Kechen Zhang, Ph.D.

Headshot of Kechen Zhang
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests

Theoretical/computational neuroscience


Dr. Kechen Zhang is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His research focuses on theoretical and computational neuroscience.

His team is currently engaged in mathematical analysis and computer simulations to study the nervous system at multiple levels.

Dr. Zhang received his undergraduate degree in biophysics and physiology from Beijing University. He earned his M.S. from Beijing University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego. He completed postdoctoral training in computational neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. Dr. Zhang joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2002.

He has reviewed more than 200 papers for academic journals, including the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and Nature, as well as dozens of conference papers and several National Science Foundation grant applications. He served on the National Science Foundation computational neuroscience program advisory panel in 2005. more


  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor of Neuroscience

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes


Additional Training

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, 2002, Computational Neurobiology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The research in Dr. Zhang's laboratory is focused on theoretical and computational neuroscience. His research team uses mathematical analysis and computer simulations to study the nervous system at multiple levels, from realistic biophysical models to simplified neuronal networks. Several of their current research projects involve close collaborations with experimental neuroscience laboratories. Collaborative projects include modeling of grid cells and place cells in collaboration with Dr. Tad Blair and Dr. Jim Knierim; statistics of natural shapes in collaboration with Dr. Ed Connor; online adaptive modeling of auditory response in collaboration with Dr. Xiaoqin Wang and Dr. Eric Young.


Lab Website: Kechen Zhang Laboratory

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

DiMattina C, Zhang K. "Adaptive stimulus optimization for sensory systems neuroscience." Front Neural Circuits. 2013 Jun 6;7:101. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00101. eCollection 2013.

Issa JB, Zhang K. "Universal conditions for exact path integration in neural systems." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 24;109(17):6716-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119880109. Epub 2012 Apr 9.

Knierim JJ, Zhang K. "Attractor dynamics of spatially correlated neural activity in the limbic system." Annu Rev Neurosci. 2012;35:267-85. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-062111-150351. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Welday AC, Shlifer IG, Bloom ML, Zhang K, Blair HT. "Cosine directional tuning of theta cell burst frequencies: evidence for spatial coding by oscillatory interference." J Neurosci. 2011 Nov 9;31(45):16157-76. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0712-11.2011.

Monaco JD, Knierim JJ, Zhang K. "Sensory feedback, error correction, and remapping in a multiple oscillator model of place-cell activity." Front Comput Neurosci. 2011 Sep 29;5:39. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2011.00039. eCollection 2011.

Activities & Honors


  • Faculty of 1000, Theoretical Neuroscience, 2002 - 2005

Professional Activities

  • Advisory Panel, National Science Foundation Computational Neuroscience Program, 2005

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