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.



  • Dec 2016: Chris Hartline officially joined the Zhang Lab as a graduate student. Welcome!

  • Nov 2016: Dr. Wenqin Bai joined the group as a visiting postdoctoral scholar. Welcome! Drs. Yi Xiao, Jie Sun, and Gayle Bentley are starting new positions as a Faculty Member at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Postdoctoral Scholar at the Washington University School of Medicine, and Research Scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, respectively. Congratulations to the three of you!

  • 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!

  • Oct 2016: Dr. Sangyoung Yoon started his new position at CJ Corp in South Korea. Congrats and best of luck!

  • 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: Dr. Bin Dai joined the group as a visiting postdoctoral scholar. Welcome!

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

  • Jul 2016: Linda Guaman and Dr. Carlos Barba returned/went to Sao Paolo University to finish her graduate studies and start his new position as a postdoctoral associate, respectively. Best of luck!

  • 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 Department 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 joined the lab as a graduate student. He will be co-advised by Prof. Pakrasi and Prof. Zhang. Welcome!

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

  • Jan 2014: Po-Cheng Lin and Carlos Barba joined 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 joined 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 a Ph.D student. 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