Ou Zhang PhD

Ou Zhang

Contact Information
Email: ZhangO@cusm.org

Faculty Appointment

Assistant Professor of Medical Education, Microbiology


Postdoctoral training - University of Michigan Medical School
PhD - Texas Tech University
MBBS - Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University (China)


Dr. Ou Zhang is a parasitologist with over 10 years of experience studying the molecular pathogenesis of protozoan parasites that cause human illnesses. Dr. Zhang received her medical degree from Xiangya School of Medicine, one of the oldest medical schools in China. During her study, she discovered her interest in tropical infectious diseases. To further her knowledge in the field of tropical medicine, Dr. Zhang came to the U.S. and did her doctoral study in characterizing key virulence factors in Leishmania and exploring ways to develop new therapeutic targets to treat leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease with more than 12 million people infected. She then received her post-doctoral training at University of Michigan Medical School, where she continued her passion in parasitology research and advanced her understanding in host-parasite interactions and the pathogenesis of Toxoplasma, a close relative to the malaria parasites.
In 2019, Dr. Zhang started her career as an assistant professor of microbiology and medical education at CUSM. She is responsible for teaching the disciplines of Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases for both MBS and MD programs. Her educational activities foster a culture that leads to student engagement, curiosity, and meaningful learning, which are well-received by the CUSM community. In the meantime, she has been engaged in developing her independent research programs and collaborating with national and international research projects in the fields of Infectious Diseases and Global Health.
Additionally, Dr. Zhang has served as the faculty lead in the Global Health Equity Scholar program since 2022, where she is overseeing the educational components and the students’ scholarly activities in this program. In 2023, She started her position as the assistant program director for the Global Health Equity program at CUSM, working closely with national and international global health equity leaders and educators. As an educator, being able to help our future healthcare professionals develop a fundamental understanding of global healthcare and gain insights in achieving global health equity is particularly rewarding. Hence, Dr. Zhang is highly motivated to contribute her knowledge and expertise in her new leadership roles.

Research Interests

  • Protozoan parasite pathogenesis
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Lipid metabolism in protozoan parasites