Biography

Xiang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth Science Center Houston as an Associate Professor in 2014. He is also the Director of the Psychiatry Research Center, Beijing HuiLongGuan Hospital (BHH), Peking University. In addition, Dr. Zhang is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and a professor at both Peking University and Jinlin University in China.

Dr. Zhang received his M.D. degree from Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China and completed his residency training in psychiatry at the BHH, Peking University in China. He served as a clinical psychiatrist in BHH, one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in China with 1360 inpatients, for ten years. He then received his PhD degree from the Institute of Mental Health, Peking University. Afterwards, he moved to the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University for post-doctoral training in genetics in schizophrenia in 1999. Then he continued his post-doctoral training in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine from 2000-2003. He joined the faculty of Yale University in July 2003 as an Associate Research Scientist. In July 2006, he moved to Houston to join the faculty at BCM as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences where he was promoted to the position of Associate Professor in 2009. At the same time, with the receipt of two grants from the Stanley Medical Research Institute Foundation, Dr. Zhang has set up a Psychiatry Research Center in BHH. The center is composed of the Biochemistry Lab, Genetics Lab, Psychopharmacology Lab, Neuro-immunology Lab, Neuro-Electrophysiology Lab, and Neurocognition Lab, and more than 30 faculty and staff are working in the center.

Dr. Zhang has focused on schizophrenia and drug dependence/addiction research throughout his career. His areas of expertise include comprehensive studies in clinical symptom, cognition, biomarkers (such as oxidative stress and antioxidant, neuroimmune parameters, neurotropins, neuro-electrophysiology, neuroimaging, etc.), genetics and clinical psychopharmacology. The goal of his research is to examine and understand the mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and drug dependence/addiction in order to build rational treatments for the illness.

Up to date, he has authored or co-authored more than 240 journal articles with over 5600 citations. In the past five years, he has authored or co-authored more than 20 articles annually. For example, he has authored or co-authored 31 articles in 2016, among which he was the first and/or corresponding author for 7 articles with the impact factor >5.

His articles have been reported and commented by 4 international professional journals. For example, his findings regarding the clinical efficacy of extract of ginkgo biloba in the treatment of schizophrenia, published in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, was reported as the lead article by the Chronicle of Neurology and Psychiatry. His findings of decreased plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in schizophrenia patients with tardive dyskinesia in another paper, published in Schizophrenia Research was reported by the Psychiatry News of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). His study results that extract of Ginkgo biloba added to haloperidol was effective for positive symptoms in refractory schizophrenia through its antioxidant effect in another paper, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology was reported by the Evidence Based Mental health. Recently, his findings that the fewer positive symptoms in smokers and fewer negative symptoms in those who smoked more cigarettes were associated with decreased oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in schizophrenia who smoke tobacco, published in Neuropsychopharmacology was commented and reported by the Faculty of 1000. Most recently, his new findings that the BDNF system may be implicated in the pathophysiology of TD and its improvement with antioxidant treatment, and patients with the genetic potential for greater BDNF release may obtain a greater reduction in TD from EGb-761 treatment in another paper, published in Biological Psychiatry was commented and reported twice by the Faculty of 1000. Currently, Dr. Zhang is an invited reviewer for over 40 peer-reviewed journals and serves on the editorial board member of 5 scientific journals.

Dr Zhang has been a recipient of 7 International Conference awards, and more than 10 National Science and Technology Awards in China, including the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) travel award in (ACNP) (Hawaii, USA); Young Psychiatrist Fellowship, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) (Istanbul, Turkey); Senior Scientist Award, 13th Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia (Davos, Switzerland); Early Career Investigator Travel Award , the 67th College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) (Florida, USA); Young Investigator Travel Award, 7th International Congress of Neuroimmunology (Venice, Italy); NIDA Junior Investigator Travel Award, 66th College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) (Florida, USA) and Young Scientist Award, 10th Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia (Davos, Switzerland).

Dr Zhang’s research has been supported by the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Stanley Medical Research Institute Foundation, NARSAD Grant, as well as the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Beijing Municipal Natural Science Foundation.

Education

Medical Degree
Anhui Medical University, China
Doctoral Degree
Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, China
Residency
General Psychiatry, Beijing HuiLongGuan Hospital, Peking University, China
Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Psychopharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine

Areas of Interests

Clinical Interests

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety/OCD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia

Research Interests

• Smoking in schizophrenia and mood disorder
• Cognitive function in schizophrenia and mood disorder
• Gender difference in schizophrenia and mood disorder
• Oxidative stress in schizophrenia
• Neuroinflammation in schizophrenia
• Genetics in schizophrenia
• Neurotrophins in schizophrenia
• Neurophysiology (P50 and PPI) in schizophrenia
• MRI (resting, functional MRI and DTI) in schizophrenia
• Clinical psychopharmacology
-Clinical trials in inpatients
-Antipsychotic-induced side effects: body weight gain and obesity, diabetes, tardive dyskinesia