Ziwei DAI

Assistant Professor Department of Biology

Dr. Ziwei Dai received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics in 2010 at School of Mathematical Sciences, Peking University, and completed her doctoral training in 2016 at Center for Quantitative Biology, Peking University. She then joined Dr. Jason W Locasale’s lab at Duke University for postdoctoral training. Dr. Dai joined Department of Biology at Southern University of Science and Technology in Feb 2021 as assistant professor and principal investigator. Her research focuses on developing computational approaches using both data-driven and knowledge-based strategies, to understand the dysregulation of glucose and amino acid metabolism in cancer and the mechanisms for metabolic regulation of epigenetics and gene expression. Her work has been published in top journals including Nature, Cell Metabolism, Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, Science Advances, Metabolic Engineering, JBC, and so on. By Feb 2021, Ziwei’s publications have been cited for over 1200 times and selected as cover article for multiple times.

Personal Profile


Research in the Dai Lab focuses on the application of multi-omics data analysis and biological network modeling techniques in understanding quantitative features of cellular metabolism and unraveling the roles that metabolism plays in regulating epigenetics, gene expression, and human diseases. We are particularly interested in these topics:

◆Cancer metabolism

◆Metabolic regulation of epigenetics and gene expression

◆Biological network models

◆Multi-omics data analysis

Publications Read More

  1. Inah Hwang, Hiroki Uchida, Ziwei Dai, Fei Li, Teresa Sanchez, Jason W Locasale, Lewis C Cant- ley, Hongwu Zheng, Jihye Paik*. Cellular stress signaling activates type-I IFN response through FOXO3-regulated lamin posttranslational modification. Nat Commun. 2021 Jan 28;12(1):640.
  2. Ziwei Dai, Vijyendra Ramesh, Jason W Locasale*. The evolving metabolic landscape of chro- matin biology and epigenetics. Nat Rev Genet. 2020 Dec;21(12):737-753.
  3. Shiyu Liu, Ziwei Dai, Daniel E Cooper, David G Kirsch, Jason W Locasale*. Quantitative Analysis of the Physiological Contributions of Glucose to the TCA Cycle. Cell Metab. 2020 Oct 6;32(4):619-628.e21.
  4. Ziwei Dai*, Jason W Locasale*. Cooperative virus propagation underlies COVID-19 transmission dynamics. medRxiv [Preprint]. 2020 May 7:2020.05.05.20092361.
  5. Lake-Ee Quek*, James R Krycer, Satoshi Ohno, Katsuyuki Yugi, Daniel J Fazakerley, Richard Scalzo, Sarah D Elkington, Ziwei Dai, Akiyoshi Hirayama, Satsuki Ikeda, Futaba Shoji, Kumi Suzuki, Jason W Locasale, Tomoyoshi Soga, David E James*, Shinya Kuroda*. Dynamic 13C flux analysis captures the reorganisation of adipocyte glucose metabolism in response to insulin. iScience. 2020 Jan 21.
  6. Kevin H Lin, Justine C Rutter, Abigail Xie, Bryann Pardieu, Emily T Winn, Reinaldo Dal Bello, Antoine Forget, Raphael Itzykson, Yeong-Ran Ahn, Ziwei Dai, Raiyan T Sobhan, Grace R Anderson, Katherine R Singleton, Amy E Decker, Peter S Winter, Jason W Locasale, Lorin Craw- ford, Alexandre Puissant, Kris C Wood. Using antagonistic pleiotropy to design a chemotherapy- induced evolutionary trap to target drug resistance in cancer. Nat Genet. 2020 Apr;52(4):408- 417.
  7. Zhengtao Xiao*, Jason W Locasale, Ziwei Dai. Metabolism in the tumor microenvironment: insights from single-cell analysis. OncoImmunology. 2020 Jan 1.
  8. Maria V Liberti*, Annamarie E Allen, Vijyendra Ramesh, Ziwei Dai, Katherine R Singleton, Zufeng Guo, Jun O Liu, Kris C Wood, Jason W Locasale. Evolved resistance to partial GAPDH inhibition results in loss of the Warburg effect and in a different state of glycolysis. J Biol Chem. 2019 Nov 20.
  9. Ziwei Dai, Shiyu Yang, Liyan Xu, Hongrong Hu, Kun Liao, Jianghuang Wang, Qian Wang, Shuaishi Gao, Bo Li*, Luhua Lai*. Identification of cancer-associated metabolic vulnerabilities by modeling multi-objective optimality in metabolism. Cell Commun Signal. 2019 Oct 10;17(1):124.
