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Kunyan Zhang

Associate Professor

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases (MIID)
Calgary Laboratory Services
Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance (CAR), AHS/CLS
Member of the Infectious Diseases Research Group (IDRG)
Member of Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases
Associate Member of the Microbial Research Group (MRG)
Address:  3330 Hospital Drive N.W., Health Sciences Centre (HSC)
Phone: (403) 210-8484
Fax: (403) 210-7661

Curriculum Vitae:
M.D., Guangdong Medical College
M.Sc., London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Potential Graduate Supervisor

My primary area of interest is antimicrobial resistance. My current research activities focus on the molecular detection, characterization and pathogenicity of multidrug-resistance staphylococci, covering Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus (MRSA) including hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) and the re-emerging community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS).

I am actively involved in the Antibiotic Resistant Organism (ARO) Program, Alberta Health Services (AHS) with a mandate to detect, prevent and control AROs in the region.

Publications by Dr. Zhang

  • Harding M., Zhang K., Conly J., Kubes P. (2014). Neutrophil Crawling in Capillaries; A Novel Immune Response to Staphylococcus aureus. PLoS Pathog 10(10): PubMed
  • Moran-Toro, C., Janvier, J., Zhang, K., Fonseca, K., Gregson, D., Church, D., Laupland, K., Rabin, H., Elsayed, S., Conly, J. (2013). Community Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) Necrotizing Pneumonia without Evidence of Antecedent Upper Viral Respiratory Infection. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol (in press) (
  • Rieck, B., Bates, D., Zhang, K., Nicholas, E., Mougenot, C., Pichardo, S., Curiel, L. (2014). Focused ultrasound treatment of abscesses induced by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: feasibility study in a mouse model. Med. Physics 41(6):063301(1-9) PubMed
  • McClure-Warnier, J., Conly, J., Zhang, K.* (2013). Multiplex PCR Assay for Typing of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec Types I to V in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Vis Exp (79), Pub Med
  • Shen, H., Akoda, E., Zhang, K. (2013). Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Carriage among Students at a Historically Black University–A Case Study. International J Microbiol 2013: 1-7.PubMed
  • Wu, K., Zhang, K., McClure, J., Zhang, J., Schrenzel, J., Francois, P., Harbarth, S., Conly, J. (2012) A Correlative Analysis of Epidemiologic and Molecular Characteristics of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Clones from Diverse Geographic Locations with Virulence Measured by a Caernohabitus elegans Host Model. PubMed
  • Wu, K., Conly, J., Surette, M., Sibley, C., Elsayed, S., Zhang, K.* (2012). Assessment of virulence diversity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains with a Drosophila melanogaster infection model. BMC Microbiol 12:274 PubMed
  • Ito T., Hiramatsu K., Tomasz A., de Lencastre H., Perreten V., Holden M., Coleman D., Goering R., Giffard P., Skov R., Zhang K., Westh H., O'Brien F., Tenover F., Oliveira D.C., Boyle-Vavra S., Laurent F., Kearns A., Kreiswirth B., Ko K., Grundmann H., Sollid J., John J., Daum R., Soderquist B., and Buist G. on behalf of the International Working Group on the Classification of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome Elements (IWG-SCC) (2012). Guidelines for Reporting Novel mecA Gene Homologues. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 56 (10), 4997-4999PubMed
