Qingzhong Kong
Qingzhong Kong, PhD, MS
Associate Professor of Pathology

Case Western Reserve University


1992-1996 Ph.D Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003
1987-1990 M.S Department of Biochemistry Nanjing University, Nanjing, China  
1983-1987 B.S Department of Biochemistry Nanjing University, Nanjing, China



Dr. Kong graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry at Nanjing University, China, in 1987. He went on to earn an M.S. in Molecular Biology. In 1996, Dr. Kong completed a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology at the University of Massachusetts. From 1996 to 2000, he was a Research Associate in Molecular Immunology at Yale University, after which he joined the Department of Pathology as an assistant professor. Dr. Kong is currently an Associate Professor of Pathology and he has secondary appointments at the Department of Neurology and the National Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Research Interest

  • Public health risks of animal prions (Chronic Wasting Disease, atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy & Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy)
  • Mechanisms of prion replication and pathogenesis
  • Etiology of sporadic prion diseases in humans
  • Prion infectivity of urine and skin from human prion subjects and of recombinant prion proteins
  • Animal modeling of human and animal prion diseases
  • Prion protein and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Biological functions, pathological mechanisms, and proteolytic processing of the cellular prion protein in brain, muscle, kidney, pancreas and other tissues
  • Conventional and regulated transgenic mouse models
  • Skeletal muscle-based gene and stem cell therapies for cancers, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.


Professional Activities:

1990-1992 Instructor Department of Microbiology Shandong University, Jinan, China
1996-2000  Postdoctoral Associate Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Yale University, New Haven, CT
2000-2008 Assistant Professor Department of Pathology Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
2008 Associate Professor Department of Pathology Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
2005-2011 Assistant Professor Department of Environmental Health Sciences Case Western Reserve University
2011 Associate Professor Department of Neurology Case Western Reserve University
2011 Associate Professor Division of General Medicine National Center for Regenerative Medicine, Case Western Reserve University



