Dr. Zhang joined the Duke Faculty in fall 2013 from the University of Southern California where he had been a professor of environmental and global health and the director of Environmental and Biomarkers Analysis Laboratory since 2010. His prior positions include professor, department chair, and associate dean at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Dr. Zhang has more than 290 peer-reviewed publications. His work has been featured in major international media such as the Time, the New York Times, BBC, ABC, CBS, Yahoo News, etc. His early work on characterizing sources of non-methane greenhouse gases made him one of the officially recognized contributor to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to IPCC. He is the 2012 recipient of the Jeremy Wesolowski Award, the highest award of the International Society of Exposure Science. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Rutgers Graduate School.
Dr. Zhang’s research interests include developing novel biomarkers of human exposure and health effects, assessing health and climate co-benefits of air pollution interventions, and examining biological mechanisms by which environmental exposures exert adverse health effects. Dr. Zhang has led a number of international collaborations to study air pollution health effects and underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms. These studies integrate epidemiological and toxicological approaches into natural experiment designs. He has conducted several indoor air purification intervention studies to evaluate the effectiveness of personal exposure reduction in improving health outcomes in China. Currently, he is conducting intervention trials of residential air purification in older adults with a heart disease history and adults at risk for Type 2 diabetes living in Los Angels where air pollution levels are high. He is co-leading a project to study whether and how particulate matter pollution affects respiratory viral infections in two cities of Mongolia.