Jianzhi Zhang

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Jianzhi Zhang

Marshall W. Nirenberg Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

University of Michigan
1075 Kraus Natural Science Building
830 North University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048

Office Location(s): 1075 Kraus Natural Science Building
Phone: 734.763.0527
Fax: 734.763.0544
Lab phone: 734.763.0514
Zhang Lab
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Center for Statistical Genetics, School of Public Health
    • Bioinformatics Program, U-M Medical School
  • Fields of Study
    • Molecular and genomic evolution
  • About

    Academic Background

    B. S., Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 1992; Ph. D., Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 1998; Fogarty postdoctoral fellow, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 1999-2001; Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 2001-2005; Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 2005-2009; Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 2009-present.

    Research Interests

    There are three major research topics in my lab:

    (1) Genetic basis of primate diversity and human origins
    We use bioinformatic as well as experimental approaches to identify human-specific genetic changes that are of fundamental importance to the origin of our species. We are also studying the evolution of sensory genes (pheromone and taste receptors) in primates and other mammals.

    (2) Yeast as an evolutionary model organism
    We are using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its relatives as model organisms to understand a variety of evolutionary processes, including questions about (i) the molecular basis of adaptation, (ii) genic and genomic bases of reproductive isolation, (iii) mechanisms of retention and functional divergence of duplicate genes after individual gene duplication and genome-wide duplication, (iv) evolutionary forces and molecular mechanisms of transcriptome evolution, (v) natural selection on and evolutionary consequences of gene expression noise, and (vi) fitness effects of random mutations.

    (3) Evolutionary systems biology
    Using systems biology approaches, we analyze publicly available functional genomic data to characterize and understand pleiotropy, redundancy, epistasis, and other important genetic and evolutionary phenomena.

    I also encourage students and postdoctoral fellows to develop their own projects in the general area of molecular and genomic evolution.


    BIO 335: Biodiversity Research Seminar

    EEB 410: Capstone Seminars in Ecology and Evolution

    EEB 512: Molecular and Genomic Evolution

  • Education
    • Ph. D., Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 1998
  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Molecular and genomic evolution
  • Graduate Students
    • Wei-Chin Ho
    • Chuan Li
    • Brian Metzger
    • Bryan Moyers (Bioinformatics)
    • Mengyi Sun
    • Xinzhu Wei
    • Jinrui Xu (Bioinformatics)
  • Postdoctoral Fellows
    • Xiaoshu Chen
    • Diyan Li
    • Calum MacLean
    • Guixia Xu
    • JianRong Yang