A main area of my research is to explore mechanisms and treatment strategies of epileptic seizures in rodent models. Kindling via repeated brief electrical stimulation of a brain structure is a widely used rodent model of epilepsy. My lab has developed a novel mouse model of kindling and established clinically relevant chronic seizure-monitoring system. Kindled mice exhibited spontaneous recurrent seizures that closely mimicked seizures seen in patients with respect to sensitivity to clinical anti-seizure drugs, memory impairment and brain electrographic abnormality. We are currently examining the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying seizure genesis in this model. In collaboration with Drs. Peter Carlen (UHN) and Berj Bardakjian (University of Toronto) and using a novel stimulation paradigm, work is in progress to examine the effects of deep brain stimulation on seizure control in kindled mice. In collaboration with Drs. James Eubanks and Aylin Reid (UHN), we are examining seizure and epileptiform activities in mouse models of other neurological disorders (Rett syndrome and neurofibromatosis type 1).

Another area of my research is to examine alterations of hippocampal neuronal activity in aging/aged mice and in mice with genetically manipulated synaptic proteins. The latter is in collaboration with Dr. Shuzo Sugita (UHN).

  • Techniques and expertise
    • Chronic intracranial EEG recordings (tethered and telemetric) and brain stimulation in rodent models
    • Extracellular and patch-clamp recordings in brain slices
    • Rodent models of brain ischemia and epileptic seizures

For a list of Dr. Zhang's publications, please visit Scopus or PubMed.

Associate Professor, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Faculty Member, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto