Welcome to The Zhang Group

We are specialized in biomolecular engineering, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering. Our goal is to develop biological control tools and microbial biosynthetic systems for the sustainable production of structurally-defined biofuels, chemicals, and materials.



  • Nov 3, 2016, Gayle Bentley has successfully defended her thesis entitled "Engineering Escherichia coli towards the production of branched-chain advanced biofuels". Congratulations, Dr. Bentley!

  • Jul, 2016, Gayle's paper was published on Metabolic Engineering, titled with "Engineering Escherichia coli to produce branched-chain fatty acids in high percentages". Congratulations!

  • Jul, 2016, We held a one-week Lab Research Experience in basic molecular cloning and cell cultivation techniques for 5 selected high school students.

  • Jun, 2016, We held a "Hot Topics in Synthetic Biology" workshop open to local public high school teachers.

  • Apr, 2016, Cameron Sargent officially joined the Zhang Lab as a graduate student. Welcome!

  • Apr, 2016, Dr. Zhang received the Dean's Faculty Award for Innovation in Research.

  • Mar, 2016, Yi, Chris, and Di's paper was published on Nature Chemical Biology, titled with "Exploiting nongenetic cell-to-cell variation for enhanced biosynthesis". This work was also featured in the Deparment News! Congratulations!

  • Feb, 2016, Sarah Rommelfanger officially joined the Zhang Lab as a graduate student. Welcome!

  • Jan, 2016, Dr. Zhang received the 2016 B&B Daniel I.C. Wang Award!

  • Dec, 2015, Chris' paper was accepted by ACS Synthetic Biology. Congratulations!

  • Dec, 2015, Eugene Kim and Alexander Schmitz officially joined the Zhang Lab as graduate students, and Dr. Jie Sun joined the group as a postdoctoral scholar and lab manager. Welcome!

  • Oct, 2015, Dr. Zhang, Chris, and Eugene were interviewed for PLOS Synbio blog about the lab's recent NASA grant. See here for the blog post and interview.

  • Aug, 2015, Dr. Zhang received the prestigious Early Career Faculty Award from NASA. We are dedicated to develop synthetic biology technologies of cyanobacteria for space exploration purposes. Also check the following news: PR Newswire & SEAS.

  • Jul, 2015, Di's review paper was published in Metabolic Engineering with the title "Applications and advances of metabolite biosensors for metabolic engineering".

  • Jul, 2015, our work in advanced biofuels has been featured on HEC TV.

  • Jun, 2015, the Zhang Lab organized a worshop “Hot Topics in Synthetic Biology”. We thank all the K-12 teacher participants. We also thank NSF for funding and the Institute for School Partnership at WUSTL for assistant.

  • May, 2015, We welcome three undergraduate students joining the lab this summer: Jeff Bonin, David Ayeke, and Charlotte Bourg.

  • May, 2015, Dr. Zhang received the prestigious ONR Young Investigator Program award!

  • Apr, 2015, Jimmy Qiao received a Summer Undergraduate Research Award from Washington University. He will continue his work in the lab this summer. Congratulations Jimmy!

  • Apr, 2015, Dr. Zhang received the prestigious Young Invistigators Award from the Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSP)! We are collaborating with Dr. Diego Oyarzún from the Imperial College London to perform synthetic biology research.

  • Mar, 2015, our students have received several departmental awards: Chris Bowen received the 2015 Graudate Student Teaching Award, Daniel Moynihan received the EECE Academic Achievement Senior Award, and Anna Kogler received the Klemm Outstanding Junior Award. Let's congratulate them!

  • Mar, 2015, Wen's paper was accepted by Biotechnol Bioeng, congratulations!

  • Feb, 2015, Dr. Zhang received the prestigious AFOSR Young Investigator Program award!

  • Feb, 2015, Dr. Zhang published an editorial and edited a special issue titled "Circuits in Metabolic Engineering" on ACS Synthetic Biology.

  • Dec, 2014, Dr. Zhang received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award.

  • Nov, 2014, our work was highlighted in FOX 2 NEWS.

  • Sept, 2014, Gayle presented a poster at the DARPA meeting in Washington DC with the title of "Expanding the biosynthetic capability of E. coli to produce branched-chain fatty acids".

  • Sept, 2014, Di gave a talk at the SynBERC meeting in Boston with the title of "Engineering metabolic control circuits to improve fatty acid production".

  • Sept, 2014, Gayle presented a poster at the Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Retreat with the title of "Towards microbial production of isooctane".

  • Aug, 2014, Yu has successfully defended his master thesis. Congratulations to his graduation!

  • Jul, 2014, Di has presented a poster at the SIMB Annual Meeting with the title "Negative feedback regulation of fatty acid production based on a malonyl-CoA sensor-actuator".

  • Jul, 2014, Dr. Kenneth Wickiser from West Point visited our lab. His students Matthew McClenathan and Nahm-Doug Kim will spend two weeks in our lab learning our technology, welcome!

  • Jun, 2014, Dr. Yanfang Jiang started her new position as a scientist in Monsanto Co. Wish her the best in her career!

  • Apr, 2014, Po-Cheng has officially jointed the lab as a graduate student. He will be co-advised by Prof. Pakrasi and Prof. Zhang. Welcome!

  • Di has successfully defended her PhD proposal in Feb 2014 and presented a poster in the Spring SynBERC retreat.

  • Jan, 2014, Po-Cheng Lin and Carlos Barba jointed the lab. Welcome!

  • Dec, 2013, Di's first research paper was accepted for publication by ACS Synthetic Biology. Congratulations Di, your hard work paid off!

  • Dec, 2013, Gayle Bentley, Christopher Bowen and Wen Jiang jointed the lab as Ph.D students. Dr. Yanfang Jiang joined us as research associate. Welcome!

  • Aug, 2013, Dr. Zhang reveived the prestigious DARPA Young Faculty Award.

  • Aug, 2013, Read our story in engineering cyanobacteria in the news!

  • Aug, 2013, the Lab has been awarded a NSF grant for engineering cyanobacteria to fix nitrogen. Check the news at the NSF website!

  • Aug, 2013, Check out Di's review paper at Frontiers in Microbiology.

  • May-July, 2013. Sara Glade (NSF REU student) and Diana Veit (undergraduate student from University of Notre Dame) have finished their summer project. Let's wish them all the best with their futher career!

  • May, 2013, Dr. Zhang received the 2013 ORAU Ralph E Powe Jonior Faculty Enhancement Awards. Congratulation! More information can be found here.

  • May, 2013, Andrea Balassy joined the lab as Ph.D students. Welcome!

  • Jan, 2013, Varun Krishnamurthy won the McKelvey Award. Congratulations!

  • Jan, 2013, Daniel Moynihan, Phil Montogomery, and Varun Krishnamurthy joined the lab as undergraduate students. Welcome!

  • Jan, 2013, We have Dr. Yi Xiao, Chad Schaber, Allison Hoynes-O'Connor, and Charlie McIntosh joining the lab as rotation students. Welcome!


Fuzhong Zhang
Assistant Professor


2016 Dean's Faculty Award for Innovation in Research

2016 B&B Daniel I.C. Wang Award

2015 NASA Early Career Faculty

2015 ONR YIP Award

2015 HFSP Young Investigators Award

2015 AFOSR YIP Award

2014 NSF CAREER Award

2013 DARPA Young Faculty Award

2013 ORAU Junior Faculty Award