About the Author
Weiping Zheng received a Ph.D. in 1999 in medicinal chemistry from University of Tennessee, USA. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (1999-2002) and a Research Associate (2002-2004) in bioorganic chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA. He was the James L. and Martha J. Foght Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in biochemistry at Department of Chemistry of University of Akron, USA (2004-2011). Since 2012, he has been a Professor at School of Pharmacy of Jiangsu University, China. His research interests are in medicinal chemistry: to develop catalytic mechanism-based enzyme inhibitors; to develop activity-based chemical probes for enzyme-catalyzed reactions and to explore the applications of the developed probes in biology and medicinal chemistry; to develop novel "peptide stapling" methodologies and to explore the applications of the developed methodologies in medicinal chemistry. Given these research interests, his research group has been the first in the world to start developing the catalytic mechanism-based inhibitors for the sirtuin-catalyzed protein acyl-lysine deacylation, with the identification of the first and the up-to-date most efficacious catalytic mechanism-based inhibitory warhead (i.e. N(epsilon)-thioacetyl-lysine) for the sirtuin-catalyzed deacetylation (Ref: Fatkins, David G.; Monnot, Andrew D.; Zheng, Weiping*. N(epsilon)-thioacetyl-lysine: a multi-facet functional probe for enzymatic protein lysine N(epsilon)-deacetylation. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2006, 16, 3651-3656). In collaboration with Prof. Zhenghe Wang's research group (Case Western Reserve University, USA), they recently identified a protein-protein interaction uniquely present in certain cancer cells, which opened up a new avenue for developing novel anti-cancer therapeutics (Ref: Hao, Yujun; Wang, Chao; Cao, Bo; Hirsch, Brett M.; Song, Jing; Markowitz, Sanford D.; Ewing, Rob M.; Sedwick, David; Liu, Lili; Zheng, Weiping*; Wang, Zhenghe*. Gain of interaction with IRS1 by p110alpha helical domain mutants is crucial for their oncogenic functions. Cancer Cell 2013, 23, 583-593). While traditional peptide stapling methodology, i.e. the all-hydrocarbon stapling, was employed in this study to construct stapled peptides used as pharmacological probes, his research group intended to develop novel superior peptide stapling methodologies and to explore the applications of the developed methodologies in this particular case and in medicinal chemistry in general.