Dr. Zhentao Zhang is a Research Assistant Professor of Cardiac Surgery. His research specifically focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in post-injury cardiac fibrosis. Cardiac fibrosis is a major cause of heart failure. The studies in Dr. Zhang’s group identified novel genes and pathways that play critical roles in regulating cardiac fibrotic remodeling following myocardial infarction and other injuries. The long-term goal of his research group is to target these novel genes for developing effective therapies to treat cardiac fibrosis and heart failure.


  • PhD: Yangzhou University
  • Postdoctoral fellow: Cardiovascular Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Research Interests

  • Ischemic Heart Diseases
  • Cardiac Fibrosis
  • Cardiac Regeneration
  • Direct Cardiac Reprogramming
  • Stem Cell differentiation

Honors and Awards

  • 2023: AHA Career Development award
  • 2022: Junior Faculty Award in 2022 Academy of Cardiovascular Research Excellence Annual Research Symposium
  • 2019: AHA post-doctoral fellowship award

Grants and Projects

  • AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship 20POST35210170 Zhang (PI) 01/01/2020 - 12/31/2021
  • AHA Career Development Award 23CDA1045959 Zhang (PI) 04/01/2023 - 03/31/2026