Yong Zhang

Yong Zhang

Assistant professor, tenure track

Member of:

    Current research

    Chronic and recurrent infections are often caused by multidrug tolerant bacteria, also called persisters, which cause a global healthcare crisis to be addressed urgently. The bacterial “alarmone” molecule (p)ppGpp has been shown to play central roles in persister cell formation. Deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms is anticipated to provide valuable insights which could be exploited to counteract persistent bacterial cells. However, the exact mechanisms operating remain largely unknown. We recently used the systems biology tool, DRaCALA, and identified one third more novel (p)ppGpp binding proteins in E. coli (1). Subsequent study (2) of one target protein PpnN deciphered a delicate molecular mechanism that  E. coli, and probably many other bacteria, use to balance bacterial proliferation and persistence. Studies of other identified (p)ppGpp target proteins are undergoing. For further details, visit our webpage.



    We have vacant PhD position in Microbial Stress Response, enzymology and antibiotic tolerance (persistence) (approx. stipend 420,000 DKK per annu). The projects involve biochemical and molecular (physiological) characterization of proteins/enzymes in bacterial stress and antibiotic tolerance. The candidate will be trained with multidiscriplinary tools including molecular biology, biochemistry, proteomics, metabolomics. Short period of exchange to Canada or Germany are anticipated. The candidate should have experience in molecular microbiology, or enzymology. Please contact Yong directly (yong.zhang@bio.ku.dk), and include in the inquiry a motivation letter, short CV and better the anticipated research interests/projects of relevance.




    1. Yong Zhang*, Eva Zborníková, Dominik Rejman and Kenn Gerdes*. 2018. Novel (p)ppGpp binding and metabolizing proteins of Escherichia coli. mBio 9:e02188-17. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02188-17. (*co-corresponding)

    2. Zhang E. Yong#*, Bærentsen L Rene#, Tobias Fuhrer, Uwe Sauer, Kenn Gerdes, Brodersen E. Ditlev*. (p)ppGpp regulates a bacterial nucleosidase by an allosteric two-domain switch. Mol Cell (2019). 74(6):1239-1249.e4 (*co-corresponding author; # equal contribution)

    ID: 152299398