  • Zhang K.*, McClure, J., Conly J. (2012). Enhanced Multiplex PCR Assay for Typing of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec Types I to V in Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Mol Cell Probe 26 (6), 218-221 PubMed
  • Yipp B.G., Petri B., Salina D., Jenne C.N., Scott B.N.V., Zbytnuik L.D.,  Pittman K., Asaduzzaman M., Wu K., Meijndert H.C., Malawista S.E., de Boisfleury Chevance A., Zhang K., Conly J., Kubes P. (2012). Infection-induced NETosis is a dynamic process involving neutrophil multitasking in vivo. Nat Med 18(9), 1336-1338; PubMed
  • Wu, K., Simor, A.E., Vearncombe, M.,McClure, J., Zhang, K.* A Caenorhabditis elegans Host Model Correlates with Invasive Disease Caused by Staphylococcus aureus Recovered during an Outbreak in a NeonatalIntensive Care. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol2012;23(3):130-134                                                 
  • Arbefeville, SS., Zhang, K., Kroeger, JS., Howard, WJ., Diekema, DJ., Richter, SS. (2011). Prevalence and Genetic Relatedness of Methicillin Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Detected by the Xpert MRSA Nasal Assay, J Clin Microbiol 49 (8), 2996-299  PubMed
  • Pilsczek, F.H., Salina, D., Poon, K.K.H., Fahey, C., Yipp, B.G., Sibley, C.D., Robbins, S.M., Green, F.H.Y., Surette, M.G., Sugai, M., Bowden, M.G., Hussain, M., Zhang, K., Kubes, P. (2010). A Novel Mechanism of Rapid Nuclear Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation in Response to Staphylococcus aureus. J Immunology 185(12):7413-25 (December 15, 2010); PubMed
  • McClure, J., Conly, J., Elsayed, S., Zhang K.* (2010). Multiplex PCR assay to facilitate identification of the recently described staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type VIII. Mol Cell Probe 24 (4), 229-232 PubMed
  •  Twele, L., Moyen, E., Zhang, K., Dalton, B., Church, D., Conly, J. (2010). Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Endocarditis and de Novo Development of Daptomycin Resistance during Therapy. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 21(2), 89-93 (June 2010); PubMed
  •  Wu K, Conly J, McClure J, Elsayed S, Louie T, Zhang K*. (2010) Caenorhabditis elegans as a Host Model for Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Clin Microbiol Infect 16(3):245-254; PubMed
  •  International Working Group on the Classification of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome Elements (IWG-SCC) (IWG-SCC members: Ito T., Hiramatsu K., Oliveira D.C., de Lencastre H., Zhang K., et al) (2009). Classification of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec(SCCmec): Guidelines for Reporting Novel SCCmec Elements. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 53 (12), 4961-4967; PubMed
  •  O'Grady S., Hirji Z., Pejcic-Karapetrovic B., Fung S., Dedier H., Takata-Shewchuk J., Zhang K., Conly J. (2009). A Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial of Topical Polysporin Triple Compound versus Topical Mupirocin for the Eradication of Colonization with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Complex Continuing Care Population. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 20(3), e49-e55; PubMed
  •  Zhang K.*, McClure, J., Elsayed, Conly, J. (2009) Novel Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec Type, Tentatively Designated Type VIII, harboring Class A mec and Type 4 ccr Gene Complexes in a Canadian Epidemic Strain of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.Antimicrob Agents Chemother 53 (2), 531-540; PubMed
  •  Zhang K*, McClure J, Elsayed S, Louie T, Conly J. (2008). Novel Multiplex PCR Assay for Simultaneous Identification of Community-Associated Staphylococcus aureus Strains USA300 and USA400 and Detection of mecA and Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Genes, with Discrimination of Staphylococcus aureus from Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci. J Clin Microbiol 46 (3), 1118-1122; Pub Med
