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Qunwei Zhang, MD, MPH,PhD


Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Role: Faculty
Title: Associate Professor
Office No: Research Tower, Room 209C, Health Sciences Center 
Address: 500 South Preston Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Lab No: Medical Dental Research Building, Room 205 and 206

Address: 511 South Floyd Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Phone: 502/852-7200
Fax: 502/852-7246


Qunwei Zhang, MD, MPH, PhD, is an Associate Professor of the Department Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Dr. Zhang received his MD degree from Fujiang Medical University and his MPH degree from the School of Public Health at Zhejiang University, China. After three years of experimental and clinical studies on the treatment of pneumoconiosis by whole lung lavage, he entered a graduate program in the University of Fukui School of Medicine, Japan, and was got his PhD degree in 2000 for study of the mechanism of pulmonary effects of metals nano-particles. His subsequent post-doctoral training was in Dr. Max Costa's (Professor and Chairman) laboratory at New York University School of Medicine where he studied the molecular mechanisms of metal toxicity and carcinogenesis. He was then recruited to the Institute for Environmental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center as a Research Associate and Institute Associate Investigator under the mentorship of Dr. Aron Fisher (Professor and Director), where he studied on the mechanism of oxidative injury in lung ischemia-reperfusion. Dr. Zhang joined University of Louisville in 2005 as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 2011. He has published over 62 scientific articles and book chapters, and more than 72 abstracts presented in the national or international conference.

Research Interests

Nanotoxicology and pulmonary toxicology;
Metals toxicology, genotoxicology and carcinogenesis;
Lung ischemia and ion channel;
Free radicals and pulmonary diseases;
Gene expression and function;
Shear stress and NADPH oxidase;
Signal transduction involved in tumor promotion, prevention and cellular function.

Current Projects

1. Develop and evaluate the degradable polymerpoly(troloxester) nanoparticles for  medial application. The Clinical and Translational Science Grant Program at UofL. Principal Investigator, June 1, 2010-May, 31, 2011.

2. Activation of Endothelial cell and gene expression in lungs following exposure to ultrafine particles. Health Effects Institute, Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award (4751-RFA-05-2/06-12). Principal Investigator, Mar.1, 2007-December 31, 2011.

3. KSEF-1686-RED-11.  Oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction in aminal exposure to ultrafine particles and cigarette smoke. KSEF, Principal Investigator, July 1, 2008-June 30, 2010 (no cost-extension until June 30, 2011).

4. Mechanisms Underlying the Susceptibility of Diabetics to Ultrafine Particles. American Heart Association Great Rivers Affiliate, Principal Investigator, July 1, 2008-June 30, 2010 (no cost-extension until June 30, 2011).

5. Partial-thickness wound healing via topical ATP delivery. NIH/NIAMSD SBIR (2R44AR052984-02). Co-investigator (Dr. Chien, Principal Investigator), Sept.12, 2007-Aug. 31, 2010.

6. Carcinogenesis of nickel nanoparticles. Pilot project from the NIESH Center for Environmental Genomics and Integrative Biology (CEGIB) at the University of Louisville,  Principal Investigator, April 1, 2008-March 31, 2009

7. Center for Environmental Genomics and Integrative Biology (1P30ES01443-01A1). NIH/NIESH. Dr. Ramos (Principal Investigator), Dr. Zhang is a Career Development Program recipient, April 1, 2007-March 31, 2008

8. Endothelial generation of reactive oxygen species in lung exposure to ultrafine particles. National American Lung Association (RG-872-N), Principal Investigator. July 2004-Dec 2006.

9. Genotoxic effects of transition metal nanoparticles. University of Louisville Intramural Research Incentive Grant, Principal Investigator,  June 1 2006-May 31, 2007 

Honors and Awards

2008 Winner, Scientific Importance, Research!Louisville

2006 Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award, Health Effects Institute

2006 First Place of the Scientific Importance, Research!Louisville

2004-2006 National American Lung Association research grant award (Independent Investigator Award)

2002 Mechanism of Toxicity Gordon Research Conference travel grant award

2000-2002 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) post-doc fellowship for foreign researcher (about $100,000.00) - returned fellowship due to accepting the research associate scientist position in New York University, USA.

