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    Last Name

    Nanyin Zhang PhD

    TitleAssistant Professor
    InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
    AddressPenn State University
    201 Old Main Street
    University Park PA 16802


        2005Ph.D.University of Minnesota, USA (Biomedical Engineering)
        2000B.Eng.Zhejiang University, China (Biomedical Engineering)

        Academic appointments

        2009~present Assistant Professor University of Massachusetts
        2008~2009Research Assistant ProfessorUniversity of Minnesota
        2006~2008Research AssociateUniversity of Minnesota
        2005~2006 Postdoctoral AssociateUniversity of Minnesota

        Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

        Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a technique that can noninvasively map brain activation with a very high spatial resolution and a large field of view. This technique, which has been widely used for investigating various brain functions, is based on locally coupled neuronal activity and hemodynamic changes (also called neurovascular coupling). At activated brain regions, cerebral blood flow increases overcompensate oxygen consumption rate increases in response to a higher demand of energy, resulting in a local oxygenation level change which can be detected in MR images. Therefore, the signal source of fMRI is termed the blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) signal.

        The research in our lab encompasses both the mechanism of fMRI and fMRI applications. Specifically, our research is designed to quantitatively bridge the gap between the BOLD signal and the underlying neuronal activity by using simultaneous multi-modal (EEG and fMRI) acquisition. We also study the mechanism and spatiotemporal characteristics of the BOLD signal. We have the ability of obtaining high-resolution fMRI on a submillimeter scale so that we can map elementary functional structures (e.g. columns) in the brain. By designing novel paradigms, we are developing approaches to extract fast temporal information (in tens to hundreds of milliseconds) of neural interaction using the slow BOLD signal.

        Resting State and psychiatric disorders

        Normal brain consists of numerous neural networks coordinately working together. For the brain to function properly, the activities of these neural networks need to harmonize sequentially or concurrently while electrophysiological signals propagate along different neuronal groups. As a result, investigating the functions of neural networks and their relationships plays a fundamental role in neuroscience. This task is conventionally explored with studies of the brain responses to carefully controlled sensory, cognitive and motor events. Nevertheless, a series of recent studies demonstrate patterned activities exist within various brain networks during resting and passive task states. Distributed brain regions spontaneously increase and decrease their activity together within functional-anatomic networks, even under anesthesia. These studies led to a hypothesis that the human brain is intrinsically organized into dynamic, anti-correlated functional networks.

        In our lab, we use fMRI to investigate resting state functional connectivity in several animal models. Our research is designed to examine whether connectivity among various brain regions will change in different psychiatric disease models.

        Rotation Projects

        Potential Rotation Projects

        Investigate functional connectivity change in different animal models using fMRI. The student will have the opportunity of learn to operate MR scanner, understand the mechanism of fMRI and conduct animal experiments.

        Post Docs
        Postdoctoral Research Fellow in NeuroImaging

        The Center for Comparative NeuroImaging (CCNI) is a neuroimaginginitiative in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of MassachusettsMedical School with a focus on the exploration of neurologic and psychiatricdisorders and co-morbidities. The CCNI houses a 4.7T Bruker animal scanner andhas access to a 3T Phillips human scanner.

        The CCNI invites applications for a Post-Doctoral Fellow position.Specifically, the studies in the CCNI utilize fMRI to identify and monitorneuronal mechanism associated with dysfunction in emotional, behavioral andcognitive processes in humans and animal models of mental health disorders.Candidates must have strong research background in MR techniques andtechnology, preferable resting-state fMRI and task-based fMRI.