  • Zhang K*, McClure J, Elsayed S, Tan J., Conly J. (2008). Coexistence of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin-Positive and -Negative Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA400 Sibling Strains in a Large Canadian Health-Care Region. J Infect Dis 197, 195-204; Pub Med
  • Gilbert, M., MacDonald, J., Louie, M., J., Gregson, D., Zhang, K., Elsayed, S., Laupland, K., Nielsen, D., Wheeler, V., Lye, T., Conly, J. (2007). Prevalence of USA300 colonization or infection and associated variables during an outbreak of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a marginalized urban population. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 18(6), 357-362; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S. and Zhang, K. (2007). Clostridium glycolicum Bacteremia in a Bone Marrow Transplant Patient. J Clin Microbiol 45 (5), 1652-1654; PubMed
  • Guggisberg K, Parker R, Megran D, Zhang K, Lester W, Elsayed S. (2006). DNA sequence-based detection of group B streptococcus directly from heart valve tissue in a patient with culture-negative endocarditis. Scand J Infect Dis 38(10), 931-4; PubMed
  •  Elsayed S, and Zhang K. (2006). Positive Clostridium difficile stool cytotoxin assay in a patient with fatal Clostridium sordellii-associated toxic shock syndrome. N Engl J Med 355 (12), 1284-5; PubMed
  • Gilbert, M., MacDonald, J., Gregson, D., Suishansian, J., Zhang, K., Elsayed, S., Laupland, K., Louie, T., Hope, K., Mulvey, M., Gillespie, J., Nielsen, D., Wheeler, V., Louie, M., Honish, A., Keays, G., Conly, J. (2006). Outbreak in Alberta of Community-acquired (USA300) Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in People with a Histories of Drug Use, Homelessness or Incarceration. Med Assoc J 175(2), 149-154. (http:/; PubMed
  • McClure, J., Conly, J., Lau, V., Elsayed, S., Louie, T., Hutchins, W., Zhang K.* (2006). Novel multiplex PCR assay for detection of staphylococcal virulence marker Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes and simultaneous discrimination of methicillin-susceptible from -resistant staphylococci. J Clin Microbiol 44, 1141-1144; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S., George, A., Zhang, K. (2006). Intrauterine Contraceptive Device-Associated Pelvic Actinomycosis Caused by Actinomyces urogenitalis. Anaerobe 12, 67-70 ; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S., Plewes, K., Church, D., Chow, B., Zhang, K. (2006). Use of Molecular Beacon Probes for Real-Time PCR Detection of Plasmodium falciparum and Other Plasmodium Species in Peripheral Blood Specimens. J Clin Microbiol 44,622-624; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S., and Zhang, K. (2006). Isolation and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequence-based identification of Clostridium scindens from an intraabdominal abscess. Anaerobe 12, 13-16; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S., Kealey A, Coffin CS, Read R, Megran D, and Zhang, K. (2006). Nocardia cyriacigeorgica Septicemia.  J Clin Microbiol 44,280-282; PubMed
  •  Zhang, K.*, McClure, J., Elsayed, S., Louie, T., Conly, J. (2005). Novel multiplex PCR assay for characterization and concomitant subtyping of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec types I to V in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Clin Microbiol 43,5026-5033; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S., and Zhang, K. (2005b). Bacteremia caused by Janibacter melonis. J Clin Microbiol 43, 3537-3539; PubMed
  •   Elsayed S, Zhang K. (2005a). Bacteremia Caused by Clostridium intestinale. J Clin Microbiol 43, 2018-2020; PubMed
