Zhang, Ji MD PhD

Assistant Professor

The Alan Edwards Centre for Research on Pain, McGill University
740 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Suite 3200C, Genome Building, Montreal, QC H3A 2B2
(514) 398-7203 (00036)
(514) 398-8121

Research Profile

We have two major research interests in the lab:

  1. Neuroinflammation in chronic pain (funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-CIHR, the Louis and Alan Edwards Foundation, the Quebec Pain Research Network)

The overall goal of the research program is to investigate the immune factors that contribute to the etiology of chronic pain by exploring the interactions between injured neurons and their surrounding glial/immune cells, and the impact of glial cell activation and immune cell infiltration on pain behavior. We are also interested in validating new therapeutic strategies and identifying new candidates for an effective relieve of chronic pain by targeting immune components in the disease pathology.

  1. Aging dependent glial cell degeneration (funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada-NSERC)

In this glial cell biology program, we want to understand aging related microglial degeneration and to investigate the impacts of microglial senescence on neuronal function.


In vivo animal models (inflammatory/neuropathic pain model, EAE model, diabetic model, chemotherapy associated chronic pain model, diet induced obese model, aging mice); anatomical techniques (immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization); molecular and biochemical methods for gene/protein expression and regulation (PCR, Western Blot, ELISA); behavioral studies (sensory, motor and cognitive response), immune response, cytokine/chemokine, glial cells.

Recent Publications

  • Zhang. (2015). Peripheral and central immune mechanisms in neuropathic pain, Chapter 7, 109-121, Neuroinflammation: New Insights into Beneficial and Detrimental Functions, Wiley.
  • Sorge RE, Mapplebeck JC, Rosen S, Beggs S, Taves S, Alexander JK, Martin LJ, Austin JS, Sotocinal SG, Chen D, Yang M, Shi XQ, Huang H, Pillon NJ, Bilan PJ, Tu Y, Klip A, Ji RR, Zhang J, Salter MW, Mogil JS. Different immune cells mediate mechanical pain hypersensitivity in male and female mice. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Aug;18(8):1081-3. doi: 10.1038/nn.4053.
  • Lim TK, Shi XQ, Johnson JM, Rone MB, Antel JP, David S, Zhang J. Peripheral nerve injury induces persistent vascular dysfunction and endoneurial hypoxia, contributing to the genesis of neuropathic pain. J Neurosci. 2015 Feb 25;35(8):3346-59. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4040-14.2015.
  • Zhang J, Echeverry S, Lim TK, Lee SH, Shi XQ, Huang H. Can modulating inflammatory response be a good strategy to treat neuropathic pain? Curr Pharm Des. 2015;21(7):831-9.
  • Lim TK, Shi XQ, Martin HC, Huang H, Luheshi G, Rivest S, Zhang J. Blood-nerve barrier dysfunction contributes to the generation of neuropathic pain and allows targeting of injured nerves for pain relief. Pain. 2014 May;155(5):954-67. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.01.026.
  • Yang M, Rainone A, Shi XQ, Fournier S, Zhang J. A new animal model of spontaneous autoimmune peripheral polyneuropathy: implications for Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014 Jan 8;2:5. doi: 10.1186/2051-5960-2-5.