1998 Third British Epidemiology and Public Health Course travel grant award

1997 9th International Conference on Occupational Respiratory Diseases travel grant award

1995-2000 Japanese Ministry of Education, Sciences and Culture scholarship award (Japanese Government Scholarship)

1995 25th International Congress on Occupational Health travel grant award

Post-doc Fellow Received Awards Under the Mentor of Dr. Zhang

2010   The post-doc award, Nanotoxicology Specialty Section, 49 th Annual Meeting of Society of Toxicology at Salt Lake City, March 7-11, 2010. (Awardee: Dr. Rong Wan)

2009   Best Abstract by a post-doc, Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section, Annual Meeting of Society of Toxicology at Baltimore, March 15-19, 2009. (Awardee: Dr. Yiqun Mo)

2009  Travel Award for Trainees, Wound Biotechnology Foundation,   Wound Healing Society, 19 th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Dallas, Texas,  April 26-29, 2009. (Awardee: Dr. Yiqun Mo)

My Support Staff

Barbara Parker (502-852-3290)


Book Chapters

(7 publication(s) displayed.)


MoY, Wan R, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. "Nanomaterials". "Cancer and Inflammation Mechanisms: Chemical, Biological, and Clinical Aspects." Editors: Yusuke Hiraku, Shosuke Kawanishi, Hiroshi Ohshima. John Wiley & Sons. 2014 in press

Mo Y, Wan R, Zhang Q. Application of reverse transcription-PCR and real-time PCR in nanotoxicity research. Methods Mol. Biol. 2012; 926: 99-112. PMID: 22975959.

Fisher AB, Zhang Q. "NADPH and NADPH oxidase."  "Encyclopedia of Respiratory Medicine."  Editors: Geoffrey J. Laurent and Steven D. Shapiro. C2006 Elsevier Ltd, ISBN:0-12438360-2, 2006; Volume 3:77-83

"Differences in the inflammogenicity of standard and ultrafine metals: the role of nitric oxide."
"Advances in the Prevention of Occupational Respiratory Diseases"
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Sato K, Donaldson K. Editors: K. Chiyotani, Y Hosoda, Y Aizawa; Amsterdam: Elsevier Sciences B.V.; Publication Date: 1998
"The therapeutic effect of whole lung lavage with polyvinypyridine-N-Oxide solution in pneumoconiosis patients"
"Advances in the Prevention of Occupational Respiratory Diseases"
Zhang Z, Zhang Q, Yang D, Ding X, Luo J, He L Zhong H, Chen F. Luo J, Hong C. Editors: K. Chiyotani, Y Hosoda, Y Aizawa; Amsterdam: Elsevier Sciences B.V;
Publication Date: 1998
"Which is more immunotoxic to the respiratory system, ionic or metallic cobalt?"
"Metal Ions in Biology Medicine"
Kusaka Y, Zhang Q, Sato K, Kyono H, and Kohyama N. Editors: P.H. Collery, J. Corbella, J.L. Domingo, J.C. Etienne, J.M. Liobet; Pairs: John Liibbey Eurotext;
Publication Date: 1996
"Effect of cadmium on citrate uptake by isolated rats renal brush border membrane vesicles"
"Metal Ions in Biology Medicine"
Sato K, Kusaka Y, Zhang Q, Okada K, Nakakuki K, Muraoka R. Editors: P.H. Collery, J. Corbella, J.L. Domingo, J.C. Etienne, J.M. Liobet; Pairs: John Liibbey Eurotext;
Publication Date: 1996
Journal Articles

(44 publication(s) displayed.)

