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Li Zhong, PhD

Associate Professor of Physiology

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

E-Mail: lzhong@westernu.edu

Phone: 909-469-8220 | Join year: August 2010


M.S., Computer Science, Wayne State University College of Engineering, Detroit, MI, 2000

Ph.D., Physiology, Department of Physiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, 1999

B.S., Biology, Hebei University, Baoding, China, 1985 

Education Experience

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI, 1999-2001

Teaching Experience

Associate Professor, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, COMP, Western University of Health Sciences, 2010-present

Assistant Research Professor, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, CA, 2007-2010

Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, 2003-2007

Senior Research Associate, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, 2001-2003 


Dr. Zhong's main training has been in the field of physiology and will be teaching the core physiology course.

Research Interest

Dr. Zhong’s research interests focus on early cancer detection using autoantibody profiles as biomarkers. They have developed novel screening technology for early detection of lung cancer using T7 phage display cDNA libraries and differential biopanning to isolate epitopes reacting with antibodies present specifically in the sera of patients with lung cancer. Using five combined biomarkers, they have achieved both sensitivity and specificity of 91.3 percent for stage I non-small cell lung cancer detection (Zhong, 2005), and sensitivity of 82.6 percent and specificity of 87.5 percent for detection of occult (one to five years prior to diagnosis) non-small cell lung cancer (Zhong, 2006). The results were much more sensitive and specific than the traditional biomarkers for lung cancer.

Research Grant

Research Grant

  • NIH/NCI R21, Zhong (PI), “Profiling autoantibodies for early detection of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma”, 2009-2011
  • Research subcontract from NCI, Zhong (PI), “Proteomic approaches to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma diagnostics”, 2008-2010
  • NIH R01, Zhong (Co-PI), “Autoantibodies as marker of NSCLC”, 2003 –2009
  • VA Merit Review, Zhong (Co-PI), “Detection of Tumor Markers in Peripheral Blood of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Patients”, 2003 –2005


Publications (Selected)

  • Zhang X, Shen W, Dong X, Fan J, Liu L, Gao X, Kernstine KH, Zhong L. Identification of novel autoantibodies for detection of malignant mesothelioma. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 19;8(8).
  • Dong X, Yang M, Sun H, Lü J, Zheng Z, Li Z, Zhong L. Combined measurement of CA 15-3 with novel autoantibodies improves diagnostic accuracy for breast cancer. Onco Targets Ther. 2013 March;6:273-9.
  • Zhang B, Zhang Z, Zhang X, Gao X, Kernstine KH, Zhong L. Serological antibodies against LY6K as a diagnostic biomarker in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Biomarkers. 2012 Jun;17(4):372-8.
  • Zhou JH, Zhang B, Kernstine KH, Zhong L. Autoantibodies against MMP-7 as a novel diagnostic biomarker in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar 14;17(10):1373-8.
  • Zhong L, Zhang W, Zer C, Zhao L, Ge K, Gao X and Kernstine KH. Protein Microarray: Sensitive and Effective Immunodetection for Drug Residues. BMC Biotechnol. 2010 Feb 16;10:12.
  • Dong X, Liu A, Zer C, Feng J, Zhen Z, Yang M and Zhong L. siRNA Inhibition of Telomerase Enhances the Anti-cancer Effect of Doxorubicin in Breast Cancer Cells. BMC Cancer. 2009 May 5;9:133.
  • Guo R, Ma H, Gao F, Zhong L and Ren J. Metallothionein Alleviates Oxidative Stress-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Myocardial Dysfunction. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2009 Aug;47(2):228-37.
  • Guo R, Zhong L and Ren J. Overexpression of aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) attenuates chronic alcohol exposure-induced apoptosis and alters Akt and Pim signaling in liver. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2009 May;36(5-6):463-8.
  • Zhong L, Ge K, Zu JC, Zhao LH, Yen Y and Kernstine KH. Autoantibodies as Potential Biomarkers for Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2008;10(3):R40.
  • Wu C, Zhao ML, Ge K, Wang HX and Zhong L. Evaluation of diagnostic value using a panel of lung cancer biomarkers with breast cancer samples. Science & Technology Information. 2007; 14:67-71.
  • Zhong L, Coe S, Stromberg AJ, Khattar NH, Jett JR and Hirschowitz EA. Profiling Tumor-associated Autoantibodies for Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. J Thorac Oncol. 2006 Jul;1(6):513-9.

Invited Presentations (Selected)

  • British American Tobacco in Southampton, UK. Identification of biomarkers for smoking induced lung cancer. May 14, 2013.
  • Hebei University College of Life Sciences, Baoding, China. Combined analysis of serological biomarkers for early cancer detection. June 26, 2012
  • 7th Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) Scientific Workshop, Combined measurement of serological tumor-associated antigen and autoantibody for detection of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. September 13-16, 2011, Washington DC.
  • International Conference of Wnt Signaling, Organogenesis and Stem Cells, Xiamen, China. 2009.
  • American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) annual meeting in Chicago. Cancer markers in blood samples. 2008.
  • Group Research and Development of British American Tobacco Co. Ltd, London, UK. Autoantibodies as Biomarkers for Lung Cancer. 2008.
  • The 2nd International Esophageal & Cardiac Cancer Summit, Beijing China. Developing autoantibody tests for detection of ESCC. 2007.
  • University of Santiago de Compostela School of Medicine, Santiago, Spain. Autoantibody profile in lung cancer. 2007.

Click here for a list of all of Dr Zhong's publications