Qibin Zhang

Title: Professor & Co-Director, Center for Translational Biomedical Research
Field: Analytical Chemistry
Room: 418 Sullivan Science Building
Phone: 704.250.5803
Research Website:


B.S. Chemistry, Shandong Normal University, China, 1994
Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry, University of California at Riverside, 2005
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2005 – 2008


The Zhang research group focuses on the development of new capabilities for more accurate, more sensitive and higher throughput measurement of biomolecules, and the application of the most reproducible methods to characterize clinical specimen at proteomic, lipidomic and metabolomic levels for comprehensive identification of disease biomarkers, and systems biological understanding of the pathogenic mechanism underlying the complex human diseases.  Below are the brief descriptions of our research projects.

Development of Bioanalytical Capabilities

The specific functions of lipids are related to their chemical and physical properties and depend on specific molecular structures. We are funded by the NIH to develop a mass spectrometry based instrument platform that incorporates ozone induced dissociation (OzID) for unambiguous and comprehensive elucidation of lipid chemical structures, and high resolution field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) technology for enhanced specificity in distinguishing lipid isomers. The resulting instrument platform is expected to have broad applications in structural identification of intact lipids and will aid the unambiguous identification of lipid biomarkers of diseases, and improve our understanding of the functional roles of diverse lipids in the disease process.

In addition, we are interested in the following and the new biology that are enabled by these new capabilities:

  • Development of high throughput, quantitative methods for characterization of oligosaccharides, and saccharolipids.
  • Development of chemical and antibody based enrichment strategies for quantitative characterization of novel protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) and proteoforms that are important to human diseases.

Biomarkers for Human Diseases

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, novel biomarkers are greatly in need to indicate this destruction process. We are funded by the NIH for a comprehensive identification of biomarkers correlated to the progression of this disease, through proteomic, lipidomic, and metabolomic characterization of human pancreatic tissues and longitudinally collected serum samples, as well as for a comprehensive validation of the candidate markers in diseases that share the similar clinical and immunological outcomes with T1D.  The results not only can help to establish early diagnosis and risk assessment criteria for T1D, but also help to understand the pathogenesis of this disorder when combined with mechanistic studies using cell line and animal models.

The approach that we take for diabetes research can be applied to biomarkers research of other diseases.

Students and postdocs working in the group have access to state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation (including a Thermo QExactive HF and a Thermo TSQ Quantiva interfaced with FAIMS, nano-LC and UPLC, and a Leco GC-TOF), bioinformatics and statistics tools, and are exposed to a variety of other experimental techniques including biochemistry, physical chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry depends on their research interests.

For more information, please visit The Zhang Research Group.

Recent Publications

  1. Zhang, L., Liu, C. W., and Zhang, Q. (2018) Online 2D-LC-MS/MS Platform for Analysis of Glycated Proteome, Anal Chem 90, 1081-1086.
  2. Liu, C. W., Bramer, L., Webb-Robertson, B. J., Waugh, K., Rewers, M. J., and Zhang, Q. (2018) Temporal expression profiling of plasma proteins reveals oxidative stress in early stages of Type 1 Diabetes progression, J Proteomics 172, 100-110.
  3. Barrientos, R. C., and Zhang, Q. (2018) Isobaric Labeling of Intact Gangliosides toward Multiplexed LC-MS/MS-Based Quantitative Analysis, Anal Chem 90, 2578-2586.
  4. Zhang, L., Lanzoni, G., Battarra, M., Inverardi, L., and Zhang, Q. (2017) Proteomic profiling of human islets collected from frozen pancreata using laser capture microdissection, J Proteomics 150, 149-159.
  5. Vu, N., Brown, J., Giles, K., and Zhang, Q. (2017) Ozone-induced dissociation on a traveling wave high-resolution mass spectrometer for determination of double-bond position in lipids, Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 31, 1415-1423.
  6. Narvaez-Rivas, M., Vu, N., Chen, G. Y., and Zhang, Q. (2017) Off-line mixed-mode liquid chromatography coupled with reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry to improve coverage in lipidomics analysis, Anal Chim Acta 954, 140-150.
  7. Liu, C. W., Bramer, L., Webb-Robertson, B. J., Waugh, K., Rewers, M. J., and Zhang, Q. (2017) Temporal profiles of plasma proteome during childhood development, J Proteomics 152, 321-328.
  8. Barrientos, R. C., Vu, N., and Zhang, Q. (2017) Structural Analysis of Unsaturated Glycosphingolipids Using Shotgun Ozone-Induced Dissociation Mass Spectrometry, J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 28, 2330-2343.
  9. Narvaez-Rivas, M., and Zhang, Q. (2016) Comprehensive untargeted lipidomic analysis using core-shell C30 particle column and high field orbitrap mass spectrometer, J Chromatogr A 1440, 123-134.
  10. Liu, C. W., Atkinson, M. A., and Zhang, Q. (2016) Type 1 diabetes cadaveric human pancreata exhibit a unique exocrine tissue proteomic profile, Proteomics 16, 1432-1446.