

MBG*2040: Foundations in Molecular Biology and Genetics

MCB*4500/4510: Research Project in Molecular & Cellular Biology

MCB*4600: Topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology

Graduate courses:

MCB*6500: MSc Research Topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology

MCB*7500: PhD Research Topics in Molecular & Cellular Biology