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Qi Zhang

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology


My research group composes students, postdocs and staff from various disciplines and most of our work is interdisciplinary. Our current research projects built around novel imaging technologies and the fundamental elements of modern biomedical science. The topics of interest include synaptic physiology, neuropathology, membrane biophysics, nanomaterials, cell lineage reprograming and super-resolution imaging, and can be categorized into three groups. First, we are investigating the changes of synaptic protein distribution and processing during the development of synaptic plasticity. Second, we are exploring the synaptic mechanisms underlying neurological disorders, especially drug addiction and neurodegeneration. Third, we are evaluating the contribution of lipids in cell membrane trafficking and transmembrane signaling. Fourth, we are developing original techniques and cell preparations that offer unprecedented precision and reliability for studying neural synapses and network. Multidisciplinary collaborations with various laboratories at Vanderbilt or other institutions greatly advanced those exciting projects.


NIH New Innovator Award, 2011
NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2011
Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert New Investigator Awards, 2010
Edmund Optics Higher Education Grant Finalist, 2010
NIH “Pathway to Independence” K99/R00 award, 2009
Sammy Kuo Awards, 2009
Grass Fellow, Marine Biology Laboratory, 2008
Nominated for Beckman Senior Research Fellow, 2007
Advanced Neuroscience Research Fellowship, Iowa State University, 2001
Advanced MCDB Research Fellowship, Iowa State University, 2001
“All But Dissertation” Scholarship, Iowa State University, 2001
Premium for Academic Excellence, Iowa State University, 1998-1999
People’s Scholarship, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 1993-1997

Selected Publications:

Effect of Competitive Surface Functionalization on Dual-Modality Fluorescence and Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes. Hong, T; Lazarenko, RM; Colvin, DC; Flores, RL; Zhang, Q; Xu, YQ, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 116, 16319-16324 , (2012) View Abstract

The Dynamic Control of Kiss-And-Run and Vesicular Reuse Probed with Single Nanoparticles. Zhang, Q; Li, YL; Tsien, RW, SCIENCE, 323, 1448-1453 , (2009) View Abstract

Quantum dots provide an optical signal specific to full collapse fusion of synaptic vesicles. Zhang, Q; Cao, YQ; Tsien, RW, PROCEEDINGS - NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 104, 17843-17848 , (2007) View Abstract

Synaptotagmin IV regulates glial glutamate release. Zhang, Q; Fukuda, M; Van Bockstaele, E; Pascual, O; Haydon, PG, PROCEEDINGS - NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 101, 9441-9446 , (2004) View Abstract