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Sean X. Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Sean X. Zhang
  • Associate Professor of Pathology

Research Interests

Anti-fungal drug resistant fungi detection; Emerging fungal pathogens; Diagnosis of invasive fungal infection more


Dr. Sean Zhang is an associate professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He specializes in medical microbiology, with particular focus on the discovery and diagnosis of invasive fungal infections.

Dr. Zhang holds an M.D. from Shanghai Second Medical University and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Turku in Finland. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in microbiology and immunology and a postdoctoral clinical fellowship in clinical microbiology, both at the University of Toronto. more


  • Associate Professor of Pathology

Departments / Divisions



  • M.D.; Shanghai Second Medical University (China) (1993)
  • Ph.D.; University of Turku - Laaketieteellinen Tiedekunta - Turku - (Finland) (2001)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Zhang’s research interests include evaluating and developing new molecular assays for rapid and early diagnosis of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised hosts, discovering new emerging fungal pathogens, detecting anti-fungal drug resistant fungi and understanding their resistant mechanisms, and studying interaction between host and fungal pathogen.

Selected Publications

Seah C, Richardson SE, Tsui G, Yu B, Thornback J, McTaggart L, Boggild A, Wengenack NL, Zhang SX. “Comparison of the FXGTM: RESP (Asp +) real-time PCR assay with direct immunofluorescence and calcofluor white staining for the detection of Pneumocystis jirovecii in respiratory specimens.” Medical Mycology. 2011; 50(3): 324-7.

Levenstadt J, Poutanen S, Mohan S, Zhang SX, Silverman M. “Case report and review of the literature: Phialophora richardsiae an insidious fungus presenting in a man 44 years after initial inoculation.” Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology. 2011; 23(3): 110-3.

Bunce PE, Yang L, Chun S, Zhang SX, Trinkaus MA, Matukas LM. “Disseminated Sporotrichosis in a patient with hairy cell leukemia treated with amphotericin B and posaconazole.” Medical Mycology. 2011; 50(2): 197-201.

McTaggart LR, Lei E, Richardson SE, Zhang SX. “Rapid identification of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2011; 49 (8): 3050-3053.

McTaggart L, Richardson SE, Seah C, Hoang L, Fothergill A, Zhang SX. “Rapid identification of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii, C. neoformans var. neoformans, and C. gattii using rapid biochemical tests, differential media, and DNA sequencing.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2011; 49 (7): 2522-2527.

Zhang SX, Rawte P, Brown S, Lo S, Siebert H, Pong-Porter S, Low DE, Jamieson FB. “Evaluation of the agar dilution method and the commercial broth microdilution panel for Streptococcus pneumoniae antimicrobial susceptibility testing.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2011; 49 (2): 704-706.

Warren TA, McTaggart L, Richardson SE, Zhang SX. “Candida bracarensis bloodstream infection in an immunocompromised patient.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2010; 48(12): 4677-4679.

McTaggart LR, Richardson SE, Witkowska M, Zhang SX. “Phylogeny and identification of Nocardia species on the basis of multilocus sequence analysis.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology.2010; 48(12): 4525-4533.

Shao R, Zhang SX, Wijdegard B, Zou S, Egecioglu E, Norstrom A, Brannstrom M, Billig H. “Nitric oxide synthases and tubal ectopic pregnancies induced by Chlamydia infection: basic and clinical insights.” Molecular Human Reproduction. 2010; 16(12): 907-915.

Hurst S, Kidd S, Morrissey C, Snelders E, Melchers W, Castelli M, Mellado E, Simmon K, Petti C, Richardson SE, Zhang SX, Romanelli A, Wickes B, De Valk H, Klaassen C, Balajee S. “Interlaboratory reproducibility of a single locus sequence-based method for strain typing of Aspergillus fumigatus.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2009, 47: 1562-1564.

Zhang SX, Tellier R, Zafar R, Cheung R, Adachi D, Richardson SE. “Comparison of human metapneumovirus infection with respiratory syncytial virus infection in children.” The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2009; 28: 1022-1024.

Zhang SX, Parisian F, Yau Y, Fuller J, Poutanen SM, Richardson SE. “First generation cephalosporin susceptibility testing of Escherichia coli by the Becton Dickinson Phoenix System: questionable utility of cephalothin as a predictor of cephalexin susceptibility.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2007; 45: 3762-3763.

Zhang SX, Drews SJ, Tomassi J, Katz KC. “A comparison of two versions of the IDI-MRSA assay using charcoal swabs for prospective nasal and non-nasal surveillance samples.” Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2007; 45: 2278-2280.

Zhang X, Glogauer M, Zhu F, Kim TH, Chiu B, Inman RD. “Innate immunity and arthritis: neutrophil Rac and toll-like receptor 4 expression define outcomes in infection-triggered arthritis.” Arthritis & Rheumatism. 2005; 52(4): 1297-1304.

Zhang X, Aubin JE, Kim TH, Payne U, Chiu B, Inman RD. “Synovial fibroblasts infected with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium mediate osteoclast differentiation and activation.” Infection and Immunity.2004; 72(12): 7183-7189.

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