Chengxian (Alex) Zhang, Ph.D.

Teaching Assistant Professor
Zhang, Chengxian headshot

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Microbiology, South Dakota State University, 2013
  • M.S., Microbiology, South Dakota State University, 2009
  • B.S., Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, China, 2006


Dr. Zhang's research has been mainly focused on two bacterial infectious diseases throughout different stages of his career: meningitis (at Johns Hopkins University) and diarrheal disease (at Vanderbilt University and South Dakota State University). The topics include: 1) host-pathogen interaction in bacterial penetration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), an essential step in the development of bacterial meningitis; 2) enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) vaccine development using enterotoxins toxoid fusion protein and fimbriae.

Employment history:

  • 2013-2016, Research Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • 2016-2019, Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • 2019-present, Teaching Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno

Class Materials

Course taught: Microbial Physiology/Lab (MICR 301)


  • Imdad A, Foster MA, Iqbal J, Fonnesbeck C, Payne DC, Zhang C, Chappell JD, Halasa N, Gómez-Duarte OG. Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli and Acute Gastroenteritis in Children in Davidson County, Tennessee, United States: A Case-control Study. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2018 Jun;37(6):543-548. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001908. PubMed PMID: 29341983; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5962020.
  • Farfán-García AE, Zhang C, Imdad A, Arias-Guerrero MY, Sánchez-Alvarez NT, Shah R, Iqbal J, Tamborski ME, Gómez-Duarte OG. Case-Control Pilot Study on Acute Diarrheal Disease in a Geographically Defined Pediatric Population in a Middle Income Country. Int J Pediatr. 2017;2017:6357597. doi: 10.1155/2017/6357597. Epub 2017 Aug 10. PubMed PMID: 28855919; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5569627.
  • Zhang C, Iqbal J, Gómez-Duarte OG. Murine immunization with CS21 pili or LngA major subunit of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) elicits systemic and mucosal immune responses and inhibits ETEC gut colonization. Vet Microbiol. 2017 Apr;202:90-100. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2016.02.001. Epub 2016 Feb 6. PubMed PMID: 26878971; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4976044.
  • Guevara C, Zhang C, Gaddy JA, Iqbal J, Guerra J, Greenberg DP, Decker MD, Carbonetti N, Starner TD, McCray PB Jr, Mooi FR, Gómez-Duarte OG. Highly differentiated human airway epithelial cells: a model to study host cell-parasite interactions in pertussis. Infect Dis (Lond). 2016;48(3):177-88. doi: 10.3109/23744235.2015.1100323. Epub 2015 Oct 22. PubMed PMID: 26492208; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5278880.
  • Foster MA, Iqbal J, Zhang C, McHenry R, Cleveland BE, Romero-Herazo Y, Fonnesbeck C, Payne DC, Chappell JD, Halasa N, Gómez-Duarte OG. Enteropathogenic and enteroaggregative E. coli in stools of children with acute gastroenteritis in Davidson County, Tennessee. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2015 Nov;83(3):319-24. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2015.07.016. Epub 2015 Jul 26. PubMed PMID: 26298817; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4618545.
  • Amézquita-Montes Z, Tamborski M, Kopsombut UG, Zhang C, Arzuza OS, Gómez-Duarte OG. Genetic Relatedness Among Escherichia coli Pathotypes Isolated from Food Products for Human Consumption in Cartagena, Colombia. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2015 May;12(5):454-61. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2014.1881. Epub 2015 Mar 18. PubMed PMID: 25786140; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4516910.