Zhi Zhang Ph.D.
Professor, School of Life Sciences
University of Science & Technology of China
443 Huangshan Street, Hefei, Anhui 230027, P.R.China
Education and Appointment
B.A., Biochemistry, Anhui University, China, 2001
Ph.D., Neurobiology, University of Science and Technology of China, 2007
Postdoc,University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA, 2008-2012
Professor, University of Science & Technology of China, 2012-present
Our research is focused on understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of chronic pain and depression, with an emphasis on the epigenetic modulation in development of depressive disordersin chronic pain states. Additionally, we are also interested in how pain affects drug abuse liability because abuse of prescription opioids has risen to an alarming level in recent years. We are currently using a multidisciplinary approach that includeselectrophysiological recording, molecular biological and optogenetic techniques and complex behavioral paradigms, with the goal of elucidating how chronic pain modifies synaptic and circuit function through brain gene activity changes, in turn influences depression- and addition-like behaviors.
1.Tao W, Chen Q, Zhou W, Wang Y, Wang L, Zhang Z*. Persistent inflammation-induced upregulation of BDNF promotes synaptic delivery of AMPA receptor GluA1 subunits in descending pain modulatory circuits, J Biol Chem. 2014 Jun 25. pii: jbc.M114.580381.
2.Zhang Z*, Tao W, Hou Y, Wang W, Lu LY, Pan ZZ*. Persistent pain facilitates response to morphine reward bydownregulation of central amygdala GABAergic function. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2014 Apr 1. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.77.
3.Zhang Z*,Tao W, Hou Y, Wang W, Kenny PJ, Pan ZZ*. MeCP2 repression of G9a in regulation of pain and morphine reward, The Journal of Neuroscience, 2014 Jul 2;34(27):9076-87.
4.Zhang Z, Wang X, Wang W, Lu YG, Pan ZZ*. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated downregulation of brainstem K+-Cl- cotransporter and cell-type-specific GABA impairment for activation of descending pain facilitation, Molecular Pharmacology, 2013 Oct;84(4):511-20.
6.Bie B, Wang Y, Cai YQ, Zhang Z, Hou YY, Pan ZZ*. Upregulation of Nerve Growth Factor in Central Amygdala Increases Sensitivity to Opioid Reward, Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012 Dec;37(13):2780-8. 7
7.Zhang Z, Pan ZZ*. Signaling cascades for δ-opioid receptor-mediated inhibition of GABA synaptic transmission and behavioral antinociception,Molecular Pharmacology, 2012 Mar;81(3):375-83.
8.Metzele R, Alt C, Bai X, Yan Y, Zhang Z, Pan Z, Coleman M, Vykoukal J, Song YH, Alt E*. Human adipose tissue-derived stem cells exhibit proliferation potential and spontaneous rhythmic contraction after fusion with neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, FASEB J. 2011 Mar;25(3):830-9.
9.Zhang Z, Cai YQ, Zou F, Bie B, Pan ZZ*. Epigenetic suppression of GAD65 expression mediates persistent pain, Nature Medicine, 2011 Oct 9;17(11):1448-55. Highlighted by: Harrison C, Analgesia: Unravelling epigenetic mechanisms of chronic pain. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 2011 Nov 18;10(12):900.
10.Zhang Z, Pan ZZ*. Synaptic mechanism for functional synergism between delta- and mu-opioid receptors, The Journal of Neuroscience, 2010 Mar 31;30(13):4735-45. Highlighted by: Kingwell K. Pain: Moreish analgesics dealt a blow. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2010 May 12; 11:374-375.
11.Bie B, Zhang Z, Cai YQ, Zhu W, Zhang Y, Dai J, Lowenstein CJ, Weinman EJ, Pan ZZ*. Nerve growth factor-regulated emergence of functional delta-opioid receptors,The Journal of Neuroscience, 2010 Apr 21;30(16):5617-28.
12.Zhang Z, Gong N, Wang W, Xu L, Xu TL*. Bell-shaped D-serine actions on hippocampal long-term depression and spatial memory retrieval, Cerebral Cortex, 2008 Oct;18(10):2391-401.