Dr. Chun-Li Zhang received his Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he worked on transcriptional control of muscle development and heart disease. Upon graduation in 2003, he conducted postdoctoral research as a HHMI Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation in Dr. Ronald Evans’ laboratory at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California. In collaboration with Dr. Fred Gage at the same institute, Dr. Zhang worked on adult neural stem cells and neurogenesis. In 2008, he joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern. The major focus of his laboratory is on molecular mechanisms controlling neural stem cells, adult neurogenesis, regeneration of the central nervous system, and cellular reprogramming.


Graduate School
Wuhan University , Molecular & Cell Biology
Graduate School
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2002), Genetics

Research Interest

  • Genetic and epigenetic regulation of neural stem cells and neurogenesis
  • Human neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neural regeneration and reprogramming
  • Traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Enhancer Analysis Unveils Genetic Interactions between TLX and SOX2 in Neural Stem Cells and In Vivo Reprogramming.
Islam MM, Smith DK, Niu W, Fang S, Iqbal N, Sun G, Shi Y, Zhang CL Stem Cell Reports 2015 Oct
In Vivo Reprogramming for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair(1,2,3).
Chen G, Wernig M, Berninger B, Nakafuku M, Parmar M, Zhang CL eNeuro 2015 Sep-Oct 2 5


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Induced Neurogenesis as a Mechanism for Adult Central Nervous System Regeneration. In Neural Stem Cells in Health and Disease

Smith DK, Niu W, Zhang CL (2015). Hackensack, NJ, World Scientific

Honors & Awards

  • The Decherd Foundation Award
  • 2014’s Big Advances in Science (2014)
  • The Ellison Medical Foundation: New Scholar in Aging
  • The Whitehall Foundation: Research Award
  • Winner of NuGEN Innovation Grant Challenge
  • NIH: Director's New Innovator Award
  • Scientist Development Award-American Heart Association
  • W.W.Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research-UT Southwestern
  • HHMI Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation
  • Dean’s Discretionary Award, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine (2014)
  • International Society for Stem Cell Research (2008)
  • Society for Neuroscience