Tongli Zhang

Assistant Professor Dept. Molecular & Cellular Physiology College of Medicine, Univ. Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 45267-0576 Email: Tel: 513-558-6156

Link to Tongli at U. Cincinnati
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Previous position at VT: PhD student, 2004-08; Postdoc, 2009.

Research Pages: Tyson Lab Budding Yeast Cell Cycle Model Generic Cell Cycle Model

Current Research Interests

Living organisms have to respond properly to internal and external signals for their survival. The information processing and decision making of the cells are carried out by their molecular machineries. Mutations of the machinery often disturb the cell physiology and cause ill effects, such as the development of tumor. My aim is to understand the signal transduction pathways in mammalian cells.

We collect biochemical and physiological information from the literature and from our experimental collaborators, and then unite them into a consistent picture with the help of mathematical modeling and computer simulation. We use the model to generate novel predictions, which can be tested by our collaborators, to further refine our model.

With a realistic mathematical model, we will propose practical protocols to intervene and to fix faulty cellular responses. The protocols will hopefully contribute to tumor treatment.


Ph.D. 2008 Virginia Tech, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.
M.S. 2003 China Medical University, Shenyang, China, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
B.S. 2000 China Medical University, Shenyang, China, Forensic Medicine.

Professional Experience

Jan 2009 - Oct 2009 Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. John Tyson's Lab, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Sep 2004 - Dec 2008 PhD Student, Genetics Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Program, Virginia Tech
Aug 2003 - Jun 2004 Instructor, Department of Bioengineering, YanShan University, Qinhuangdao, China


Tuck, C., Zhang, T., Potapova, T.A., Malumbres, M., and Novak, B. (2013). Robust mitotic entry is ensured by a latching switch. Biol. Open. 2:924-931.
[Abstract] [Article]
Vinod, P.K., Zhou, X., Zhang, T., Mayer, T.U., and Novak, B. (2013). The role of APC/C inhibitor Emi2/Erp1 in oscillatory dynamics of early embryonic cell cycles. Biophys. Chem. 177-178:1-6.
[Abstract] [Article]
Zhang, T., Tyson, J.J., and Novak, B. (2013). Role for regulated phosphatase activity in generating mitotic oscillations in Xenopus cell-free extracts. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110: 20539-20544.
[Abstract] [Article]
Zhang, T., Schmierer, B., and Novak, B. (2011). Cell cycle commitment in budding yeast emerges from the cooperation of multiple bi-stable switches. Open Biol. 1:110009
[Abstract] [Article]
Su, J., Zhang, T., Tyson, J.J., and Li, L. (2009). The interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase M selectively inhibits the alternative, instead of the classical NFkappaB pathway. J. Innate Immun. 1: 164-174.
[Abstract] [Article]
Zhang, T., Brazhnik, P., and Tyson, J.J. (2009). Computational analysis of dynamical responses to the intrinsic pathway of programmed cell death. Biophys J. 97: 415-432.
[Abstract] [Article]
Zhang, T., Brazhnik, P. and Tyson, J. J. (2007). Exploring mechanisms of the DNA-damage response: p53 pulses and their possible relevance to apoptosis. Cell Cycle 6:85-94.
[Abstract] [Article]


With Jing. With Jing and Grace.
Our little angel, Grace. Grace, 100-days old.
Grace at Oxford, UK. 9 months old. Playful Grace, 10 months old.
Grace with parents. 1 year old. Happy Grace, 1 year old.
Grace, 13 months old. Grace meditating.
April 2011, Grace in Spain. She is almost 2 years old.
June 2012, Grace in Oxford, UK. She is three years old.

Besides spending time with my family, I like to go hiking and playing soccer.