Feng L*, Zhang Y*, Jiang M, Mo Y, Wan R, Jia Z, Tollerud DJ. Zhang X, Zhang Q. Up-regulation of Gadd45 alpha after exposure to metal nanoparticles: the role of hypoxia inducible factor 1alpha. Environmental Toxicology. (*co-first author) 2014 in press (DOI: 10.1002/tox.21926)

Wan R*, Mo Y*, Feng L, Chien S, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. DNA damage caused by metal nanoparticles: the involvement of oxidative stress and activation of ATM. Chemical Research in Toxicology 2012; 25 (7):1402-1411. (*co-first author) PMID:22559321. Highlighting in this issue [2012; 25(7):1283].

Mo Y*, Wan R*, Feng L, Chien S, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. Combination effects of cigarette smoke extract and ambient ultrafine particles on endothelial cells. Toxicology in Vitro 2012; 26(2): 295-303. (*co-first author) PMID: 22178768

Wan R*, Mo Y*, Chien S, Li YH, Li YX, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. The role of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha in the increased MMP-2 and MMP-9 production by human monocytes exposed to nickel nanoparticles. Nanotoxicology. 2011; 5(4): 568-582.  PMID:21401309 (*co-first author)

Pushpakumar SB, Perez-Abadia G, Soni C, Wan R, Todnem N, Patibandla P, Fenster T, Zhang Q, Barker JH, Maldonado C. Enhancing complement control on endothelial barrier reduced renal post-ischemia dysfunction. Journal Surgery Research 2011; 170: e263-e270. PMID: 21816416.

Wang L, Zhang J, Zheng Y, Yang J, Zhang Q, Zhu X. Bioeffects of CdTe quantum dots on human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. 2010; 10: 8591-8595. PMID: 21121370

Wang J, Wan R, Mo Y, Zhang Q, Sherwood LC, Chien S. Creating a long-term diabetic rabbit model. Experimental Diabetes Research Volume 2010, Article ID 289614, 10 pages. doi: 10.1155/2010/289614. PMID: 21234414

Wang J, Wan R, Mo Y, Li M, Zhang Q, Chien S. Intracellular delivery of ATP enhanced healing process in full thickness skin wounds in diabetic animals. The American Journal of Surgery. 2010; 199:823-832. PMID: 20609726

Yu M*, Mo Y*, Wan R*, Chien S, Zhang X, Zhang Q. Regulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 expression in endothelial cells with exposure to metal nanoparticles. Toxicology Letters. 2010; 195: 82-89. (*co-first author). PMID:20171267

Wattamwar PP, Mo Y, Wan R, Palli R, Zhang Q, Dziubla TD. Antioxidant activity of degradable polymer poly(trolox) to suppress oxidative stress injury in cells. Advanced Funcional Materials. 2010; 20: 147-154.

Mo Y*, Wan R*, Wang J, Chien S, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. Diabetes is associated with increased sensitivity of alveolar macrophages to urban particulate matter exposure. Toxicology 2009; 262: 130-137.(* co-first author) PMID: 19505525

Mo Y*, Wan R*,  Chien S, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. Activation of endothelial cells after exposure to ambient ultrafine particles: the role of NADPH oxidase. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2009; 236: 183-193. (* co-first author). PMID: 19371610

Wang J, Zhang Q, Wan R, Mo Y, Li M, Tseng M, Chien S. Intracellular ATP delivery enhanced skin wound healing in rabbits. Annals of Plastic Surgery  2009; 64(2):180-186. PMID:19158531

Wan R*, Mo Y*, Zhang X, Chien S, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 are induced differently by metal nanoparticles in human monocytes: The role of oxidative stress and protein tyrosine kinase activation . Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2008; 233:276-285. (* co-first author). PMID: 18835569

Mo Y*, Zhu X*, Hu X, Tollerud DJ, Zhang Q. Cytokine and NO release from peripheral blood neutrophils after exposure to metal nanoparticles: in vitro and Ex vivo studies. Nanotoxicology 2008; 2(2): 79-87. (* co-first author)

