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Qijing Zhang

Qijing Zhang

  • Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
  • Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor
  • Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine
Research in our laboratory focuses on foodborne human pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni. We are using fundamental and contemporary approaches to i) investigate the ecology of Campylobacter in animal reservoirs, ii) examine the molecular mechanisms associated with the development and persistence of antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter and the effect of antibiotic resistance on Campylobacter pathogenesis, iii) define the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in Campylobacter-host interactions, and iv) develop effective means for the control of Campylobacter infections. These studies involve multidisciplinary approaches ranging from molecular/genetic studies, functional genomics, and animal models to field epidemiology. Our research program involves undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and research scientists, and is supported by funds from the National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Frank Ramsey Chair Endowment.

Contact Info

2520 Vet. Med.
1800 Christensen Dr.


  • Postdoc University of Missouri-Columbia, 1994-1997, Molecular Microbiology
  • Ph.D. Iowa State University, 1994, Immunobiology
  • M.S. National Inst. Veterinary Biologics (China), 1986, Vet Microbiology
  • B.V.Sc Shandong Agricultural University (China) 1983, Vet Medicine


  • VMPM Departmental Officer of Graduate Education
  • Chair, CVM International Development Committee
  • Chair, Research Advisory Committee
  • Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
  • Chair, Division Z (Animal Health), American Society for Microbiology
  • Chair, USDA NC1202 Committee-Enteric Diseases of Food Animals: Enhanced Prevention, Control and Food Safety.
  • Council Member and President, Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • American Association of Avian Pathologists

More Information

Honors & Awards:

Endowed Frank K. Ramsey Chair in Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 2003-2012 and 2017-present
Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, Iowa State University, 2007
Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, elected 2015
Honorary Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Microbiologists, elected 2017
Fellow, AAAS, elected 2018

Selected Publications:

Dai, L., O. Sahin, Y. Tang, and Q. Zhang. 2017. A mutator phenotype promoting the emergence of spontaneous oxidative stress resistant mutants in Campylobacter jejuni. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 83: e01685-17.

Tang, Y., R. J. Meinersmann, O. Sahin, Z. Wu, L. Dai, J. Carlson, J. Plumblee, L. Genzlinger, J. T. LeJeunee, and Q. Zhang. 2017. Wide but variable distribution of a hypervirulent Campylobacter jejuni clone in beef and dairy cattle in the United States. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 83: e01425-17 (featured in Spotlight).

Su, C.-C., L. Yin, N. Kumar, L. Dai, A. Radhakrishnan, J. R. Bolla, H.-T. Lei, T.-H. Chou, K. Rajashankar, Q. Zhang, Y.-K. Shin, and E. Yu. 2017 Structures and transport dynamics of the Campylobacter jejuni multidrug efflux pump CmeB. Nature Communications. 8:  171. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00217z.

Tang, Y., L. Dai, O. Sahin, Z. Wu, M. Liu, and Q. Zhang. 2017. Emergence of a plasmid-borne multidrug resistance gene cfr(C) in foodborne pathogen Campylobacter. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. DOI:10.1093/jac/dkx023

Sahin, O., S. Terhorst, E. Burrough, Z. Shen, Z. Wu, L. Dai, Y. Tang, P. Plummer, J. Ji, M. Yaeger, and Q. Zhang. 2017. Key role of capsular polysaccharide in the induction of systemic infection and abortion by hypervirulent Campylobacter jejuni. Infect. Immun. vol. 85 no. 6 e00001-17.

Wu Z, Periaswamy B, Sahin O, M. Yaeger, P. Plummer, W. Zhai, Z. Shen, L. Dai, S. Chen, and Q. Zhang. 2016. Point mutations in the major outer membrane protein drive hypervirulence of a rapidly expanding clone of Campylobacter jejuni. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 113: 10690-10695.

Yao, H., Z. Shen , Y. Wang, F. Deng, D. Liu,  G. Naren, L. Dai, C. Su, B. Wang, S. Wang, C. Wu, E.W. Yu, Q. Zhang, and J. Shen. 2016. Emergence of a potent multidrug efflux pump variant that enhances Campylobacter resistance to multiple antibiotics. mBio 7:e01543-16. doi:10.1128/mBio.01543-16.

Shen Z., R.D. Patil, O. Sahin, Z. Wu, X.Y. Pu, L. Dai, P. J. Plummer, M. Yaeger, and Q Zhang. 2016. Identification and functional analysis of two toxin-antitoxin systems in Campylobacter jejuni. Mol Microbiol. 101: 909–923.

Dai, L., W. T Muraoka, Z. Wu, O. Sahin, and Q. Zhang. 2015. A single nucleotide change in mutY increases the emergence of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter jejuni mutants. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 70:2739-48; DOI:10.1093/jac/dkv190

Sahin, O., C. Fitzgerald, S. Stroika, S. Zhao, R. Sippy, P. Kwan, P. Plummer, J. Han, M. Yaeger, and Q. Zhang.  2012. Molecular Evidence for zoonotic transmission of an emergent highly pathogenic Campylobacter jejuni clone in the United States. J. Clin. Microbiol. 50(3):680-7.

Luangtongkum, T., Z. Shen, V. Seng, O. Sahin, B. Jeon, P. Liu, and Q. Zhang. 2012. Impaired fitness and transmission of macrolide-resistant Campylobacter jejuni in its natural host. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 56(3):1300-8.