Lingxin Zhang is the Drug Metabolism and Disposition Highlighted Trainee Author for the May 2021 issue. Dr. Zhang is a post-doctoral trainee at the Mayo Clinic. Her mentor in pharmacogenomics is Dr. Richard Weinshilboum. The DMD article that earned her selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “SLCO1B1: Application and Limitations of Deep Mutational Scanning for Genomic Missense Variant Function” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/dmd.120.000264.
Dr. Zhang’s research is focused on pharmacogenomics. The Mayo Clinic RIGHT 10K Study was designed to obtain DNA sequence variation for 76 pharmacogenes from the Mayo Clinic Biobank samples obtained from 10,000 patients. However, the function of a large number of variants of unknown significance (VUSs) in those samples remained unknown. Dr. Zhang applied deep mutational scanning (DMS) in this study, which makes large-scale functional annotation of VUSs in pharmacogenes a realizable goal. Specifically, she established a DMS platform for the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine to make it possible to quantify the effects of hundreds of VUSs in parallel and at a reasonable cost.
The anticipated impact of Dr. Zhang’s research is to enable the expansion of the DMS methodology to include additional pharmacogenes and COVID-19 related genes. We hope to identify and validate potential clinically actionable VUSs in those genes, and to incorporate the results into clinical decision-making and electronic health records.
When not in the laboratory, Lingxin enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her friends.