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Ying Zhang, MD

  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

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615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E2626
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Birmingham University, 1991
MD, Taishan Medical College, 1986


My research interests are focused on mechanisms of drug resistance and persistence in in different bacterial pathogens including M. tuberculosis, B. burgdorferi, E. coli, S. aureus etc. MDR/XDR-TB is an increasing public health problem and poses a significant threat to the disease control. One third of the world population is latently infected with the tubercle bacillus and HIV infection threatens to allow the latent TB to reactivate and worsen the TB situation. Improved understanding of the mechanisms of persistence and drug resistance, devising more rapid diagnostic tools, as well as developing drugs and vaccines that are active against drug-resistant and persister bacteria are important for better control of TB. For more details, see

We are also studying the persistence problem of Borrelia burgdorferi and develop more effective treatment. In addition, we have collaborative projects to study (1) MDR-TB/XDR-TB transmission and fitness and improved treatment in patients; (2) rapid molecular diagnostic tests and vaccine development; (3) cancer stem cells.

Areas of Interest: 1. Mechanisms of persister drug pyrazinamide (PZA) action and resistance in M. tuberculosis 2. Mechanisms of bacterial persistence and L-forms 3. Mycobacterial pathogenesis 4. Development of novel drugs and vaccines targeting persistent bacterial infections including TB and Lyme disease 5. Development of novel diagnostic tools for improved detection of TB and Lyme 6. Cancer stem cell mechanisms and drugs

  • Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, tuberculosis, mycobacteria, Lyme disease, persistence, 
  • persistent infections, L-form bacteria,  
  • drug resistance, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, drug and vaccine development, cancer stem cells
  • 1. Identified the first molecular mechanism of resistance to TB drug isoniazid (INH)

  •  Zhang, Y., Heym, B., Allen, B., Young, D., and Cole, S. (1992) The catalase-peroxidase gene and isoniazid resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. [Comment] Nature (London) 358: 591-593. 

  • Zhang, Y., Garbe, T., and Young, D. (1993) Transformation with katG restores isoniazid sensitivity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates resistant to a range of drug concentrations. Mol. Microbiol. 8: 521-524. 

  •  Zhang, Y. (2004). Isoniazid, In William N. Rom and Stuart Garay, ed, TUBERCULOSIS – 2nd Ed, Chapter 49, pp739-758, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, A Wolters Kluwer Company, New York.

  • 2. Identified the molecular mechanisms of resistance and action for the unique persister drug pyrazinamide (PZA):