Zhang Q, Chatterjee S, Wei Z, Liu WD, Fisher AB. Rac and PI3 kinase mediate endothelial cell reactive oxygen species generation during normoxic lung ischemia. Antioxidants & Redox Signalling 2008; 10(4): 679-690.  (Journal cover). PMID: 18162054

"Activation of endothelial NADPH oxidase during normoxic lung ischemia is KATP channel dependent"
Zhang Q, Matsuzaki I, Chatterjee S, Fisher AB. American Journal Physiology Lung Cellular Molecular Physiology; 289(6): L954-L961
Publication Date: 2005  PMID:16280460

"Membrane depolarization and NADPH oxidase activation in aortic endothelium during ischemia reflect altered mechanotransduction"
Matsuzaki I, Chatterjee S, Manevich Y, DeBolt K, Zhang Q, Fisher AB. American Journal Physiology Heart Circulatory Physiology; 288(1): H336-343
Publication Date: 2005. PMID: 15331375
"Nickel-induced 1,4-alpha-glucan branching enzyme 1 upregulation via the hypoxic signaling pathway"
Zhao J, Chen H, Davison T, Kluz T, Zhang Q, Costa M. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; 196(3): 404-409
Publication Date: 2004. PMID: 15094311  

"Exposure to chromium (VI) in the drinking water increased susceptibility to UV-induced skin tumors in hairless mice"
Davidson T, Kluz T, Burns F, Rossman T, Zhang Q, Uddin A, Nadas A, Costa M. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; 196(3): 431-437
Publication Date: 2004. PMID: 15094314