        Applicants should send a CV and application letter to Nanyin Zhang, Ph.D at

        selected publications
        List All   |   Timeline
        1. Zhang N, Yoon SY, Parys JB, Fissore RA. Effect of M-phase kinase phosphorylations on type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor-mediated Ca2+ responses in mouse eggs. Cell Calcium. 2015 Nov; 58(5):476-88.
          View in: PubMed
        2. Liang Z, Liu X, Zhang N. Dynamic resting state functional connectivity in awake and anesthetized rodents. Neuroimage. 2015 Jan 1; 104:89-99.
          View in: PubMed
        3. Liang Z, King J, Zhang N. Neuroplasticity to a single-episode traumatic stress revealed by resting-state fMRI in awake rats. Neuroimage. 2014 Dec; 103:485-91.
          View in: PubMed
        4. Huang W, King JA, Ursprung WW, Zheng S, Zhang N, Kennedy DN, Ziedonis D, DiFranza JR. The development and expression of physical nicotine dependence corresponds to structural and functional alterations in the anterior cingulate-precuneus pathway. Brain Behav. 2014 May; 4(3):408-17.
          View in: PubMed
        5. Roses AD, Saunders AM, Lutz MW, Zhang N, Hariri AR, Asin KE, Crenshaw DG, Budur K, Burns DK, Brannan SK. New applications of disease genetics and pharmacogenetics to drug development. Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2014 Feb; 14:81-9.
          View in: PubMed
        6. Qi S, Mu Y, Liu K, Zhang J, Huan Y, Tan Q, Shi M, Wang Q, Chen Y, Wang H, Wang H, Zhang N, Zhang X, Xiong L, Yin H. Cortical inhibition deficits in recent onset PTSD after a single prolonged trauma exposure. Neuroimage Clin. 2013; 3:226-33.
          View in: PubMed
        7. Huang W, DiFranza JR, Kennedy DN, Zhang N, Ziedonis D, Ursprung S, King JA. Progressive levels of physical dependence to tobacco coincide with changes in the anterior cingulum bundle microstructure. PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e67837.
          View in: PubMed
        8. Liang Z, Li T, King J, Zhang N. Mapping thalamocortical networks in rat brain using resting-state functional connectivity. Neuroimage. 2013 Dec; 83:237-44.
          View in: PubMed
        9. Heffernan ME, Huang W, Sicard KM, Bratane BT, Sikoglu EM, Zhang N, Fisher M, King JA. Multi-modal approach for investigating brain and behavior changes in an animal model of traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Jun 1; 30(11):1007-12.
          View in: PubMed
        10. He Z, Deng W, Li M, Chen Z, Jiang L, Wang Q, Huang C, Collier DA, Gong Q, Ma X, Zhang N, Li T. Aberrant intrinsic brain activity and cognitive deficit in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Psychol Med. 2013 Apr; 43(4):769-80.
          View in: PubMed
        11. Liang Z, King J, Zhang N. Intrinsic organization of the anesthetized brain. J Neurosci. 2012 Jul 25; 32(30):10183-91.
          View in: PubMed
        12. Fulwiler CE, King JA, Zhang N. Amygdala-orbitofrontal resting-state functional connectivity is associated with trait anger. Neuroreport. 2012 Jul 11; 23(10):606-10.
          View in: PubMed
        13. Zhang N, Wakai T, Fissore RA. Caffeine alleviates the deterioration of Ca(2+) release mechanisms and fragmentation of in vitro-aged mouse eggs. Mol Reprod Dev. 2011 Sep; 78(9):684-701.
          View in: PubMed
        14. Liang Z, King J, Zhang N. Anticorrelated resting-state functional connectivity in awake rat brain. Neuroimage. 2012 Jan 16; 59(2):1190-9.
          View in: PubMed
        15. Liang Z, King J, Zhang N. Uncovering intrinsic connectional architecture of functional networks in awake rat brain. J Neurosci. 2011 Mar 9; 31(10):3776-83.
          View in: PubMed
        16. Huang W, Heffernan ME, Li Z, Zhang N, Overstreet DH, King JA. Fear induced neuronal alterations in a genetic model of depression: an fMRI study on awake animals. Neurosci Lett. 2011 Feb 4; 489(2):74-8.
          View in: PubMed
        17. Zhang N, Zhu XH, Yacoub E, Ugurbil K, Chen W. Functional MRI mapping neuronal inhibition and excitation at columnar level in human visual cortex. Exp Brain Res. 2010 Aug; 204(4):515-24.
          View in: PubMed
        18. Zhang N, Rane P, Huang W, Liang Z, Kennedy D, Frazier JA, King J. Mapping resting-state brain networks in conscious animals. J Neurosci Methods. 2010 Jun 15; 189(2):186-96.
          View in: PubMed
        19. Zhang N, Zhu XH, Zhang Y, Park JK, Chen W. High-resolution fMRI mapping of ocular dominance layers in cat lateral geniculate nucleus. Neuroimage. 2010 May 1; 50(4):1456-63.
          View in: PubMed
        20. Liu Z, Rios C, Zhang N, Yang L, Chen W, He B. Linear and nonlinear relationships between visual stimuli, EEG and BOLD fMRI signals. Neuroimage. 2010 Apr 15; 50(3):1054-66.
          View in: PubMed
        21. Zhang N, Yacoub E, Zhu XH, Ugurbil K, Chen W. Linearity of blood-oxygenation-level dependent signal at microvasculature. Neuroimage. 2009 Nov 1; 48(2):313-8.
          View in: PubMed
        22. Ding L, Zhang N, Chen W, He B. Three-dimensional imaging of complex neural activation in humans from EEG. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2009 Aug; 56(8):1980-8.
          View in: PubMed
        23. Liu Z, Zhang N, Chen W, He B. Mapping the bilateral visual integration by EEG and fMRI. Neuroimage. 2009 Jul 15; 46(4):989-97.
          View in: PubMed
        24. Zhu XH, Zhang N, Zhang Y, Ugurbil K, Chen W. New insights into central roles of cerebral oxygen metabolism in the resting and stimulus-evoked brain. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2009 Jan; 29(1):10-8.
          View in: PubMed
        25. Zhang N, Zhu XH, Chen W. Investigating the source of BOLD nonlinearity in human visual cortex in response to paired visual stimuli. Neuroimage. 2008 Nov 1; 43(2):204-12.
          View in: PubMed
        26. Zhang N, Zhu XH, Zhang Y, Chen W. An fMRI study of neural interaction in large-scale cortico-thalamic visual network. Neuroimage. 2008 Sep 1; 42(3):1110-7.
          View in: PubMed
        27. Im CH, Liu Z, Zhang N, Chen W, He B. Functional cortical source imaging from simultaneously recorded ERP and fMRI. J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Oct 15; 157(1):118-23.
          View in: PubMed
        28. Zhang N, Chen W. A dynamic fMRI study of illusory double-flash effect on human visual cortex. Exp Brain Res. 2006 Jun; 172(1):57-66.
          View in: PubMed
        29. Zhang N, Zhu XH, Lei H, Ugurbil K, Chen W. Simplified methods for calculating cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen based on 17O magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging measurement during a short 17O2 inhalation. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2004 Aug; 24(8):840-8.
          View in: PubMed
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