GuangJun Zhang, MD, PhD

John T. and Winifred M. Hayward Associate Professor of Genetic Research, Genetic Epidemiology and Comparative Medicine

Department of Comparative Pathobiology

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
625 Harrison Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: 765.496.1523

Zhang Research Group | Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases


2007 - PhD | University of Florida
2001 - MS | Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
1998 - MD | Tongji University, College of Medicine

Areas of Interest

Cancer genetics and genomics
Ion channel functions in embryonic development
Bioelectricity in embryogenesis and cancers
Zebrafish genetic models of human diseases
Evolutionary developmental biology

Selected Publications

– Silic, M.R., Murata, S.H., Park, S.J., Zhang, G. (2021). Evolution of inwardly rectifying potassium channels and their gene expression in zebrafish embryos. Developmental Dynamics.

– Han, H., Jiang, G.Z., Kurami, R., Silic, M.R., Owens, J.L., Hu, C.D., Mittal, S.K., Zhang, G. (2021). Loss of smarcad1a accelerates tumorigenesis of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors in zebrafish. Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer. 60:743–761.

– Silic, M.R., Black, M.M., Zhang, G. (2021). Phylogenetic and developmental analyses indicate complex functions of Calcium‐Activated Potassium Channels in zebrafish embryonic development. Developmental Dynamics.

– Silic, M.R., Wu Q., Kim, B.H., Golling, G., Chen, K.H., Freitas, R., Chubykin, A.A., Mittal, S.K., and Zhang, G. #. (2020). Potassium Channel-Associated Bioelectricity of the Dermomyotome Determines Fin Patterning in Zebrafish. Genetics. 215: 1067-1084. doi: 10.1534/genetics.120.303390.

– Kim BH, Zhang, G#. (2020). Generating Stable Knockout Zebrafish Lines by Deleting Large Chromosomal Fragments Using Multiple gRNAs. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. g3.401035.2019. doi: 10.1534/g3.119.401035

– Silic M.R., Zhang G. (2018). Visualization of Cellular Electrical Activity in Zebrafish Early Embryos and Tumors. JOVE, 134: e57330, doi:10.3791/57330

– Kumari K., Silic M.R., Jones-Hall Y.L., Nin-Velez A., Yang J.Y., Mittal S.K., Zhang G. (2018). Identification of RECK as an evolutionarily conserved tumor suppressor gene for zebrafish malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Oncotarget, 9:23494-23504.

– Cui Z, Shen, Y.J., Chen K.H., Mittal, S.K., Yang, J.Y., and Zhang, G. (2017). KANK1 inhibits cell growth by inducing apoptosis through regulating CXXC5 in human malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Scientific Reports 7: 40325

– Hensley, M. R., Chua, R. F., Leung, Y. F., Yang, J. Y., Zhang, G. (2016) Molecular Evolution of MDM1, a 'Duplication-Resistant' Gene in Vertebrates. PLoS One 11, e0163229, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163229.

– Hensley, M.R., Cui, Z., Chua, R.F.M., Simpson, S., Shammas, N.L., Yang, J.-Y., Leung, Y.F., and Zhang, G. (2016). Evolutionary and developmental analysis reveals KANK genes were co-opted for vertebrate vascular development. Scientific Reports 6, 27816.

– Tarazona, O.A., Slota, L.A., Lopez, D.H., Zhang, G. & Cohn, M.J. (2016) The genetic program for cartilage development has deep homology within Bilateria. Nature, 533: 86–89.

– Zhang G., Hoersch S., Amsterdam A., Whittaker C.A., Beert E., Catchen, J.M., Farrington, S., Postlethwait, J.H., Legius E., Hopkins, N., Lees, J.A. (2013) Comparative Oncogenomic Analysis of Copy Number Alterations in Human and Zebrafish Tumors Enables Cancer Driver Discovery. PLoS Genetics 9(8): e1003734. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003734

– Zhang G., Vemulapalli, T.H., Yang J.Y. (2013) Phylooncogenomics: Examining the cancer genome in the context of vertebrate evolution. Applied & Translational Genomics, 2: 48-54.

– Zhang G., Hoersch S., Amsterdam A., Whittaker C.A,. Lees J.A., Hopkins N. (2010). Highly aneuploid zebrafish malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors have genetic alterations similar to human cancers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107: 16940-16945.

– Zhang, G. (2009). An Evo-Devo view on the origin of the backbone: evolutionary development of the vertebrae. Integrative and Comparative Biology 49: 178-186.

– Zhang, G. Eames, B.F. and Cohn, M.J. (2009). Evolution of Vertebrate Cartilage Development. Current Topics in Developmental Biology 86: 15-42.

– Zhang, G. and Cohn, M.J. (2008). Genome duplication and the origin of the vertebrate skeleton. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 18:387-393.

– Freitas, R., Zhang, G. and Cohn, M. J (2007). Multiphasic expression of HoxA and HoxD genes during shark fin development: implications for the origin of tetrapod limbs. PLoS ONE, 2: e754.

– Zhang, G. and Cohn, M.J. (2006). Hagfish and lancelet fibrillar collagens reveal that type II collagen-based cartilage evolved in stem vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103: 16829-33.

– Freitas, R., Zhang, G., Cohn, M.J. (2006). Evidence that mechanisms of fin development evolved in the midline of early vertebrates. Nature. 2006 442: 1033-7.

– Zhang, G., Miyamoto, M.M., Cohn, M.J. (2006). Lamprey type II collagen and Sox9 reveal an ancient origin of the vertebrate collagenous skeleton. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103: 3180-5.

– Freitas, R., Zhang, G., Albert, J.S., Evans, D.H., Cohn, M.J. (2006). Developmental origin of shark electrosensory organs. Evolution and Development. 8: 74-80.

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