  1. Kong Q, Oh, J-W, and Simon AE.  1995.  Symptom attenuation by a normally virulent satellite RNA of turnip crinkle virus is associated with the coat protein open reading frame.  Plant Cell 7: 1625-1634.  PMC161022
  2. Oh J-W*, Kong Q*, Song C, Carpenter C, and Simon AE.  1995.  Open reading frames of turnip crinkle virus involved in satellite symptom expression and incompatibility with Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Dijon.  Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions  8: 979-987.    * Co-first authors
  3. Kong Q, Oh J-W, Carpenter CD, and Simon AE. 1997.  The coat protein of turnip crinkle virus is involved in subviral RNA-mediated symptom modulation and accumulation.  Virology  238: 478-485.
  4. Kong Q, Wang J, and Simon AE. 1997.  Satellite RNA-mediated resistance to turnip crinkle virus in Arabidopsis involves a reduction in virus movement.  Plant Cell 9: 2051-2063.  PMCID: PMC157057
  5. Kong Q and Simon AE. 1998.   In situ hybridization to RNA in whole Arabidopsis plants.  Methods Mol Biol  82: 409-415.
  6. Kong Q, Zhao L, Sabbaiah S, and Maizels N. 1998.  A λ 3’ enhancer drives active and untemplated somatic hypermutation of a1 transgene.  J Immunol 161: 294-301.
  7. Kong Q. and Maizels N. 1999. PMS2-deficiency diminishes hypermutation of a λ1 transgene in young but not older mice.  Mol Immunol 36: 83-91.
  8. Kong Q and Maizels N. 2001.  DNA Breaks in Hypermutating Immunoglobulin Genes: Evidence for a Break-and-Repair Pathway of Somatic Hypermutation.  Genetics 158: 369-378.  PMCID: PMC1461619
  9. Kong Q*, and Maizels N. 2001.  Breaksite Batch Mapping, a Rapid Method for Assay and Identification of DNA Breaksites in Mammalian Cells.  Nucl Acids Res 29: e33.  PMCID: PMC29762  *Corresponding author
  10. Kong Q, Huang S, Wu D, Wang M, Vanegas D, Bai H, Deng H, Chen K, Zou W, Jenny AL, O’Rourke K, Sy M, Chen SG, and Gambetti P.  2004.  Transmissibility of chronic wasting disease of elk and deer to humans.  J Neuropathol Exp Neurol.  63:515. 
  11. Kong Q, Huang S, Zou W, Vanegas D, Wang M, Wu D, Yuan J, Bai H, Zheng M, Deng H, Chen K, Jenny AL, O'Rourke K, Belay ED, Schonberger LB, Petersen RB, Sy M-S, Chen SG, and Gambetti P. 2005.  Chronic wasting disease of elk: Transmissibility to humans examined by transgenic mouse models.  J Neurosci. 25:7944-7949. PMID: 16135751
  12. Xie Z, O’Rourke KI, Dong Z, Jenny AL, Langenberg J, Belay ED, Schonberger LB, Petersen RB, Zou W, Kong Q, Gambetti P, and Chen SG.  2006.  Chronic Wasting Disease of elk and deer and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: Comparative analysis of scrapie prion protein.  J Biol Chem.  281: 4199-4206.  PMCID: PMC4484765
  13. Colucci M, Moleres FJ, Xie ZL, Ray-Chaudhury A, Gutti S, Butefisch CM, Cervenakova L, Wang W, Goldfarb LG, Kong Q, Ghetti B, Chen SG, Gambetti P. 2006.  Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker: A New Phenotype with 'Curly' PrP Deposits.  J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 65:642-651. PMID: 16825951   
  14. Yuan J, Xiao X, McGeehan J, Dong Z, Cali I, Fujioka H, Kong Q, Kneale G, Gambetti P, and Zou W-Q.  2006.  Insoluble aggregates and protease-resistant conformers of prion protein in uninfected human brains.  J Biol Chem.  281:34848-58. PMID: 16987816
  15. Huang S, Liang J, Zheng M, Li X, Wang M, Wang P, Vanegas D, Wu D, Chakraborty B, Hays AP, Chen K, Chen SG, Cohen M, Booth S, Gambetti P, and Kong Q.  2007. Regulated over-expression of PrP in the skeletal muscles leads to myopathy in transgenic mice.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 104: 6800-5.  PMCID: PMC1871865
  16. Basu S, Mohan ML, Luo X, Kundu B, Kong Q, Singh N.  2007.  Modulation of proteinase K-resistant PrP in cells and infectious brain homogenate by redox-iron: Implications for prion replication and disease pathogenesis. Mol. Biol. Cell. 18:3302-12.  PMCID: PMC1951779
  17. Kong Q*, Zheng M, Casalone C, Qing L, Huang S, Chakraborty B, Wang P, Cali I, Chen F, Corona C, Martucci F, Iulini B, Acutis P, Wang L, Liang J, Wang M, Li X, Monaco S, Zanusso G, Zou W, Caramelli M, Gambetti P*.  2008.  Evaluation of the human transmission risk of an atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy prion strain. J. Virol.  82:3697-3701. *Corresponding authors.  PMCID: PMC2268471
