- Scholarship in 2022 at Carnegie Mellon University
About Sheng Zhang’s work
Sheng Zhang’s biomedical engineering research is focused on early lung cancer detection using extracellular vesicle DNA methylation signatures in blood. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related death, in part because a large portion of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage. Identifying and developing biomarkers for early detection of lung cancer is a crucial and immediate goal.
Zhang is working to develop a minimally invasive early lung cancer diagnosis method by detecting DNA methylation changes in extracellular vesicles (EVs) with the vertical integration of machine learning and EV isolation technology. Her first goal is to develop a machine learning based feature selection procedure to extract an optimal set of DNA methylation markers to differentiate cancer from normal lung tissue and normal blood. Secondly, Zhang wants to develop, characterise, and validate the performance of sensitive methods for detecting lung cancer-specific changes in EV DNA methylation.
If successful, this technology could serve as a valuable tool for routine lung cancer screening and allow it to be diagnosed and treated at early stages.
Sheng Zhang is a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She holds an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from CMU and a BSc in Computer Science from Chinese University of Hong Kong.