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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Chengzhong Cai M.D., Ph.D.

Visiting Scientist — Division of Systems Biology

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Chengzhong Cai, M.D., Ph.D.
(870) 543-7121

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About  |  Publications  |  Lab Members


Dr. Chengzhong Cai received an M.D. from Tongji University's Medical School in China and earned a Ph.D. from the Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology at Philipps-University Marburg in Germany, where he researched the role of SIVmac₂₃₉-Nef down-regulating cell surface expression of CXCR4 in tumor cells and inhibiting proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. Prior to joining FDA, Dr. Cai worked as a research assistant at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed his postdoctoral training at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), where he evaluated novel platforms for the assessment of drug-induced cardiotoxicity. Dr. Cai is a visiting scientist in the Innovative Science and Technologies Branch at NCTR’s Division of Systems Biology, where his research focuses on developing alternative in vitro models using human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) for drug and food safety regulatory research.

Research Interests

New approach methodologies, which encompass human-based alternatives to animal-based research, have been gaining increasing recognition for many different applications. Dr. Cai's main research interest is in developing 2D and 3D iPSC-based in vitro models for detecting and predicting drug-induced cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity using a variety of technologies to measure endpoints such as flow cytometry, fluorescence and laser scanning microscopy, Seahorse extracellular flux technology, the CardioECR system, microelectrode array, and others to evaluate cardiomyocyte’s mitochondrial function, beat rate, impedance, beat amplitude, etc. He has significant roles in several in vitro model-based projects, including:

  • Investigating the role of sex differences in response to oncologic drugs using iPSC-based engineered human heart tissue (founded by the Office of Women’s Health).
  • In vitro toxicity assessment of opioids on neural precursor cell specification, proliferation, and differentiation (collaboration with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research [CDER]).
  • Studying the metabolic maturation of hiPSC-cardiomyocytes (CMs) and applying hiPSC-CMs for drug-induced cardiotoxicity studies (collaboration with CDER).

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

Society of Toxicology
2017 – 2019

Selected Publications

The Importin Beta Superfamily Member RanBP17 Exhibits a Role in Cell Proliferation and is Associated with Improved Survival of Patients with HPV+ HNSCC.
Mandic R., Marquardt A., Terhorst P., Ali U., Nowak-Rossmann A., Cai C., Rodepeter F.R., Stiewe T., Wezorke B., Wanzel M., Neff A., Stuck B.A., and Bette M. 
BMC Cancer. 2022, 22(1):785. 

Improving Cardiotoxicity Prediction in Cancer Treatment: Integration of Conventional Circulating Biomarkers and Novel Exploratory Tools.
Pang L., Liu Z., Wei F., Cai C., and Yang X. 
Arch Toxicol. 2021, 95(3):791-805.

Sex-Related Differences in Drug-Induced QT Prolongation and Torsades de Pointes: A New Model System with Human iPSC-CMs.
Huo J., Wei F., Cai C., Lyn-Cook B., and Pang L. 
Toxicological Sciences. 2019, 167 (2): 360–374.

Fatty Acid-Based Medium Promoted Metabolic Maturation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes. (Conference Abstract)
Cai C., Wei F., Shi Q.., Yang X., Strauss D.G., Stockbridge N., and Pang L. 
Circulation. 2018,138: A16287. 

Real-Time Monitoring of Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) Release after Nanodrug or Tumor Radiotherapy Using In Vivo Flow Cytometry.
Koonce N.A., Juratli M.A., Cai C., Sarimollaoglu M., Menyaev Y.A., Dent J., Quick C.M., Dings R.P.M., Nedosekin D., Zharov V., and Griffin R.J. 
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017, 492(3):507-512.

In Vivo Noninvasive Analysis of Graphene Nanomaterial Pharmacokinetics Using Photoacoustic Flow Cytometry.
Nedosekin D.A, Nolan J., Cai C., Bourdo S.E., Nima Z., Biris A.S., and Zharov V.P. 
J Appl Toxicol. 2017, 37(11):1297-1304.

Photoacoustic In Vitro Flow Cytometry for Nanomaterial Research.
Nedosekin D.A., Fahmi T., Nima Z.A., Nolan J., Cai C., Sarimollaoglu M., Dervishi E., Basnakian A., Biris A.S., and Zharov V.P. 
Photoacoustics. 2017, 27(6):16-25.

