Shangang Zhao, Ph.D., is an Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of their Touchstone Diabetes Center.

After completing his Ph.D. degree in Montreal Diabetes Research Center at University of Montreal in Canada, Dr. Zhao moved to Dr. Philipp Scherer’s lab as a postdoctoral scholar to continue his study in the metabolic field.

The major focus of Dr. Zhao’s research program is the effects of two crucial adipokines (adiponectin and leptin) in metabolic health and aging. Recent discovery of Dr. Zhao has revealed the importance of leptin reduction in the management of diabetes and obesity. His investigations have led to more than 31 publications in peer-reviewed journals and contributes to two patents. Additionally, he has presented his findings at scientific conferences, including ADA and keystone symposium.

Research Interest

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Leptin
  • Obesity


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Adipocyte iron levels impinge on a fat-gut crosstalk to regulate intestinal lipid absorption and mediate protection from obesity.
Zhang Z, Funcke JB, Zi Z, Zhao S, Straub LG, Zhu Y, Zhu Q, Crewe C, An YA, Chen S, Li N, Wang MY, Ghaben AL, Lee C, Gautron L, Engelking LJ, Raj P, Deng Y, Gordillo R, Kusminski CM, Scherer PE, Cell Metab 2021 Jun
Adiponectin preserves metabolic fitness during aging.
Li N, Zhao S, Zhang Z, Zhu Y, Gliniak CM, Vishvanath L, An YA, Wang MY, Deng Y, Zhu Q, Shan B, Sherwood A, Onodera T, Oz OK, Gordillo R, Gupta RK, Liu M, Horvath TL, Dixit VD, Scherer PE, Elife 2021 Apr 10
Adiponectin, Leptin and Cardiovascular Disorders.
Zhao S, Kusminski CM, Scherer PE, Circ Res 2021 Jan 128 1 136-149
Leptin: Less Is More.
Zhao S, Kusminski CM, Elmquist JK, Scherer PE, Diabetes 2020 05 69 5 823-829
Partial leptin deficiency confers resistance to diet-induced obesity in mice.
Zhao S, Li N, Zhu Y, Straub L, Zhang Z, Wang MY, Zhu Q, Kusminski CM, Elmquist JK, Scherer PE, Mol Metab 2020 Apr 100995
Partial Leptin Reduction as an Insulin Sensitization and Weight Loss Strategy.
Zhao S, Zhu Y, Schultz RD, Li N, He Z, Zhang Z, Caron A, Zhu Q, Sun K, Xiong W, Deng H, Sun J, Deng Y, Kim M, Lee CE, Gordillo R, Liu T, Odle AK, Childs GV, Zhang N, Kusminski CM, Elmquist JK, Williams KW, An Z, Scherer PE, Cell Metab. 2019 Aug
a/ß-Hydrolase Domain 6 Deletion Induces Adipose Browning and Prevents Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
Zhao S, Mugabo Y, Ballentine G, Attane C, Iglesias J, Poursharifi P, Zhang D, Nguyen TA, Erb H, Prentki R, Peyot ML, Joly E, Tobin S, Fulton S, Brown JM, Madiraju SR, Prentki M Cell Rep 2016 Mar 14 12 2872-88
Identification of a mammalian glycerol-3-phosphate phosphatase: Role in metabolism and signaling in pancreatic ß-cells and hepatocytes.
Mugabo Y, Zhao S, Seifried A, Gezzar S, Al-Mass A, Zhang D, Lamontagne J, Attane C, Poursharifi P, Iglesias J, Joly E, Peyot ML, Gohla A, Madiraju SR, Prentki M Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2016 Jan 113 4 E430-9
a/ß-Hydrolase domain-6 and saturated long chain monoacylglycerol regulate insulin secretion promoted by both fuel and non-fuel stimuli.
Zhao S, Poursharifi P, Mugabo Y, Levens EJ, Vivot K, Attane C, Iglesias J, Peyot ML, Joly E, Madiraju SR, Prentki M, Mol Metab 2015 Dec 4 12 940-50
a/ß-Hydrolase domain-6-accessible monoacylglycerol controls glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.
Zhao S, Mugabo Y, Iglesias J, Xie L, Delghingaro-Augusto V, Lussier R, Peyot ML, Joly E, Taïb B, Davis MA, Brown JM, Abousalham A, Gaisano H, Madiraju SR, Prentki M, Cell Metab 2014 Jun 19 6 993-1007

Honors & Awards

  • AHA Postdoc Fellowship
  • K99/R00 Award
    Career Development Award (2021)
  • FRQS Postdoc Fellowship

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Heart Association (2020-2021)