  •   Zhang, K.*, Sparling, J., Chow, B. L., Elsayed, S., Hussain, Z., Church, D. L., Gregson, D. B., Louie, T., and Conly, J. M. (2004). New Quadriplex PCR Assay for Detection of Methicillin and Mupirocin Resistance and Simultaneous Discrimination of Staphylococcus aureusfrom Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci. J Clin Microbiol 42, 4947-4955; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S., and Zhang, K. (2004c). Human infection caused by Clostridium hathewayi.  Emerg Infect Dis 10, 1950-1952; Pub Med
  •  Elsayed, S., and Zhang, K. (2004b). Gemella bergeriae Endocarditis Diagnosed by Sequencing of rRNA Genes in Heart Valve Tissue. J Clin Microbiol 42, 4897-4900; PubMed
  •  Elsayed, S., and Zhang, K. (2004a). Bacteremia caused by Clostridium symbiosum. J Clin Microbiol 42, 4390-4392; PubMed                                                                                                                        
  • Power, C., Zhang, K., and van Marle, G. (2004). Comparative neurovirulence in lentiviral infections: The roles of viral molecular diversity and select proteases. J Neurovirol 10, 113-117; PubMed
  •  Silva, C., Zhang, K., Tsutsui, S., Holden, J. K., Gill, M. J., and Power, C. (2003). Growth hormone prevents human immunodeficiency virus-induced neuronal p53 expression. Ann Neurol 54, 605-14; PubMed
  •  Zhang, K., McQuibban, G. A., Silva, C., Butler, G. S., Johnston, J. B., Holden, J., Clark-Lewis, I., Overall, C. M., and Power, C. (2003). HIV-induced metalloproteinase processing of the chemokine stromal cell derived factor-1 causes neurodegeneration. Nat Neurosci 6, 1064-71; PubMed
  •  Zhang, K., Rana, F., Silva, C., Ethier, J., Wehrly, K., Chesebro, B., and Power, C. (2003). Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope-mediated neuronal death: uncoupling of viral replication and neurotoxicity. J Virol 77, 6899-912; PubMed
  •  Van Marle, G., Rourke, S. B., Zhang, K., Silva, C., Ethier, J., Gill, M. J., and Power, C. (2002). HIV dementia patients exhibit reduced viral neutralization and increased envelope sequence diversity in blood and brain. Aids 16, 1905-14; Pub Med
  • Zhang, K., Hawken, M., Rana, F., Welte, F. J., Gartner, S., Goldsmith, M. A., and Power, C. (2001). Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 clade A and D neurotropism: molecular evolution, recombination, and coreceptor use. Virology 283, 19-30; PubMed
  •  Johnston, J. B., Zhang, K., Silva, C., Shalinsky, D. R., Conant, K., Ni, W., Corbett, D., Yong, V. W., and Power, C. (2001). HIV-1 Tat neurotoxicity is prevented by matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors. Ann Neurol 49, 230-41; PubMed
  • Zhang, K., Fujioka, H., Lobo, C. A., Kitayaporn, D., Aikawa, M., and Kumar, N. (1999). Cloning and characterization of a new asparagine-rich protein in Plasmodium falciparum. Parasitol Res 85, 956-63; PubMed
  • Zhang, K., Fujioka, H., Aikawa, M., and Kumar, N. (1999). Plasmodium falciparum: detection of a novel asparagine-rich protein on the surface of sporozoite.  Exp Parasitol 93, 1-6; PubMed
  •  Dhar, R., Zhang, K., Talwar, G. P., Garg, S., and Kumar, N. (1998). Inhibition of the growth and development of asexual and sexual stages of drug-sensitive and resistant strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum by Neem (Azadirachta indica) fractions. J Ethnopharmacol 61, 31-9; PubMed
  • Zhang, K. Y.*, Zhou, J. X., Huang, J. K., Lin, B. H., Wu, Z. H., Yuan, C. W., and Huang, Q. L. (1993). [Purification and isolation of different stages of Plasmodium vivaxP. falciparum and P. berghei]. Zhongguo Ji Sheng Chong Xue Yu Ji Sheng Chong Bing Za Zhi 11, 262-6; PubMed
