ZHANG Zhijun

ZHANG Zhijun

Ph.D, Professor, Principal investigator
The precise diagnosis and treatment for depressive disorder: screening and functional verification of biomarkers of multiple dimensions and multi-omics, central delivery and target intervention, and neuroregulation.
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Professional Appointments:    

Dr. Zhijun Zhang, Her research has been mainly focusing on the study of pathogenesis and psychopharmacology of schizophrenia (SCH, particularly from 1995 to 2004). Her team has made substantial improvement in pathology, pharmacogenetics and neuroimaging for schizophrenia. In the past 17 years, her research filed has been expanding to the study of pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of major depression (MD) and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI)/Alzheimer’s disease (AD) through clinical patients and animal model as well. Up to now, they have made contribution on the investigation of biomarkers for the prediction of early stage AD and prevention of MD and AD. Most recently, her team focuses on the MD study, especially on developing novel biomarkers and applying multidisciplinary approach to intervene the disease. As the principal investigator, she has been funded with 20 important research projects, published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers including 280 SCI articles. She has worked as a visiting scientist in Department of Biomedical Science, Neurocognition and Neuroimaging Research Center, University of Sheffield, U.K, and Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Research Center, Belfast University, UK, from July 2000 to December 2006. She has worked in the Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, UK as a Post-doctoral Research Assistant from March 1999 to February 2000 so on. She has worked in the Department of Psychiatry of Nanjing Brain Hospital as a vice Professor, Professor from March 2000 to May 2004. She has worked in the Neurology Department of Affiliated ZhongDa Hospital of Southeast University as a resident clinical doctor and progressed to a senior resident doctor and then clinical lecturer and senior lecturer of neurology form July 1986 to November 1995.


Education / Board Examination:

1999/3-2000/3:University of Sheffield, UK , Post doctor

1997/7-2000/2:University of Sheffield, UK, Doctor

1996/6-1997/6:University of Sheffield, UK, Master

1981/9-1986/7:Southeast University, Bachelor


Main Research Project (PI):

2019   Science and Technology Program of Guangdong

2018   Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation

2016   National key research and development project - major chronic noncommunicable disease prevention and control research 

2014   Key International Collaborate Program of National Nature Science Foundation

2012   National Science and Technology Major Projects for “Major New Drugs Innovation and Development”

2009   National Nature Science Foundation of China for the Excellent Young Scientist

2008   National Basic Research Program of China 863

2007   National Basic Research Program of China 973

2017,2015, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002 General Project of National Natural Science Foundation


  • Huaxia Medical Science and Technology Award(second class) (2019)
  • The winner of China Ministry Education Natural Science Award (first class)(2016)
  • The winner of Natural Science and Technology Award from Jiangsu government (2014)
  • The winner of Shanghai Science and Technology Award (first class) (2012)
  • The winner of China Medical Science and Technology Award (first class) (2011)
  • The winner of China Ministry Education Natural Science Award (first class)(2009)
  • The winner of Natural Science and Technology Award from Jiangsu government (2007)
  • The winner of China Medical Science and Technology Award(2005)
  • The winner of Nature Science Awards from Nanjing local government(2005)
  • The winner of Nature Science Awards from Nanjing local government(2003)
  • The winner of Young Scientist Awards in 11th Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia in Davos, Switzerland (2002)
  • The winner of Young Scientist Awards in International Congress of Schizophrenia Research in Whistler, Canada(2001)
  • The winner of Young Scientist Awards in Tenth Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia in Davos, Switzerland(2000)
  • The winner of Young Scientist Awards in Ninth Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia in Davos, Switzerland(1998)



  • Special government allowance from the State Council(2018)
  • China Outstanding Neurology Physician Academic Achievement Award(2017)
  • Middle-aged and young experts with outstanding contributions to the 7th National Health and Family Planning(2015)
  • JiangsuProvince Outstand Scientist Honor (2013)
  • JiangsuProvince Excellent Scientist Back From Abroad Honor (2012)
  • Jiangsu Province Important Key leader for Science and Technology(2012)
  • JiangsuProvince Outstand Communist Party Member Honor (2011)
  • Jiangsu Province "333" project personnel(2011)
  • JiangsuProvince Excellent Medical Key Person (2011)
  • National Excellent Young Scientist Research Foundation(2008)

Associated Editor:
Neuroscience Bulletin (SCI)

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease(SCI)