  18. Gambetti P, Dong Z, Yuan J, Xiao X, Zheng M, Alshekhlee A, Castellani R, Cohen M, Barria MA, Gonzalez-Romero D, Belay ED, Schonberger LB, Marder K, Harris C, Burke JR, Montine T, Wisniewski T, Dickson DW, Soto C, Hulette CM, Mastrianni JA, Kong Q, Zou WQ.  2008. A novel human disease with abnormal prion protein sensitive to protease. Ann Neurol. 63:697-708. PMCID: PMC2767200.
  19. Singh A, Isaac AO, Luo X, Mohan ML, Cohen ML, Chen F, Kong Q, Bartz J, and Singh N.  2009.  Abnormal brain iron homeostasis in human and animal prion disorders. PLoS Pathogens. 5-e1000336.  PMCID: PMC2652663
  20. Xiao X, Miravalle L, Yuan J, McGeehan J, Dong Z, Wyza R, MacLennan GT, Golichowski AM, Kneale G, King N, Kong Q, Spina S, Vidal R, Ghetti B, Roos K, Gambetti P, Zou W.  2009.  Failure to detect the presence of prions in the uterine and gestational tissues from a gravida with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.  American Journal of Pathology. 174:1602-1608. PMCID: PMC2671249.
  21. Liang J, Parchaliuk D, Medina S, Sorensen G, Landry L, Huang S, Wang M, Kong Q*, Booth S*.  2009.  Activation of p53-regulated pro-apoptotic signaling pathways in PrP-mediated myopathy.  BMC Genomics. 10:201. *Corresponding authors.  PMCID: PMC2683871.
  22. Singh A, Kong Q, Luo X, Petersen R, Meyerson H, Singh N.  2009.  Prion prion (PrP) knock-out mice show altered iron metabolism: a functional role for PrP in iron update and transport.  PLoS One. 4:e6115.  PMCID: PMC2699477.
  23. Zou W, Langeveld J, Xiao X, McGeer PL, Yuan J, Payne MC, Kang H-E, McGeehan J, Sy M-S, Wang G-X, Surewicz WK, Parchi P, Hoover E, Kneale G, Telling G, Kong Q, Guo J-P.  2010.  PrP conformational transitions alter species preference of a PrP-specific antibody.  J Biol Chem. 285:13874-84.  PMCID: PMC2859550.
  24. Kim J, Cali I, Surewicz K, Kong Q, Raymond GJ, Atarashi R, Race B, Qing L, Gambetti P, Caughey B, Surewicz W.  2010. Mammalian prions generated from bacterially expressed prion protein in the absence of any mammalian cofactors.  J Biol Chem 285:14083-14087. PMCID: PMC2863186.
  25. Zou W, Puoti G, XiaoX, Yuan J, Qing L, Cali I, Shimoji M, Langeveld JPM, Castellani R, Notari S, Crain B, Schmidt RE, Geschwind M, DeArmond SJ, Cairns N, Dickson D, Honig L, TorresJM, Mastrianni J, Capellari S, Giaccone G, Belay ED, Schonberger LB, Cohen M, Perry G, Kong Q, Parchi P, Tagliavini F, Gambetti P.  2010.  Variably protease-sensitive prionopathy: A new sporadic disease of the prion protein.  Annals Neurol. 68:162-172. PMCID: PMC3032610.
  26. Das D, Luo X, Singh A, Gu Y, Ghosh S, Mukhopadhyay CK, Chen SG, Sy M-S, Kong Q, and Singh N. 2010. Paradoxical role of prion protein aggregates in redox-iron induced toxicity. PLoS ONE 5(7): e11420.  PMCID: PMC2897850.
  27. Dagdanova A, Ilchenko S, Notari S, Yang Q, Obrenovich ME, Hatcher K, McAnulty P, Huang L, Zou W, Kong Q, Gambetti P, Chen SG. 2010. Characterization of the prion protein in human urine.  J Biol Chem. 285:30489-30495.  PMCID: PMC2945542.
  28. Li B, Qing L, Yan JQ, Kong Q. 2011.  Instability of the octarepeat region of the human prion protein gene.  PLoS ONE. 6(10): e26635.  PMCID: PMC3197570
  29. Notari S, Qing L, Pocchiari M, Dagdanova A, Hatcher K, Dogterom A, Groisman JF, Lumholtz IB, Puopolo M, Lasmezas C, Chen SG, Kong Q*, and Gambetti P*.  2012.  Assessing prion infectivity of urine in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Emerg Infect Dis  18(1):21-8.  *Corresponding authors.  PMCID: PMC3310101.
  30. Luo J-J, Truant AL, Kong Q, and Zou W-Q. 2012. A case study of fatal insomnia with clinical, laboratory, and genetic findings.  J Clin Neurosci. 19(8):1188-92.  PMCID: in process
  31. Singh A, Qing L, Kong Q, Singh N. 2012.  Change in the characteristics of ferritin induces iron imbalance in prion disease affected brains.  Neurobiol Dis. 45(3):930-8.  PMCID: PMC3286598.
