Dr Li Zhang

Senior Lecturer
4106, L4 West, Bioscience South E26
(+612) 9385 2042
(+612) 9385 1483



  • MBBS, Fudan University (Former Shanghai Medical University) China
  • PhD, University of Cambridge UK

Professional Experience

  • 2008-current: Senior Lecturer, School of BABS
  • 2007-2008: Lecturer/Senior Research Associate, School of BABS
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dept of Immunology, UNSW
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore
  • Medical Resident, China-Japan Hospital, China

Research Contribution

Dr Li Zhang’s group has conducted pioneering research in understanding the role of oral Campylobacter species such as Campylobacter concisus in initiating extra-oral chronic human diseases.

Dr Zhang and other researchers reported an association between C. concisus and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Following this, Dr Zhang hypothesized that some oral C. concisus strains have enteric pathogenicity and are initiators of a subgroup of human IBD. Studies in Dr Zhang’s group in the past a number of years have provided information that is fundamental to this emerging research field.

Dr Zhang’s group identified C. concisus prophage CON_phi2, which contains the zonula occludens toxin (zot) gene. They have characterised the expression and release of Zot toxin from C. concisus, as well as the biological activities of C. concisus zot on intestinal epithelial barrier and the immune system. They found that a specific polymorphic C. concisus zot is associated with patients with active IBD. The details of Dr Zhang’s research can be found on the UNSW Research Gateway at https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-li-zhang

In addition to gastrointestinal diseases, Dr Zhang’s laboratory also investigates the role of Campylobacter species in multiple sclerosis and in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). 

Research Areas

Campylobacter, mucosal immunology, IBD, multiple sclerosis and CIDP

Active Research Projects


Click here for Dr Zhang's publications list