Selected publications

Publications in the last five years (most recently) 2022-2018

  1. Yang HB, Yu ZY, Ji SS, Yan J, kong Y, Huo Q, Zhang ZJ*, Niu YM*, and Liu Y*. Regulation of synovial macrophages polarization by mimicking efferocytosis for therapy of osteoarthritis. Advanced Functional Materials. 2022 online.(2021 IF=19.92)
  2. Dang XL, Zhang ZJ*, Luo XJ*. Mendelian randomization using dopaminergic neuron eQTL identifies risk genes for Parkinson's disease.  Movement Disorders. 2022 Accepted.(2021 IF=9.698)
  3. WangJY, Liu JW, Li SW, Li XY, Yang JF, Dang XL, Mu CG, Li YF, Li KQ, Li J, Chen R, Liu YX, Huang D, Zhang ZJ, Luo XJ*. Genetic regulatory and biological implications of the 10q24.32 schizophrenia risk locus. Brain. 2022 Accepted.(2021 IF=15.255)
  4. Han YH, Wu D, Wang YJ, Xie J, Zhang ZJ*. Skin alph a-synuclein deposit patterns: A predictor of Parkinson's disease subtypes. EBioMedicine.2022; 80: 104076 (2021 IF= 11.205)
  5. Xie J#, Cheng ZH#, Gu LH, Wu BK, Zhang GJ, Shiu WS, Chen RL, Wang Z, Liu C, Tu J, Cai XC, Liu J*, Zhang ZJ*. Evaluation of cerebrovascular hemodynamics in vascular dementia patients with a new individual computational fluid dynamics algorithm. Comput Meth Prog Bio. 2022; 213:106497(2021 IF= 7.027) 
  6. Lu QB#, Wu FF#, Jiao J, Xue L, Song RZ, Shi YC, Kong Y, Sun JF, Gu N, Han MH*, Zhang ZJ*. Selective activation of ABCA1/ApoA1 signalling in the primary visual cortex by magnetoelectric stimulation rapidly ameliorates depression-like behaviours via regulation of synaptic plasticity. iScience. 2022; 25(5):104201(2021 IF=6.107)
  7. Jiao J, Wang F*, Huang JJ, Huang JJ, Li ZA, Kong Y, Zhang ZJ*.Microfluidic Hollow Fiber with Improved Stiffness Repairs Peripheral Nerve Injury through Non-invasive Electromagnetic Induction and Controlled Release of NGF. Chem Eng J. 2021; 426 :131826 (2021 IF=16.744)
  8. Shi YC#, Song RZ#, Wang Z#, Zhang H, Zhu JL, Yue YY, Zhao Y*, Zhang ZJ*.Potential clinical value of circular RNAs as peripheral biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of major depressive disorder. EBioMedicine. 2021;66:103337 (2021 IF = 11.205)
  9. Shi YC#, Song RZ#, Wang Z#, Zhang HX, Zhu JL, Yue YP, Zhao Y*, and Zhang ZJ*. Non-coding RNAs in Depression: promising diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers. EBioMedicine. 2021;71:103569 (2021 IF = 11.205)
  10. Gao LJ, Gu LH, Shu H, Chen J, Zhu JL, Wang B, Shi YC, Song RZ, Li K, Li XR, Zhang HS, Zhang HX, Zhang ZJ*.The reduced left hippocampal volume related to the delayed P300 latency in amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Psychol Med. 2021; 51(12):2054-2062(2021 IF= 592)
  11. Zhang ZJ#*, Zhang HX#, Xie CM#, Zhang M#, Shi YH, Song RZ, Lu X, Zhang HS, Li K, Wang B, Yang YF, Li XR, Zhu JL, Zhao Y, Yuan TF and Northoff Georg*. Task-related functional magnetic resonance imaging-based neuronavigation for the treatment of depression by individualized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of visual cortex. Sci China Life Sci. 2021; 64 (1) :96-106(2021 IF=10.372)
