Lin Zhu, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Faculty Appointments
Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
Ph.D., University of Guelph, Ontario, CanadaM.D., Tianjin Medical College, Tianjin, China
Research Description
Dr. Zhu’s research interest is to understand the relationship between energy homeostasis and inflammation, which might be a foundational mechanism for insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and atherosclerosis. Her research focuses on the use of mouse disease models to identify mechanisms that underlie insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. She aims to define fundamental principles of how to improve HDL function for patients with type-2 diabetes to reduce cardiovascular disease. During Dr. Zhu’s graduate studies, she studied the regulation of PCYT2, a rate-limiting enzyme for phospholipid synthesis, at transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. This work resulted in seven publications with four of them as the first author. During her training as a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Vanderbilt, Dr. Zhu demonstrated that LRP1-deficient macrophages caused inflammatory responses in the artery walls due to the impaired ability of foam cells to clear the plaque. In another high-impact project, she found that anti-inflammatory macrophages promoted cholesterol reverse transport and macrophage migration out of artery walls, leading to atherosclerosis regression. This novel discovery may set up a platform to develop therapeutic policies to prevent cardiovascular events. During her training in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at Vanderbilt, Dr. Zhu showed that deletion of liver estrogen receptor alpha led to lipid accumulation in the liver and caused whole body insulin resistance. One of her ongoing projects shows that a clinically used CETP inhibitor increases HDL cholesterol; however, it also increases inflammatory responses and causes insulin resistance in obese mice. This study may explain the reason why clinical trials using CETP inhibitors have failed to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Xie LJ, Cui Z, Chen FJ, Pei ZY, Hu SY, Gu QH, Jia XY, Zhu L, Zhou XJ, Zhang H, Liao YH, Lai LH, Hudson BG, Zhao MH. The susceptible HLA class II alleles and their presenting epitope(s) in Goodpasture's disease. Immunology [print-electronic]. 2017 Mar 3/25/2017; PMID: 28342268, DOI: 10.1111/imm.12736, ISSN: 1365-2567.

Zhu L, Almaça J, Dadi PK, Hong H, Sakamoto W, Rossi M, Lee RJ, Vierra NC, Lu H, Cui Y, McMillin SM, Perry NA, Gurevich VV, Lee A, Kuo B, Leapman RD, Matschinsky FM, Doliba NM, Urs NM, Caron MG, Jacobson DA, Caicedo A, Wess J. ß-arrestin-2 is an essential regulator of pancreatic ß-cell function under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Nat Commun. 2017 Feb 2/1/2017; 8: 14295. PMID: 28145434, PMCID: PMC5296650, PII: ncomms14295, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14295, ISSN: 2041-1723.

Zhu L, Giunzioni I, Tavori H, Covarrubias R, Ding L, Zhang Y, Ormseth M, Major AS, Stafford JM, Linton MF, Fazio S. Loss of Macrophage Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein 1 Confers Resistance to the Antiatherogenic Effects of Tumor Necrosis Factor-a Inhibition. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol [print-electronic]. 2016 Aug; 36(8): 1483-95. PMID: 27365402, PMCID: PMC5346022, PII: ATVBAHA.116.307736, DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.116.307736, ISSN: 1524-4636.

Palmisano BT, Le TD, Zhu L, Lee YK, Stafford JM. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein alters liver and plasma triglyceride metabolism through two liver networks in female mice. J. Lipid Res [print-electronic]. 2016 Aug; 57(8): 1541-51. PMID: 27354419, PMCID: PMC4959869, PII: jlr.M069013, DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M069013, ISSN: 1539-7262.

Norlander AE, Saleh MA, Kamat NV, Ko B, Gnecco J, Zhu L, Dale BL, Iwakura Y, Hoover RS, McDonough AA, Madhur MS. Interleukin-17A Regulates Renal Sodium Transporters and Renal Injury in Angiotensin II-Induced Hypertension. Hypertension [print-electronic]. 2016 Jul; 68(1): 167-74. PMID: 27141060, PMCID: PMC4900947, PII: HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07493, DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07493, ISSN: 1524-4563.

Hu J, Stern M, Gimenez LE, Wanka L, Zhu L, Rossi M, Meister J, Inoue A, Beck-Sickinger AG, Gurevich VV, Wess J. A G Protein-biased Designer G Protein-coupled Receptor Useful for Studying the Physiological Relevance of Gq/11-dependent Signaling Pathways. J. Biol. Chem [print-electronic]. 2016 Apr 4/8/2016; 291(15): 7809-20. PMID: 26851281, PMCID: PMC4824988, PII: M115.702282, DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M115.702282, ISSN: 1083-351X.

Zhu LY, Broussard KC, Boyd AS, Powers JG. An eruption while on total parenteral nutrition. Cutis. 2016 Mar; 97(3): E3-5. PMID: 27023092, ISSN: 2326-6929.

