Dr Shaoping Zhang

Profile Image
Senior Research Fellow

Research | Current

My current research interests include reversal of heart and kidney disease in diabetes: in particular, understanding the molecular mechanisms of diabetic complications in relation to impaired copper homeostasis in cardiomyocytes, VSMC and kidney cells, leading to heart failure, arteriosclerosis and kidney disease, through perturbations in cellular regulation of Cu homeostasis. Our aim is to better understand the metabolic basis of diabetic complications to improve our new therapeutic strategies.

Other research interests also include studies of molecular structure and function of amylin fibril aggregation and its relation to the islet beta-cell dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes, with current emphasis on the analysis of small exocyclic cystine-knot peptide inhibitors for suppression of amyloid formation and the Fas-associated cell death pathway evoked by human amylin in cultured beta-cells and in a human amylin transgenic mouse model. This study has led to identification of molecules specifically targeting beta-cell apoptotic signalling, with beneficial effects on delay of diabetes onset and development, and prolonged survival. Our research is, in the long term, aimed towards the development of new drugs capable of suppressing beta-cell death in diabetes.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Nie, T., Hui, X., Mao, L., Nie, B., Li, K., Sun, W., ... Jiang, B. (2016). Harmine induces adipocyte thermogenesis through RAC1-MEK-ERK-CHD4 axis. Scientific Reports, 610.1038/srep36382
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Adam Patterson, Garth Cooper
  • Zhang, S., Liu, H., Chuang, C. L., Li, X., Au, M., Zhang, L., ... Cooper, G. J. (2014). The pathogenic mechanism of diabetes varies with the degree of overexpression and oligomerization of human amylin in the pancreatic islet β cells. FASEB Journal, 28 (12), 5083-5096. 10.1096/fj.14-251744
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anthony Phillips, Garth Cooper, Linda Zhang, James Chuang
  • Zhang, S., Liu, H., Amarsingh, G. V., Cheung, C. C., Hogl, S., Narayanan, U., ... Gong, D. (2014). Diabetic cardiomyopathy is associated with defective myocellular copper regulation and both defects are rectified by divalent copper chelation. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 1310.1186/1475-2840-13-100
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anthony Phillips, Garth Cooper, Linda Zhang
  • Zhang, S., Xu, H., Liu, H., Amarsingh, G., & Cooper, G. J. S. (18/10/2013). Pathogenic changes in diabetes-evoked arteriosclerosis associated with altered copper uptake/transport pathways in the aorta of STZ-diabetic rats: effects of treatment by Cu(II)-selective chelation. Poster presented at The ARTERY 13, London, UK. Related URL.
  • Zhang, L., Ward, M.-L., Phillips, A. R. J., Zhang, S., Kennedy, J., Barry, B., ... Cooper, G. J. S. (2013). Protection of the heart by treatment with a divalent-copper-selective chelator reveals a novel mechanism underlying cardiomyopathy in diabetic rats. Cardiovasc Diabetol, 1210.1186/1475-2840-12-123
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26131
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Garth Cooper, Marie-Louise Ward, Linda Zhang, Anthony Phillips
  • Zhang, S., Liu, H., Chuang, C. L., Li, X. L., Au, M., Zhang, L., & Cooper, G. J. S. (10/6/2012). Over-expression of Human Amylin Leads to Oligomerization and beta-cell Dysfunction Associated with Mitochondrial Uncoupling, Activation of c-Jun and Decrease Expression of JNK Interacting Protein-1. Poster presented at American Diabetes Association - 72nd Scientific Sessions, Philadelphia, PA. USA. Related URL.
  • Zhang, S., Liu, H., Li, X., Au, M., Chuang, C.-L., & Cooper, G. J. S. (2010). Islet human amylin oligomer formation is differentially correlated with beta cell death and diabetes onset between homozygous and hemizygous human amylin transgenic mice. DIABETOLOGIA, 53, S208-S208.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: James Chuang, Garth Cooper
  • Cooper, G. J. S., Aitken, J. F., & Zhang, S. (2010). Is type 2 diabetes an amyloidosis and does it really matter (to patients)?. DIABETOLOGIA, 53 (6), 1011-1016. 10.1007/s00125-010-1715-y
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/11662
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jackie Aitken, Garth Cooper


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 435
New Zealand

Web links