Su-Chun Zhang M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Neurology

Su-Chun Zhang Waisman Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1500 Highland Ave.
Madison, WI 53705
608-265-2543 (tel)
608-263-5267 (fax);

Biography/Curriculum Vitae:

Research Interests:
Human embryonic stem cells; embryonic stem cell differentiation

Narrative of Current Research Efforts:

The remarkable developmental potential and replicative capacity of human embryonic stem (ES) cells promise an almost unlimited supply of specific cell types for transplant therapies. Key to this powerful application is the differentiation and isolation of specific cell lineages from pluripotent ES cells. Our laboratory focuses on the neural pathway of ES cell differentiation. We have established an in vitro model of ES cell differentiation to neuroepithelial cells, which are organized in a neural tube-like structure. Using this system, we ask what controls neuroepithelial specification from ES cells and how the neuroepithelia organize into a neural tube. We will then examine whether a regionally specific neural cell type can be patterned in vitro by dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal signals. We are particularly interested in the ventral neural cell types, e.g., retinal ganglion neurons, midbrain dopamine neurons, spinal cord motoneurons and myelinating oligodendrocytes. The ES cell-derived neural cells will be evaluated for their therapeutic potential in animal models including monkey models for spinal cord injury (neuroepithelia) and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (dopamine neurons), ALS (motoneurons) and MS (oligodendrocytes).

Major Honors and Awards:

Representative Publications:
Zhang S-C, Wernig M, Duncan ID, Brüstle O, Thomson JA (2001): In vitro differentiation of transplantable neural precursors from human embryonic stem cells. Submitted.
Zhang S-C, Duncan ID (2000): Remyelination and restoration of axonal function by glial cell transplantation. Prog. Brain Res., 127:515-533.
Zhang S-C, Ge B, Duncan ID (1999): Adult brain retains the potential to generate oligodendroglial progenitors with extensive myelination capacity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96: 4089-4094.
Bulte JWM, Zhang S-C, van Gelderen P, Herynek V, Jordan EK, Duncan ID, Frank JA (1999): Neurotransplantation of magnetically labeled oligodendrocyte progenitors: MR tracking of cell migration and myelination. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96: 15256-15261.
A list of publications authored by Dr. Zhang is available at:

Created 8/11/2005 by
Last modified 5/5/2017 by Oksana Klimova