  10. Sydney M Sanderson, Xia Gao, Ziwei Dai, Jason W Locasale*. Methionine Metabolism in Health and Cancer: A Nexus of Diet and Targeted Medicine. Nat Rev Cancer. 2019 Sep 12.
  11. Xia Gao, Sydney M Sanderson#, Ziwei Dai#, Michael A Reid, Daniel E Cooper, Min Lu, John P Richie, Amy Ciccarella, Ana Calcagnotto, Peter G Mikhael, Samantha J Mentch, Juan Liu, Gene Ables, David G Kirsch, David S Hsu, Sailendra N Nichenametla, Jason W Locasale*. Methionine metabolism links diet and nutrition to the efficacy of cancer therapies. Nature. 2019 Aug;572(7769):397-401.
  12. Sydney M Sanderson, Peter G Mikhael, Vijyendra Ramesh, Ziwei Dai, Jason W Locasale*. Nutrient availability shapes methionine metabolism in p16/MTAP-deleted cells. Sci Adv. 2019 Jun26;5(6):eaav7769.
  13. Zhengtao Xiao, Ziwei Dai*, Jason W Locasale*. Metabolic landscape of the tumor microenvi- ronment at single cell resolution. Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 21;10(1):3763.
  14. Ziwei Dai*, Jason W Locasale*. Thermodynamic constraints on the regulation of metabolic fluxes. J Biol Chem. 2018 Dec 21;293(51):19725-19739.
  15. Michael A Reid, Annamarie E Allen, Shiyu Liu, Maria V Liberti, Pei Liu, Xiaojing Liu, Ziwei Dai, Xia Gao, Qian Wang, Ying Liu, Luhua Lai, Jason W Locasale*. Serine synthesis through PHGDH coordinates nucleotide levels by maintaining central carbon metabolism. Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 21;9(1):5442.
  16. Ziwei Dai, Samantha J Mentch, Xia Gao, Sailendra N Nichenametla, Jason W Locasale*. Methionine metabolism influences the genomic architecture of H3K4me3 with the link to gene expression encoded in peak width. Nat Commun. 2018 May 16;9(1):1955.
  17. Hu Meng, Ziwei Dai, Weilin Zhang, Ying Liu, Luhua Lai*. Molecular mechanism of 15-lipoxygenase allosteric activation and inhibition. Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2018 May 30;20(21):14785-14795.
  18. Michael A Reid, Ziwei Dai, Jason W Locasale*. The impact of cellular metabolism on chromatin dynamics and epigenetics. Nat Cell Biol. 2017 Nov;19(11):1298-1306.
  19. Maria V Liberti, Ziwei Dai, Suzanne E Wardell, Joshua A Baccile, Xiaojing Liu, Xia Gao, Robert Baldi, Mahya Mehrmohamadi, Marc O Johnson, Neel S Madhukar, Alexander A Shestov, Iok I Christine Chio, Olivier Elemento, Jeffrey C Rathmell, Frank C Schroeder, Donald P McDonnell, Jason W Locasale*. A Predictive Model for Selective Targeting of the Warburg Effect through GAPDH Inhibition with a Natural Product. Cell Metab. 2017 Oct 3;26(4):648-659.
  20. Ziwei Dai, Jason W Locasale*. Understanding metabolism with flux analysis: From theory to application. Metab Eng. 2017 Sep;43(Pt B):94-102.
  21. Ziwei Dai, Jason W Locasale*. Metabolic pattern formation in the tumor microenvironment. Mol Syst Biol. 2017 Feb 9;13(2):915.
  22. Ziwei Dai, Alexander A Shestov, Luhua Lai, Jason W Locasale*. A Flux Balance of Glucose Metabolism Clarifies the Requirements of the Warburg Effect. Biophys J. 2016 Sep 6;111(5):1088- 100.
  23. Hu Meng, Christopher L McClendon, Ziwei Dai, Kenan Li, Xiaoling Zhang, Shan He, Erchang Shang, Ying Liu, Luhua Lai*. Discovery of Novel 15-Lipoxygenase Activators To Shift the Human Arachidonic Acid Metabolic Network toward Inflammation Resolution. J Med Chem. 2016 May 12;59(9):4202-9.
  24. Youjun Xu, Ziwei Dai, Fangjin Chen, Shuaishi Gao, Jianfeng Pei, Luhua Lai*. Deep Learning for Drug-Induced Liver Injury. J Chem Inf Model. 2015 Oct 26;55(10):2085-93.
  25. Yiran Wu, Xiaolong Zhuo, Ziwei Dai, Xiao Guo, Yao Wang, Chuanmao Zhang, Luhua Lai*. Modeling the mitotic regulatory network identifies highly efficient anti-cancer drug combinations. Mol Biosyst. 2015 Feb;11(2):497-505.
  26. Ziwei Dai, Luhua Lai*. Differential simulated annealing: a robust and efficient global optimization algorithm for parameter estimation of biological networks. Mol Biosyst. 2014 Jun;10(6):1385- 92.
  27. Cheng Zhu, Ziwei Dai, Huanhuan Liang, Tao Zhang, Feng Gai, Luhua Lai*. Slow and bimolecu- lar folding of a de novo designed monomeric protein DS119. Biophys J. 2013 Nov 5;105(9):2141-8.

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