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Zhifang Cao


Cao Z, Conway KL, Heath RJ, Rush JS, Leshchiner ES et al. Ubiquitin ligase TRIM62 regulates CARD9-mediated anti-fungal immunity and intestinal inflammation. Immunity. 2015;43(4):715-726.

Cao Z, Huett A, Kuballa P, Giallourakis C, Xavier RJ. DLG1 is an anchor for the E3 ligase MARCH2 at sites of cell-cell contact. Cell Signal. 2008;20(1):73-82.

Giallourakis C, Cao Z, Green T, Wachtel H, Xie X et al. A molecular-properties-based approach to understanding PDZ domain proteins and PDZ ligands. Genome Res. 2006 Aug;16(8):1056-1072.

Zhifang Cao, Ph.D.

Zhifang Cao is an associated scientist working in the Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he works under the direction of Ramnik Xavier to identify CARD9 binding partners to help understand how these protein-to-protein interactions regulate CARD9 functions. The goal of this effort is to develop guidelines to find small molecules for CARD9-based Crohn’s disease therapies. Cao’s research is primarily focused on the mechanism of CARD9 protein in mediating innate response and priming adaptive immunity.

In addition to his post at the Broad Institute, Cao is an associate investigator at the Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital, and an instructor at Harvard Medical School.

Prior to joining the Broad Institute in 2011, Cao’s postdoctoral studies were undertaken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Cao holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, as well as a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and management from Shanxi Institute of Economics and Management and a master’s degree in microbiology from Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

Contact Zhifang Cao via email at

February 2018