Photoacoustic Flow Cytometry for Single Sickle Cell Detection In Vitro and In Vivo.
Cai C., Nedosekin D.A., Menyaev Y.A., Sarimollaoglu M., Proskurnin M.A., and Zharov V.P. 
Anal Cell Pathol (Amst). 2016, 2016:2642361. 

In Vivo Photoacoustic Flow Cytometry for Early Malaria Diagnosis.
Cai C., Carey K.A., Nedosekin D.A., Menyaev Y.A., Sarimollaoglu M., Galanzha E.I., Stumhofer J.S., and  Zharov V.P. 
Cytometry A. 2016, 89(6):531-42. 

Distal Pancreatectomy With En Bloc Celiac Axis Resection for Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
Gong H., Ma R., Gong J., Cai C., Song Z., and Xu B. 
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016, 95(10): e3061.

MicroRNA-3666 Regulates Thyroid Carcinoma Cell Proliferation via MET.
Wang G., Cai C., and Chen L. 
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016, 38(3):1030-9. 

Anatomical Study of Surgical Approaches for Minimally Invasive Transoral Thyroidectomy: eMIT and TOPP.
Cai C., Huang Y., Zhang T., Chai L., Wang G., Shi L., Wiegand S., Güldner C., Günzel T., and Wilhelm T. 
Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2015, 24(6):340-4.

In Vivo Long-Term Monitoring of Circulating Tumor Cells Fluctuation during Medical Interventions.
Juratli M.A., Siegel E.R., Nedosekin D.A., Sarimollaoglu M., Jamshidi-Parsian A., Cai C., Menyaev Y.A., Suen J.Y., Galanzha E.I., and Zharov V.P. 
PLoS One. 2015,10(9):e0137613. 

A Cisplatin-Resistant Head and Neck Cancer Cell Line with Cytoplasmic p53(mut) Exhibits ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter Upregulation and High Glutathione Levels.
Tonigold M., Rossmann A., Meinold M., Bette M., Märken M., Henkenius K., Bretz A.C., Giel G., Cai C., Rodepeter F.R., Beneš V., Grénman R., Carey T.E., Lage H., Stiewe T., Neubauer A., Werner J.A., Brendel C., and Mandic R. 
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014, 140(10):1689-704.

Epidermal Growth Factor-Induced Modulation of Cytokeratin Expression Levels Influences the Morphological Phenotype of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells.
Makarova G., Bette M., Schmidt A., Jacob R., Cai C., Rodepeter F., Betz T., Sitterberg J., Bakowsky U., Moll R., Neff A., Sesterhenn A., Teymoortash A., Ocker M., Werner J.A., and Mandic R. 
Cell Tissue Res. 2013, 351(1):59-72.

SIVmac₂₃₉-Nef Down-Regulates Cell Surface Expression of CXCR4 in Tumor Cells and Inhibits Proliferation, Migration and Angiogenesis.
Cai C., Rodepeter F.R., Rossmann A., Teymoortash A., Lee J.S., Quint K., Di Fazio P., Ocker M., Werner J.A., and Mandic R. 
Anticancer Res. 2012, 32(7):2759-68.

Runx3 Expression in Lymph Nodes with Metastasis is Associated with the Outcome of Gastric Cancer Patients.
Xu H.W., Ren F., Yu Y.M., and Cai C. 
Oncol Lett. 2011, 2(6):1275-1279.

Differential Expression of VEGF121, VEGF165 and VEGF189 in Angiomas and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cell Lines of the Head and Neck.
Cai C., Böttcher M.C., Werner J.A., and Mandic R. 
Anticancer Res. 2010, 30(3):805-10.

Involvement of LYVE-1-Positive Endothelial Cells in the Formation of Non-Lymphatic Vascular Malformations
Boettcher M.C., Eivazi B., Roessler M., Bette M., Cai C., Wiegand S., Güldner C., Werner J.A., and Mandic R. 
Histopathology. 2010, 57(5):764-8.

Lab Members

Contact information for all lab members:
(870) 543-7121

Jalina Moore

Contact Information
Chengzhong Cai
(870) 543-7121
Technology & Discipline
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