  12. Zuo L, Xie J, Liu Y, Leng S, Zhang ZJ*, Yan FL*. Down-regulation of circular RNA CDC14A peripherally ameliorates brain injury in acute phase of ischemic stroke. J Neuroinflamm. 2021; 18:283 (2021 IF= 9.587)
  13. Qian FY, Guo YD, Zu J, Zhang JH, Zheng YM, Ali AI, Pan ZH, Xie CM*, Gao HC*, Zhang ZJ*. A novel recessive mutation affecting DNAJB6a causes myofibrillar myopathy. Acta Neuropathol Com. 2021; 9(1) :23 (2021 IF=7.578)
  14. Shu H#, Gu LH#, Yang P#, Lucas MV, Gao LJ, Zhang H, Zhang H, Xu Z, Wu W*, Li L*, Zhang ZJ*. Disturbed temporal dynamics of episodic retrieval activity with preserved spatial activity pattern in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: A simultaneous EEG-fMRI study. NeuroImage-Clin. 2021; 30 :102572(2021 IF=7.4)
  15. Shi YC#, Wang Z#, Cheng PD, Cheng PY, Zhao K, Zhang HX, Shu H, Gu LH, Wang Q, Zhang HS, Xie CM, Liu Y*, and Zhang ZJ*. Episodic Memory-related Imaging Features as Valuable Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease: A Multicenter Study Based on Machine Learning. Biol Psychiat-Cogn N. 2021; 20 :30378-30385(2021 IF=6.05)
  16. Zhang Y#, Du LF#, Bai Y#, Han B#, He CC#, Gong L, Huang RR, Shen L, Chao J, Liu P, Zhang HX, Zhang HS, Gu L, Li JX, Hu G, Xie CM*, Zhang ZJ*, Yao HH*. CircDYM ameliorates depressive-like behavior by targeting miR-9 to regulate microglial activation via HSP90 ubiquitination. Mol Psychiatr. 2020; 25(6):1175–1190.(2021 IF=13.437)
  17. Zuo L, Zhang L, Zu J, Wang Z, Han B, Chen BL, Cheng MJ, Ju MZ,  Li MY, Shu GF, Yuan MQ, Jiang W, Chen XF, Yan FL, Zhang ZJ*and Yao HH*. Circulating circular RNAs as biomarkers for the diagnosis and prediction of outcomes in acute ischemic stroke. Stroke. 2020; 51(1):319–323 (2021 IF=10.17)
  18. Xu Z, Xie CM, Xia L, Yuan YG, Zhu H, Huang XF, Li CH, Tao Y, Qu XX, Zhang FY*, Zhang ZJ*.Targeted exome sequencing identifies five novel loci at genome-wide significance for modulating antidepressant response in patients with major depressive disorder. Transl Psychiat. 2020; 10(1):30 (2021 IF= 7.989)
  19. Lv X, Chen J, Shu H, Wang Z, Shi YM, Yuan YG, Xie CM, Liao WX, Su F, Shi YC, Zhang ZJ*. Predicting conversion to Alzheimer's disease among individual high-risk patients using the Characterizing AD Risk Events index model. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2020; 26(7):720–729(2021 IF=7.035)
  20. Wu D#, Tang X#, Gu L, Li XL, Qi XY, Bai F, Chen XC, Wang JZ, Ren QG*, Zhang ZJ*. LINGO-1 antibody ameliorates myelin impairment and spatial memory deficits in the early stage of 5XFAD mice. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics. 2018; 24(5):381-393. (2021 IF=7.035)