Wheless L, Zhu L, Mashayekhi M, Fissell RB. Livedoid Dermatitis Treated With Nifedipine. J Investig Med High Impact Case Rep. 2016 Jan; 4(1): 2324709616629786. PMID: 26885536, PMCID: PMC4740942, PII: 10.1177_2324709616629786, DOI: 10.1177/2324709616629786.

Xiao L, Kirabo A, Wu J, Saleh MA, Zhu L, Wang F, Takahashi T, Loperena R, Foss JD, Mernaugh RL, Chen W, Roberts J, Osborn JW, Itani HA, Harrison DG. Renal Denervation Prevents Immune Cell Activation and Renal Inflammation in Angiotensin II-Induced Hypertension. Circ. Res [print-electronic]. 2015 Aug 8/28/2015; 117(6): 547-57. PMID: 26156232, PMCID: PMC4629828, PII: CIRCRESAHA.115.306010, DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.306010, ISSN: 1524-4571.

Zhu LY, Likhari SS, Stebbins WG. A case of multiple large reactive keratoacanthomas treated with serial zinc oxide wraps. Dermatol Surg. 2015 Jun; 41(6): 750-3. PMID: 25993613, PII: 00042728-201506000-00016, DOI: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000361, ISSN: 1524-4725.

Zhu L, McDavid S, Currie KP. "Slow" Voltage-Dependent Inactivation of CaV2.2 Calcium Channels Is Modulated by the PKC Activator Phorbol 12-Myristate 13-Acetate (PMA). PLoS ONE. 2015; 10(7): e0134117. PMID: 26222492, PMCID: PMC4519294, PII: PONE-D-15-18856, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134117, ISSN: 1932-6203.

Tavori H, Fan D, Giunzioni I, Zhu L, Linton MF, Fogo AB, Fazio S. Macrophage-derived apoESendai suppresses atherosclerosis while causing lipoprotein glomerulopathy in hyperlipidemic mice. J. Lipid Res [print-electronic]. 2014 Oct; 55(10): 2073-81. PMID: 25183802, PMCID: PMC4174000, PII: jlr.M049874, DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M049874, ISSN: 1539-7262.

Zhu L, Martinez MN, Emfinger CH, Palmisano BT, Stafford JM. Estrogen signaling prevents diet-induced hepatic insulin resistance in male mice with obesity. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab [print-electronic]. 2014 May 5/15/2014; 306(10): E1188-97. PMID: 24691030, PMCID: PMC4116406, PII: ajpendo.00579.2013, DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00579.2013, ISSN: 1522-1555.

Tian FB, Zhu L, Fok PW, Lu XY. Simulation of a pulsatile non-Newtonian flow past a stenosed 2D artery with atherosclerosis. Comput. Biol. Med [print-electronic]. 2013 Sep; 43(9): 1098-113. PMID: 23930803, PII: S0010-4825(13)00147-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2013.05.023, ISSN: 1879-0534.

Luo P, Dematteo A, Wang Z, Zhu L, Wang A, Kim HS, Pozzi A, Stafford JM, Luther JM. Aldosterone deficiency prevents high-fat-feeding-induced hyperglycaemia and adipocyte dysfunction in mice. Diabetologia [print-electronic]. 2013 Apr; 56(4): 901-10. PMID: 23314847, PMCID: PMC3593801, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-012-2814-8, ISSN: 1432-0428.

Mundell NA, Plank JL, LeGrone AW, Frist AY, Zhu L, Shin MK, Southard-Smith EM, Labosky PA. Enteric nervous system specific deletion of Foxd3 disrupts glial cell differentiation and activates compensatory enteric progenitors. Dev. Biol [print-electronic]. 2012 Mar 3/15/2012; 363(2): 373-87. PMID: 22266424, PMCID: PMC3288190, PII: S0012-1606(12)00006-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.01.003, ISSN: 1095-564X.

Tian FB, Luo H, Zhu L, Liao JC, Lu XY. An efficient immersed boundary-lattice Boltzmann method for the hydrodynamic interaction of elastic filaments. J Comput Phys. 2011 Aug 8/10/2011; 230(19): 7266-83. PMID: 23564971, PMCID: PMC3615432, DOI: 10.1016/, ISSN: 0021-9991.

Zhu L, Polley N, Mathews GC, Delpire E. NKCC1 and KCC2 prevent hyperexcitability in the mouse hippocampus. Epilepsy Res [print-electronic]. 2008 May; 79(2-3): 201-12. PMID: 18394864, PMCID: PMC2394664, PII: S0920-1211(08)00046-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2008.02.005, ISSN: 0920-1211.

Zhu L, Lovinger D, Delpire E. Cortical neurons lacking KCC2 expression show impaired regulation of intracellular chloride. J. Neurophysiol [print-electronic]. 2005 Mar; 93(3): 1557-68. PMID: 15469961, PII: 00616.2004, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00616.2004, ISSN: 0022-3077.

Dagnino L, Zhu L, Skorecki KL, Moses HL. E2F-independent transcriptional repression by p107, a member of the retinoblastoma family of proteins. Cell Growth Differ. 1995 Feb; 6(2): 191-8. PMID: 7756178, ISSN: 1044-9523.