Skip to Main Content

Nan Zhang_headshot

Nan Zhang, Ph.D.


The Zhang Lab



Assistant Professor, Immunology, Microenvironment & Metastasis Program, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center

About the Scientist

Zhang studies the role of immune cells called macrophages in tumor growth and metastasis in the abdominal cavity.

Zhang received his B.S. in microbiology and immunology from Shandong University, China, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Pathology and Immunology of Washington University School of Medicine and joined The Wistar Institute in 2021 as an assistant professor.

View Publications

The Zhang Lab

Macrophages are currently considered as highly heterogenous and plastic with different developmental origins and microenvironmental signatures. 

The Zhang lab focuses on understanding how macrophages regulate tumor growth and metastasis in the peritoneal space. We use single-cell sequencing, ATAC sequencing, large-scale imaging, multiphoton intravital imaging, novel genetic mouse models, and patient samples to understand how different subsets of macrophages function differently in mice and in humans. Our long-term goal is to develop novel macrophage-based immunotherapies to treat peritoneal cancers.


Postdoctoral Fellows

Brennah Murphy, Ph.D.
Taito Miyamoto, Ph.D.

Graduate Student

Bryan Manning (USciences)

Available Positions

Postdoctoral fellow/research assistant positions are available in the Zhang laboratory with a research focus on peritoneal immunity against carcinomatosis using mouse models. 

Candidates should have recently received or be close to obtaining their Ph.D. degree or equivalent (for postdoc) or B.S. degree or equivalent (for RA) and have a strong background in one or more of the following disciplines: immunology, tumor microenvironment, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Interested applicants are invited to email


Current projects in the lab include:

  1. Heterogeneity and origins of macrophages during peritoneal carcinomatosis.
  2. Activation of macrophages against tumor progression.
  3. Tissue-specific functions and microenvironment of peritoneal macrophages.

N. Zhang_1

Selected Publications

Zhang, N., Kim, S. H., Gainullina, A., Erlich, E.C., Onufer, E.J., Kim, J., Czepielewski, R.S., Helmink, B.A., Dominguez, J.R., Saunders, B.T., et al. “LYVE1+ Macrophages Of Murine Peritoneal Mesothelium Promote Omentum-independent Ovarian Tumor Growth.” J Exp Med. 2021 Dec 6;218(12):e20210924. doi: 10.1084/jem.20210924. Epub 2021 Oct 29.

Zhang, N., Czepielewski, R.S., Jarjour, N.N. , Erlich, E.C., Esaulova, E., Saunders, B.T., Grover, S.P., Cleuren, A.C., Broze, G.J., Edelson, B.T., et al. “Expression Of Factor V By Resident Macrophages Boosts Host Defense In The Peritoneal Cavity.” J Exp Med. 2019 Jun 3;216(6):1291-1300. doi: 10.1084/jem.20182024. Epub 2019 May 2.

Kim K.W., Zhang N., Choi K., Randolph G.J. “Homegrown Macrophages.” Immunity. 2016 Sep 20;45(3):468-470. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.09.006.

Liu, Z., Yago, T., Zhang, N., Panicker, S.R., Wang, Y., Yao, L., Mehta-D’souza, P., Xia, L., Zhu, C., McEver, R.P. “L-selectin Mechanochemistry Restricts Neutrophil Priming In Vivo.” Nat Commun. 2017 May 12;8:15196. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15196.

Yago, T., Petrich, B.G., Zhang, N., Liu, Z., Shao, B., Ginsberg, M.H., McEver, R.P. “Blocking Neutrophil Integrin Activation Prevents Ischemia-reperfusion Injury.” J Exp Med. 2015 Jul 27;212(8):1267-81. doi: 10.1084/jem.20142358. Epub 2015 Jul 13.

View Additional Publications