Other publication (2017-2002)

  1. Bai F*, Shi YM, Yuan YG, Xie CM, Zhang ZJ*. Immunity factor contributes to altered brain functional networks in individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease: Neuroimaging-genetic evidence. Brain Behav Immun. 2016;56:84-95 (2021 IF=19.227)
  2. Shu H#, Shi YM#, Chen G, Wang Z, Liu D, Yue CX, Ward D, Li W, Xu Z, Chen G, Guo Q, Xu J, Li SJ*, Zhang ZJ*. Opposite neural trajectories of apolipoprotein E I mu 4 and I mu 2 alleles with aging associated with different risks of Alzheimer's disease. Cereb Cortex. 2016,26(4):1421–1429(2021 IF=4.861)
  3. Xie C*, Bai F, Yuan BY, Yu H, Shi YM, Yuan YG, Wu D, Zhang ZS, Zhang ZJ*. Joint Effects of Gray Matter Atrophy and Altered Functional Connectivity on Cognitive Deficits in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients. Psychol Med 2015; 45(9):1799-1810(2021 IF=10.592)
  4. Deng M, Wei L, Zuo XB, Tian YH, Xie F, Hu PP, Zhu CY, Yu FQ, Meng Y, Wang HH, Zhang FF, Ma HJ, Ye R, Cheng HD, Du J, Dong WW, Zhou SS, Wang CQ, Wang Y, Wang JY, Chen XW, Sun ZW, Zhou N, Jiang YB, Liu XX, Li XG, Zhang N, Liu N, Guan YJ, Han YS, Han YZ, Lv XY, Fu Y, Yu H, Xi CH, Xie DD, Zhao QY, Xie P, Wang X, Zhang ZJ, Shen L, Cui Y, Yin XY, Cheng H, Liang B, Zheng XD, Tatia M C Lee, Chen G, Zhou FS, Jan H Veldink, Wim Robberecht, John E Landers, Peter M Andersen, Ammar Al-Chalabi, Chris Shaw, Liu CF, Tang BS, Xiao SX, Janice Robertson, Zhang FY, Leonard H van den Berg, Sun LD, Liu JJ, Yang S, Ju XD, Wang  K*& Zhang XJ. Genome-wide association analyses in Han Chinese identify two new susceptibility loci for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nat Genet. 2013; 45(6):697-702. (2021 IF=41.307)
  5. Zhang XY, Liu L, Liu S, Hong X, Chen da C, Xiu MH, Yang FD, Zhang ZJ, Zhang X, Kosten TA, Kosten TR. Short-term tropisetron treatment and cognitive and P50 auditory gating deficits in schizophrenia. Am J Psychiat . 2012;169(9):974-81(2021 IF=19.242)
  6. Zhuang LY, Kiu XY, Xu XH, Yue CX, Shu H, Bai F, Yu H, Shi YM, Zhang ZJ*. Association of the interleukin 1 beta gene and brain spontaneous activity in amnestic mild cognitive Impairment. J Neuroinflamm.2012;9:753 (2021 IF=9.587)
  7. Bai F#, Shu N#, Yuan Y, Shi Y, Yu H, Wu D, He Y*, Zhang ZJ*. Topologically convergent and divergent connectivity patterns of white matter structural networks between remitted geriatric depression and mild cognitive impairment. J Neurosci. 2012;32(12):4307–4318 (2021 IF=6.709)
  8. Zhang HY, Wang SJ, Liu B, Ma ZL, Yang M, Zhang ZJ, Teng GJ. Resting brain connectivity: Changes during the progress of Alzheimer disease. Radiology2010; 256(2): 598-606(2021 IF=29.146)
  9. Bai F, Zhang ZJ*, David R. Watson, Hui Yu, Shi YM, Yuan YG, Zang YF, Zhu CZ, Qian Y. Abnormal functional connectivity of hippocampus during episodic memory retrieval processing network in amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Biol Psychiat2009; 65(11): 951-958(2021 IF=12.81)
  10. Wang SH, Zhang ZJ*, Guo YJ, Teng GJ, Chen BA. Decreased expression of serotonin 1A receptor in the dentate gyrus in association with chronic mild stress: A rat model of post-stroke depression. Psychiat Res. 2009; 170(2-3): 245-251(2021 IF=11.225)
  11. Zhang XB, Zhang ZJ*, Sha WW, Xie CM, Xi GJ, Zhou HH, Zhang YM.Electroconvulsive therapy increases glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) serum levels in patients with drug-resistant depression. Psychiat Res. 2009; 170(2-3): 273-275(2021 IF=11.225)
  12. Yuan YG, Zhu WL, Zhang ZJ*, Bai F, Yu H, Shi YM, Qian Y , Liu W, Jiang TZ, You JY, Liu ZN. Regional gray matter changes are associated with cognitive deficits in remitted geriatric depression: an optimized voxel-based morphometry study. Biol Psychiat2008; 64(6): 541-544(2021 IF=12.81)
  13. Zhang ZJ*, Hao GF, Shi JB, Mou XD, Yao ZJ, Chen N. Investigation of the neural substrates of voice familiarity in Chinese schizophrenic patients with auditory verbal hallucination:A event-related fMRI study. Acta Psychiat Scand. 2008;118(4): 272-280.(2021 IF=7.734)
  14. Wang CJ, Zhang ZJ*,Sun J, Zhang XB, Mou XD, Zhang XR, Shang XF, Zhang TQ.  Serum free fatty acids and glucose metabolism, insulin resistance in schizophrenia with chronic antipsychotics. Biol Psychiat. 2006; 60(12): 1309-1313(2021 IF=12.81)
  15. Zhang ZJ,Yao ZJ, Liu W, Fang Q, Reynolds GP. Effects of antipsychotics on fat deposition and changes in leptin and insulin levels—Magnetic imaging study of previously untreated people with schizophrenia. Brit J Psychiat. 2004; 184: 58-62(2021 IF=10.671)
  16. Reynolds GP, Zhang ZJ, Zhang XB.Polymorphism of the promoter region of the serotonin 5-HT2C receptor gene and clozapine-induced weight gain. Am J Psychiat. 2003; 160(4): 677-679(2021 IF=19.242)
  17. Reynolds GP, Zhang ZJ, Zhang XB.Association of antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain with a 5-HT2C receptor gene polymorphism. Lancet. 2002; 359(9323): 2086-2087(2021 IF=202.731)
  18. Zhang ZJ, Zhang XB, Sha WW, Zhang XB, Reynolds GP.Association of a polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin 5-HT2C receptor gene with tardive dyskinesia in patients with schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatr. 2002; 7(7): 670-671(2021 IF=13.437)
  19. Bearsly CL,Zhang ZJ, Patten I, Reynolds GP. Selective deficits in prefrontal cortical GABAergic neurons in schizophrenia defined by the presence of calcium-binding proteins. Biol Psychiat. 2002; 52(7): 708-715(2021 IF=12.81)
  20. Zhang ZJ,Reynolds GP. A selective decrease in the relative density of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in the hippocampus in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2002; 55(1-2):1-10.(2021 IF=4.662)