"Mouse 1-Cys peroxiredoxin highly related intronless gene is an expressed pseudogene"
Mo Y, Feinstein SI, Manevich Y, Zhang Q, Lu L, Ho YS, Fisher AB. FEBS Letter; 555(2): 192-198
Publication Date: 2003. PMID: 14644414
"Inhibition and reversal of nickel-induced transformation by histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A"
Zhang Q, Salnikow K, Kluz T, Chen L, Su W, Costa M. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; 192(3): 201-211
Publication Date: 2003. PMID: 14575637
"The involvement of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1-dependent pathway in nickel carcinogenesis"
Salnikow K, Davision T, Zhang Q, Chen L, Su W, Costa M. Cancer Research; 63(13): 3524-3530
Publication Date: 2003. PMID: 12839937
"Comparative toxicity of standard nickel and ultrafine nickel in lung after intratracheal instillation"
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Zhu X, Sato K, Mo Y, Kluz T, Donaldson K. Journal of Occupational Health; 45(1): 23-30
Publication Date: 2003. PMID: 14605425 
"The role of oxidative stress in nickel and chromate genotoxicity"
Costa M, Salnikow K, Sutherland JE, Broday L, Peng W, Zhang Q, Kluz T. Molecular Cellular Biochemistry; 234-235(1-2): 265-275
Publication Date: 2002. PMID: 12162442 
"Molecular mechanism of nickel carcinogenesis"
Cangul H, Broday L, Salnikow K, Sutherland J, Peng W, Zhang Q, Poltaratsky V, Zoroddu MA. Toxicology Letter; 127(1-3): 69-75
Publication Date: 2002. PMID: 12052643
"Comparison of the cytotoxicity, cellular uptake and DNA-protein crosslinks induced by potassium chromate in lymphoblast cell line derived from three different individuals"
Zhang Q, Kluz T, Salnikow K, Costa M. Biological Trace Element Research; 86(1): 11-22
Publication Date: 2002. PMID: 12002656
"The histone acetylase inhibitor trichostatin A reduce nickel-induced gene silicening in yeast and mamalian cells"
Sutherland JE, Peng W, Zhang Q, Costa M. Mutation Research (Fundamental and Molecular mechanisms of Mutagenesis); 479(1-2): 225-233
Publication Date: 2001. PMID: 11470494
"Involvement of Erks activation in cadmium-induced AP-1 transactivation in vivo and in vitro"
Huang C, Zhang Q, Li J, Ding M, Shi X, Castranova V, Ji G, Costa M, Dong Z.. Molecular Cellular Biochemistry; 222(1-2): 141-147
Publication Date: 2001. PMID: 11678596
"Determination the platelet activating factor in silicotic patients and its effect on the fibroblast cells"
Zhang Q, Mo Y, Lou J, Zhu X, He L, Zhong H. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine; 5(4): 134-137
Publication Date: 2001. PMID: 21432401
"Effect of platinum complex (PtCx) on citrate uptake by rat renal brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV): direct effects of cisplatin"
Sato K, Kusaka Y, Zhang Q, Zhu X, Okada K. Industrial Health; 38(3): 327-329
Publication Date: 2000. PMID: 10943082
"Comparative rat pulmonary responses caused by exposure to standard cobalt and ultrafine cobalt"
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Donaldson K. Journal Occupational Health; 42(2): 179-184
Publication Date: 2000
"Comparative injurious and pro-inflammatory effects of three ultrafine metals in macrophages from young and old rats"
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Donaldson K. Inhalation Toxicology; 12(Suppl 3): 267-273
Publication Date: 2000
"Physical and personality traits of preschool children in Fuzhou, China: only child vs. sibling"
Wang D, Kato N, Inaba Y, Tango T, Yoshida Y, Kusaka Y, Deguchi Y, Tomita F and Zhang Q. Child: Care, Health and Development; 26(1): 49-60
Publication Date: 2000: PMID:10696518
"The endocrine disruptive effects of mercury"
Zhu X, Sato K, Kusaka Y, Zhang Q. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine; 4(4): 174-183
Publication Date: 2000. PMID:21432482
"Tumor necrosis factor-alpha release from rat pulmonary leukocytes exposed to ultrafine cobalt: in vivo and in vitro studies"
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Sato K, Wang D, Donaldson K. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine; 4(2): 87-91
Publication Date: 1999. PMID:21432178
"Toxicity of ultrafine nickel particle in lung after intratracheal instillation"
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Sato K, Mo Y, Fukuda M, Donaldson K. Journal of Occupational Health; 40(2): 171-176
Publication Date: 1998
"Differences in the extent of inflammation caused by intratracheal exposure to three ultrafine metals: role of free radical."
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Sato K, Nakakuki K, Koyama N, Donaldson K. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health; 53(6): 423-438
Publication Date: 1998. PMID: 9537280
"Direct effect of inorganic mercury on citrate uptake by isolated rat renal brush border membrane vesicles"
Sato K, Kusaka Y, Zhang Q, Deguchi Y, Li B, Okada K, Nakakuki K, Muraoka R. Industrial Health; 35(4): 456-460
Publication Date: 1997. PMID: 9348716
"An epidemiological study on mercury sensitization"
Sato K, Kusaka Y, Zhang Q, Yanagihara M, Ueda K. Allergy International; 46(2): 201-206
Publication Date: 1997
"Citrate uptake by isolated rat renal brush border membrane vesicles in cadmium-intoxicated rats"
Sato K, Kusaka Y, Zhang Q, Deguchi Y, Li B, Okada K, Nakakuki K, Muraoka R. Industrial Health; 35(3): 388-393
Publication Date: 1997. PMID: 9248223
"Association of natural killer cell activity with serum Ig E"
Kusaka Y, Sato K, Zhang Q, Morita A, Kasahara T, Yanagihara Y. International Arch Allergy and Immunology; 112(4): 331-335
Publication Date: 1997. PMID: 9104787
"Investigation of the association between mercury sensitization and HLA-DR6"
Sato K, Kusaka Y, Zhang Q, Yanagihara M, Ueda K, Morihiro H and Ishii Y. Contact Dermatitis (Environmental and Occupational Dermatitis); 34(4): 295
Publication Date: 1996. PMID: 8730172
"Dynamic changes of constituents in bronchoalveolar fluid in experimental silicotic rats"
Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Zhang QF, He L, Zhang Z, Sato K. Industrial Health; 34(4): 379-388
Publication Date: 1996. PMID: 8908848

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