Lei Zhang headshot
Office Address

6-106 MCB
420 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Lab Address

United States



Assistant Professor
Biochemistry Molecular Biology and Biophysics

The general interest of the Zhang Laboratory focuses on the genome and epigenome instability in aging and longevity. More specifically we study somatic DNA mutations and epi-mutations and their effects on cellular functional decline in normal aging process or age-related diseases. We have been developing experimental approaches of single-cell multi-omics and applying them to discover interactions of genome, transcriptome and epigenome in individual cells from different tissues of humans during aging or species with different maximum life spans.

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Selected publications

  1. Zhang L, Dong X, Tian X, Lee M, Ablaeva J, Firsanov D, Lee SG, Maslov AY, Gladyshev VN, Seluanov A, Gorbunova V, Vijg J. Maintenance of genome sequence integrity in long and short-lived rodent species. Science Advances. 2021 Oct 27; 7:eabj3284. (Co-corresponding author)
  2. Zhang L, Dong X, Lee M, Maslov AY, Wang T, Vijg J. Single-cell whole-genome sequencing reveals the functional landscape of somatic mutations in B lymphocytes across the human lifespan. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Apr 30;116(18):9014-9019.
  3. Zhang L, Vijg J. Somatic Mutagenesis in Mammals and Its Implications for Human Disease and Aging. Annu Rev Genet. 2018 Nov 23; 52:397-419.
  4. Dong X, Zhang L*, Milholland B, Lee M, Maslov AY, Wang T, Vijg J. Accurate identification of single-nucleotide variants in whole-genome-amplified single cells. Nat Methods. 2017 May;14(5):491-493. (*Co-first author)

Education and background

Dr. Zhang obtained her PhD in microbiology in the Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2014. She completed postdoc training in the Department of Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2021. After that, she joined the Xiao Dong laboratory as a Research Assistant Professor. Since 2023, she started the Lei Zhang laboratory in the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism (iBAM) and the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB) at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.