My research is focus on signaling transduction pathway, molecular biology, molecular immunology, and translational clinical research.  While I was a clinic fellow of otolaryngology in China, I had studied adhesion molecule expression of autoimmune inner ear disease in mouse model.  This experience strongly inspired my interests in science research.   During my Ph.D studies, I had studied the mechanism by which PI3K-Akt pathway regulates RNA polymerase I and III gene transcription.  Through the study, we had identified a new mechanism of regulation of RNA polymerase I and III gene transcription. In addition, I also I also studied the role of PTEN, a tumor suppressor gene, in regulation of RNA polymerase I and III gene transcription.  We demonstrated that by suppressing RNA polymerase I and III gene transcription, PTEN represses the development of tumor.  After the completion of my Ph.D study, I also had postdoctoral training before I entered a medicine residency program.  During my postdoctoral training, I studied the role of NF-γB signaling in the development of alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis.  While I was a medicine resident, I had also completed my research project of studying the mechanism by which PI3K-Akt pathway regulates Na+/ H+ exchanger 3 in the small intestinal epithelial cells.  During my gastroenterology fellowship, I also conducted research to identify the molecular mechanism by which Saccharomyces boulardii represses the EGFR activation in the small intestinal epithelial cells.  While I have demonstrated a strong foundation of knowledge and rich experience of research in the field of molecular biology in the past, I also have experience of translation research in order to build the “bridge” from “bench” to “bedside”.  During my gastroenterology fellowship training, I did research on mesalamine in celiac disease patients.  In this research project, I studied the changes of cytokines profile in the small intestinal biopsy specimens from refractory celiac disease patients upon the treatment of mesalamine.  After I joined the staff in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, & Nutrition at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, I have lead multiple clinical research projects, including the study to investigate prevalence and outcomes of human cytomegalovirus disease in inflammatory bowel disease patients and national population study to investigate impact of timing of endoscopy on healthcare outcomes of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Currently, I am also a co-investigator in multiple research projects, including the study to examine the correlation of serum Ig A level and the severity of inflammatory bowel disease and the role of Ig A transporter of intestinal epithelial cells in the progress of inflammatory bowel disease, and a study to determine efficacy of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose to treat iron deficiency anemia secondary inflammatory bowel disease and effects of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose on serum cytokine profile of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.  In the meantime, I also participate in a phase 3 multicenter clinic trial as a co-investigator to study Vedolizumab to treat primary sclerosing cholangitis patients with inflammatory bowel disease.   I am also a principal investigator in a study to examine the efficacy and safety of Rifaximin for induction of clinical remission of moderately active Crohn’s disease.


Cheng Zhang

Assistant Professor


  • :614-366-6819

  • DEPARTMENTDepartment of Gastro, Hepatology & Nutrition
    The Ohio State University