Liang Zhang, PhD, MD

The mammalian brain exhibits distinct patterns of electrographic oscillations that correlate tightly with behavioural states and are thought to be important for cognitive functions. Alterations in brain oscillations are associated with various neurological disorders, particularly epileptic seizures. While electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings are widely used as a diagnostic tool in clinical practice, understanding normal and abnormal brain oscillations remain a major task of neurobiology.

The long-term goal of my research is to examine the cellular and local circuitry mechanisms of brain EEG oscillations. My focus is on the hippocampus and related temporal lobe structures as these brain regions are crucial for cognition and susceptible to ischemic injury, cognitive impairment and epileptic seizures. Specifically, my lab uses rodent models in vivo and in vitro to explore intrinsic network oscillations of the hippocampus and temporal lobe circuitry under physiological conditions and following brain ischemia and seizures.

Current research projects in my lab are: 1) to examine cellular and local circuitry of hippocampal network activities in adult and aging mice via combined intracranial EEG recordings in behaving animals and extracellular-single cell recordings in brain slices; 2) to examine how epileptic seizures arise in immature and aging mice following brain ischemic events (hypoxic-ischemic episodes or middle cerebral artery occlusion); and 3) to explore potential neuroprotective and antiepileptic therapeutic strategies in these models.
  • 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
Cell Rep. 2018 Jun 05;23(10):2955-2966
Bin NR, Ma K, Harada H, Tien CW, Bergin F, Sugita K, Luyben TT, Narimatsu M, Jia Z, Wrana JL, Monnier PP, Zhang L, Okamoto K, Sugita S
Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:451
Song H, Tufa U, Chow J, Sivanenthiran N, Cheng C, Lim S, Wu C, Feng J, Eubanks JH, Zhang L
Transl Oncol. 2018 May 23;11(4):911-919
Kumar S, Sun JD, Zhang L, Mokhtari RB, Wu B, Meng F, Liu Q, Bhupathi D, Wang Y, Yeger H, Hart C, Baruchel S
JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2017 Jul;3(7):727-743
Hu D, Li Y, Zhang J, Pfeiffer R, Gollob MH, Healey J, Harrell DT, Makita N, Abe H, Sun Y, Guo J, Zhang L, Yan G, Mah D, Walsh EP, Leopold HB, Giustetto C, Gaita F, Zienciuk-Krajka A, Mazzanti A, Priori SG, Antzelevitch C, Barajas-Martinez H
Book. 2018 01
Epilepsy Res. 2018 Jan 26;140:177-183
Wither RG, Colic S, Bardakjian BL, Snead OC, Zhang L, Eubanks JH
Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Jun 01;22(11):2697-708
Zhang L, Marrano P, Wu B, Kumar S, Thorner P, Baruchel S
Neurobiol Dis. 2017 Oct 10;109(Pt A):102-116
Chang M, Dian JA, Dufour S, Wang L, Moradi Chameh H, Ramani M, Zhang L, Carlen PL, Womelsdorf T, Valiante TA
Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 28;7(1):4342
Hennebelle M, Zhang Z, Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Otoki Y, Richardson CE, Yang J, Lee KSS, Hammock BD, Zhang L, Bazinet RP, Taha AY



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