Xiaochang Zhang, PhD

How our brain is developed and evolved remains a major question in biology, and abnormal development of the human brain can cause autism, epilepsy and intellectual disability. We study fundamental mechanisms of brain development and disorders, and our specific interests include: tracing cell types and lineages in mammalian brains, genetic mechanisms of neuronal type specification, and roles of RNA splicing diversity in neural development and diseases. We develop and apply single cell approaches, animal models, and functional genomics to address these questions.

Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Boston
Postdoc/Instructor - Human Genetics
2017

Fudan University
Shanghai
PhD - Developmental Genetics
2009

Rates, distribution and implications of postzygotic mosaic mutations in autism spectrum disorder.
Lim ET, Uddin M, De Rubeis S, Chan Y, Kamumbu AS, Zhang X, D'Gama AM, Kim SN, Hill RS, Goldberg AP, Poultney C, Minshew NJ, Kushima I, Aleksic B, Ozaki N, Parellada M, Arango C, Penzol MJ, Carracedo A, Kolevzon A, Hultman CM, Weiss LA, Fromer M, Chiocchetti AG, Freitag CM. Rates, distribution and implications of postzygotic mosaic mutations in autism spectrum disorder. Nat Neurosci. 2017 09; 20(9):1217-1224.
PMID: 28714951

Cell-Type-Specific Alternative Splicing Governs Cell Fate in the Developing Cerebral Cortex.
Zhang X, Chen MH, Wu X, Kodani A, Fan J, Doan R, Ozawa M, Ma J, Yoshida N, Reiter JF, Black DL, Kharchenko PV, Sharp PA, Walsh CA. Cell-Type-Specific Alternative Splicing Governs Cell Fate in the Developing Cerebral Cortex. Cell. 2016 Aug 25; 166(5):1147-1162.e15.
PMID: 27565344

Somatic mutations in cerebral cortical malformations.
Jamuar SS, Lam AT, Kircher M, D'Gama AM, Wang J, Barry BJ, Zhang X, Hill RS, Partlow JN, Rozzo A, Servattalab S, Mehta BK, Topcu M, Amrom D, Andermann E, Dan B, Parrini E, Guerrini R, Scheffer IE, Berkovic SF, Leventer RJ, Shen Y, Wu BL, Barkovich AJ, Sahin M, Chang BS, Bamshad M, Nickerson DA, Shendure J, Poduri A, Yu TW, Walsh CA. Somatic mutations in cerebral cortical malformations. N Engl J Med. 2014 Aug 21; 371(8):733-43.
PMID: 25140959

Mutations in QARS, encoding glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase, cause progressive microcephaly, cerebral-cerebellar atrophy, and intractable seizures.
Zhang X, Ling J, Barcia G, Jing L, Wu J, Barry BJ, Mochida GH, Hill RS, Weimer JM, Stein Q, Poduri A, Partlow JN, Ville D, Dulac O, Yu TW, Lam AT, Servattalab S, Rodriguez J, Boddaert N, Munnich A, Colleaux L, Zon LI, Söll D, Walsh CA, Nabbout R. Mutations in QARS, encoding glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase, cause progressive microcephaly, cerebral-cerebellar atrophy, and intractable seizures. Am J Hum Genet. 2014 Apr 03; 94(4):547-58.
PMID: 24656866

microRNAs play critical roles in the survival and recovery of Caenorhabditis elegans from starvation-induced L1 diapause.
Zhang X, Zabinsky R, Teng Y, Cui M, Han M. microRNAs play critical roles in the survival and recovery of Caenorhabditis elegans from starvation-induced L1 diapause. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 01; 108(44):17997-8002.
PMID: 22011579

Nuclear migration: rock and roll facilitated by dynein and kinesin.
Zhang X, Han M. Nuclear migration: rock and roll facilitated by dynein and kinesin. Curr Biol. 2010 Dec 07; 20(23):R1027-9.
PMID: 21145020

SUN1/2 and Syne/Nesprin-1/2 complexes connect centrosome to the nucleus during neurogenesis and neuronal migration in mice.
Zhang X, Lei K, Yuan X, Wu X, Zhuang Y, Xu T, Xu R, Han M. SUN1/2 and Syne/Nesprin-1/2 complexes connect centrosome to the nucleus during neurogenesis and neuronal migration in mice. Neuron. 2009 Oct 29; 64(2):173-87.
PMID: 19874786

SUN1 and SUN2 play critical but partially redundant roles in anchoring nuclei in skeletal muscle cells in mice.
Lei K, Zhang X, Ding X, Guo X, Chen M, Zhu B, Xu T, Zhuang Y, Xu R, Han M. SUN1 and SUN2 play critical but partially redundant roles in anchoring nuclei in skeletal muscle cells in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 23; 106(25):10207-12.
PMID: 19509342

Syne-1 and Syne-2 play crucial roles in myonuclear anchorage and motor neuron innervation.
Zhang X, Xu R, Zhu B, Yang X, Ding X, Duan S, Xu T, Zhuang Y, Han M. Syne-1 and Syne-2 play crucial roles in myonuclear anchorage and motor neuron innervation. Development. 2007 Mar; 134(5):901-8.
PMID: 17267447