  32. Liang J, Wang W, Sorensen D, Medina S, Ilchenko S, Kiselar J, Surewicz W, Booth SA, Kong Q. 2012. Cellular prion protein regulates its own -cleavage through ADAM8 in skeletal muscle.  J Biol Chem. 287(20):16510-20.  PMCID: PMC3351330
  33. Kim C, Haldiman T, Surewicz K, Cohen Y, Chen W, Belvins J, Sy M-S, Cohen M, Kong Q, Telling G, Surewicz W, Safar JG. 2012.  Small protease sensitive oligomers of PrPSc in distinct human prions determine conversion rate of PrPC. PLoS Pathogen, 8(8):e1002835.  PMCID: PMC3410855.
  34. Liang J, Kong Q. 2012. α-Cleavage of cellular prion protein.  Prion, 6(5):453-60.  PMCID: PMC3510859
  35. Bett C, Kurt TD, Lucero M, Trejo M, Rozemuller AJ, Kong Q, Nilsson KPR, Masliah E, Oldstone MB, Sigurdson CJ. 2013. Defining the conformational features of anchorless, poorly neuroinvasive prions.  PLoS Pathogens. 9(4): e1003280.  PMCID: PMC3630170.
  36. Xiao X, Cali I, Dong Z, Puoti G, Yuan J, Qing L, Wang H, Kong Q, Gambetti P, Zou W-Q. 2013. Protease-sensitive prions with 144-bp insertion mutations.  Aging. 5(3): 155-73.  PMCID: PMC3629288.
  37. Xiao X, Yuan J, Haik S, Cali I, Zhan Y-A, Moudjou M, Li B, Laplanche J-L, Laude H, Langeveld J, Gambetti P, Kitamoto T, Kong Q, Brandel J-P, Cobb BA, Petersen RB, Zou W-Q. 2013. Glycoform-selective prion formation in sporadic and familial forms of prion disease.  PLoS ONE. 8(3): e58786. PMCID: PMC3602448.
  38. Kong Q*, Mills JL, Kundu B, Li X, Qing L, Surewicz K, Cali I, Huang S, Zheng M, Swietnicki W, Sonnichsen FD, Gambetti P, and Surewicz W*. 2013. Thermodynamic stabilization of the folded domain of prion protein inhibits prion infection in vivo.  Cell Reports. 4: 1-7.  *Corresponding authors.  PMCID: PMC3766954
  39. Haldiman T, Kim C, Cohen Y, Chen W, Belvins J, Qing L, Cohen ML, Langeveld J,Telling GC, Kong Q, Safar JG.  2013.  Coexistence of distinct prion types enables conformational evolution of human PrPSc by competitive selection.  J Biol Chem. 288:29846-61. PMCID: PMC3795283.
  40. Yuan J, Zhan Y-A, Abskharon R, Xiao X, Martinez MC, Kneale G, Jacqueline M, Lehmann S, Castilla J, Steyaert J, Zhang S, Kong Q, Petersen RB, Wohlkonig A, Zou W-Q. 2013.  Recombinant human prion protein inhibits prion propagation in vitro.  Scientific Rep. 3:2911. PMCID: PMC3793212
  41. Mays CE, Kim C, Haldiman T, van der Merwe J, Lau A, Yang J, Grams J, Di Bari MA, Nonno R, Telling GC, Kong Q, Langeveld J, McKenzie D, Westaway D, Safar JG. 2014. Prion disease tempo determined by host-dependent substrate reduction.  J Clin Invest. 124(2):847-58.  PMCID: PMC3904628
  42. Xiao X, Yuan J, Qing L, Cali I, Mikol J, Delisle MB, Uro-Coste E, Zeng L, Abouelsaad M, Gazgalis D, Martinez MC, Wang GX, Brown P, Ironside JW, Gambetti P, Kong Q, Zou WQ. 2014. Comparative study of prions in iatrogenic and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.  J Clin Cell Immunol. 5(4). pii: 240.  PMCID: PMC4240320
  43. Notari S, Xiao X, Espinosa JC, Cohen Y, Qing L, Aguilar-Calvo P, Kofskey D, Cali I, Cracco L, Kong Q, Torres JM, Zou W, Gambetti P. 2014. Transmission characteristics of variably protease sensitive prionopathy. Emerging Inf Dis. 20(12):2006-14.  PMCID: PMC4257788
  44. Kurt Kurt T, Jiang L, Fernández-Borges N, Bett C, Liu J, Yang T, Spraker T, Castilla J, Eisenberg D, Kong Q, Sigurdson C. 2015. Human prion protein sequence elements impede cross-species chronic wasting disease transmission. J Clin Invest. 125(4):1485-96. PMCID: PMC4396485
  45. Xiao X, Cali I, Yuan J, Cracco L, Curtiss P, Zeng L, Abouelsaad M, Gazgalis D, Wang GX, Kong Q, Fujioka H, Puoti G, and Zou WQ. 2015. Synthetic Aβ peptides acquire detergent-insolubility and protease-resistance in the brain. Oncotarget Journal. 6(2):642-50.
  46. Nichols T; Fischer JW; Spraker TR; Kong Q; VerCauteren KC, 2015. CWD Prions Remain Infectious after Passage through the Digestive System of Coyotes (Canis latrans). Prion. 9(5):367-75.
  47. Zhang B, Cowden D, Zhang F, Yuan J, Siedlak S, Abouelsaad, Zeng L, Zhou X, O’Toole J, Das AS, Bian Z, Cui Y, Tan T, Kresak A, Wyza RE, Petersen RB, Wang G-X, Kong Q, Wang X, Sedor J, Zhu X, Zhu H, Zou WQ. 2015. Prion protein protects against renal ischemia/reperfusion injury.  PLoS One.  10(9):e0136923


clinical-laboratory-medicine-flyer Flyer