  • Zhang, K. Y.* (1991). Antibodies of Plasmodium falciparum malaria patients to gametocyte surface antigens. Chinese J Parasitic Dis Control4, 251-4.
  •  Ong, C. S., Zhang, K. Y., Eida, S. J., Graves, P. M., Dow, C., Looker, M., Rogers, N. C., Chiodini, P. L., and Targett, G. A. (1990). The primary antibody response of malaria patients to Plasmodium falciparum sexual stage antigens which are potential transmission blocking vaccine candidates. Parasite Immunol 12, 447-56; PubMed
  • Zhang, K. Y.* (1991). Various ideas on pathogenesis of cerebral malaria and current advance in research of its pathophysiology.  Guangdong Preventive Medicine 17, 49-53.
  • Zhang, K. Y.*, and Huang, Q. L. (1991). The practicality of isoenzyme analysis of Entamoeba histolytica in its research and control. Guangdong Preventive Medicine 17, 37-40.
  • Zhang, K. Y.* (1990). Change in the direction and emphasis of research and control in schistosomiasis over the last 30 years. Guangdong Preventive Medicine 16, 98-101.
  • Zhang, K. Y.*, and Wen, J. H. (1990). Serodiagnosis of amoebiasis. Guangdong Preventive Medicine 16, 59-60.
  • Huang, O. L., Ouyang, W. C., Zhou, J. X., Wu, Z., Zhang, K. Y., Huang, J. K., Cai, X. Z., Pang, X. J., Fu, S. G., Wang, X. F., and Liu, J. (1988). Effectiveness of amodiaquine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, and combinations of these drugs for treating chloroquine-resistant falciparummalaria in Hainan Island, China. Bull World Health Organ 66, 353-8; PubMed
  •  Curtis, C. F., and Zhang, K. Y. (1988). The bionomics of Anopheles minimus in the Zhougsha area of Hainan Island, and its relation to DDT spraying. Trop Dis Bull 85, 663.
  •  Huang, Q. L., Zhou, J. X., Wu, Z., Lin, R. X., Zhang, K. Y., Pan, B., and Li, J. Z. (1988). Continuing investigation on the susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine, piperaquine, amodiaquine, mefloquine and quinine. Chinese J Parasitol & Parasitic Dis suppl, 19.
  •  Huang, Q. L., Quyang, W. C., Zhou, J. X., Wu, Z., Zhang, K. Y., Huang, J. K., Pan, X. J., Cai, X. Z., Fu, S. G., Huang, X. F., and Liu, J. (1988). [Efficacy of amodiaquine, Fansidar and their combination in the treatment of chloroquine-resistant falciparum malaria]. Zhongguo Ji Sheng Chong Xue Yu Ji Sheng Chong Bing Za Zhi 6, 292-5.
  • Zhang, K. Y.*, Zhou, J. X., Wu, Z., and Huang, Q. L. (1987). Assessment of Plasmodium falciparum susceptibility to chloroquine, piperaquine, amodiaquine, mefloquine and quinine with in vitro microtechnique in Hainan Island. China, La Medicina Tropicale nella Cooperazione allo Sviluppo 3, 168-71. (Italian Journal: The Tropical Medicine in the Cooperation to the Development).
  • Zhang, K. Y.*, Zhou, J. X., Wu, Z., and Huang, Q. L. (1987). Susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to chloroquine, piperaquine, amodiaquine, mefloquine and quinine with in vitro microtechnique in Hainan Island.  Chinese J Parasitol & Parasitic Dis 5, 165-9.
  •  Wu, Z., Huang, Q. L., Zhang, K. Y., Cai, X. Z., and Li, S. C. (1985). Resistance of falciparum malaria to piperaquine phosphate in Hainan Island. Chinese Medical J 65, 483-48.


Principal Investigator
Kunyan Zhang, MD, MSc, PhD

Technical Support Staff
Joann McClure, B.Sc.
Laboratory Technologist II

Graduate Students
Osahon Obasuyi - Ph.D candidate
Amani Niazi - Ph.D. candidate
Jack Zhang - MsC. candidate

Postdoctural Fellows
Dr. Alejandra Ugarte-Torres

Administrative Assistant
Suzanne Buffel

Undergraduate Students
Ayesha Kashif
Michael Pham
George Dong
Crystal Ma

Previous Laboratory Members
Aiah Khateb
Johanna Zaal DeLongchamp
Hibah Abulaulaiman
Mark Harding
Kaiyu Wu
Steven Sparksman
Renata Souta
Rebecca Fan Lok
Dinah Tambalo
Laila Bahafzallah
Colleen Anderson
Jiancheng Choo
Prof. Zunita Zakaria
Jonathan Tan
Michael Yao
Vicky Lau
Jennifer Sparling
Amber Molnar