Lab News

September 2018: Welcome Huaxun Fan from MCB to take a rotation in our laboratory!

August 2018: Our collaborative paper with Dr. Dipanjan Pan was accepted by Nanoscale, a high impact international journal, publishing high-quality research across nanoscience and nanotechnology! Good job team! The press release can be found here.

August 2018: Kai was invited to write a review to celebrate the 60th Birthday of his our Alma Mater, University of Science and Technology of China! Happy Birthday, USTC!

July 2018: The Zhang lab led the neurobiology module in the 9th CPLC summer school. Good job guys! 2018 CPLC summer school at UIUC

July 2018: Savanna taught kids how to pipette at Children’s Museum! Thanks, Savanna!

June 2018: Savanna is a WESTCOTT FELLOW IN BIOCHEMISTRY. Congratulations Savanna!

April 2018: Savanna passed her prelim. Good job Savanna!

April 2018: Vishnu received the outstanding TA award. Congratulations Vishnu!

April 2018: John and Payel in the Biochemistry award ceremony. Congratulations John and Payel!

March 2018: Kelly received MCB Undergraduate summer research award. Kelly also received the Campus Honors Program (CHP) grant (declined). Congratulations Kelly!

February 2018: A collaborative work has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience. [Link]

February 2018: Kai presented a poster at the 2018 Biophysical Society meeting in San Francisco.

January 2018: Payel won the Travel Award from ASBMB in 2018. Congratulations Payel!

January 2018: Kai started teaching Physical Biochemistry MCB/BIOC 446, CHEM 472. Welcome to my class :).

December 2017: Payel won the Department of Biochemistry Graduate Student Travel Award. Congratulations Payel!

November 2017: Kai volunteered as a teacher for second graders. We learned acid and base!


November 2017: Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

October 2017: Vishnu and Kai co-teach a neuroscience course (NEUR598).

September 2017: Kai hosted the Biochemistry Seminar presented by Dr. Thomas Wandless from Brown University. We were amazed by the biotechnological tools that Tom developed. Thanks, Tom!

September 2017: Kai hosted the Neuroscience Program Seminar presented by Dr. Su-Chun Zhang from The University of Wisconsin Madison! iPSC cells are cool! Thanks, Su-Chun!

September 2017: We published a paper in Journal of Molecular Biology! Good work everyone!

August 2017: John received the Biochemistry Westcott fellowship! Congratulations John!

July 2017: The Zhang lab hosts CPLC summer school. Welcome students and postdocs from all over the world. Good job John and Payel for being great TAs!

June 2017: Kai gave presentations at the Neurotrophin Gordon Research Conference in Salve Regina, Brown University, and Harvard Medical School.

June 2017: Vishnu published a paper in Journal of Visualized Experiments!

June 2017: Undergraduate student Jennifer Cheng joined the lab. Welcome, Jennifer!

June 2017: Lab day-out in Kickapoo National Park! Barbecue, volleyball, badminton, fishing… We had great fun!

May 2017: Undergraduate student Kelly Cho joined the lab. Welcome, Kelly!

May 2017: Three undergraduate students graduated (Humza, Dil, and Noah). Good work! You will be missed!


April 20, 2017: Payel passed her Prelim exam! Congratulations Payel!

April 2017: A collaborative work has been published in Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan (BCSJ)!

March 2017: Kai was invited to give a talk in the School of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University.

March 2017: Kai was invited to give a talk at the neuronal regeneration symposium at Houston Methodist.

March 2017: Savanna presents our research in the MCB RAPID FIRE for prospective graduate students. Good job Savanna!

March 2017: Kai hosted the Biochemistry Seminar presented by Dr. Kimberly Mowry from Brown University. We learned a great story of RNA transport in Frog oocytes. Thanks, Kim!

February 2017: Kai and Savanna taught how cells work for a group of 3-6 graders in the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) studio in the Next Generation Elementary-Middle School. We had great fun with a super-motivated audience.

January 2017: Payel’s paper was accepted in Frontiers of Molecular Neuroscience. Good job Payel!

December 2016: Graduate student Savanna Sharum (MCB) joined our lab. Welcome, Savanna!

November 2016: Graduate student Savanna Sharum (MCB) took a rotation in our lab. Welcome, Savanna!

October 2016: Kai gave a talk in the 2016 Society for Developmental Biology Midwest Meeting. Vishnu and Kai had great fun and learned a lot!


October 2016: Graduate student Nandan Haloi (Biophysics) took a rotation in our lab. Welcome, Nandan!

September 2016:  Vishnu contributed to a chapter in Methods in Molecular Biology. Good job Vishnu!

September 2016:  Vishnu’s paper was accepted in Development! Good work everyone!

September 2016:  Graduate student Madhura Duttagupta (MCB) took a rotation in our lab. Welcome, Madhura!

August 2016:  Humza and Kai attended the New Student Welcome events for incoming undergraduate students as the Biochemistry department representatives. Welcome new students!

July 2016: (Outreach) The Zhang lab led the Neurobiology module in the Center of Physics of Living Cells (CPLC) summer school 2016 at UIUC [Link]. Way to go!

May 2016: Kai received an Innovative Teaching and Learning Grant from the School of MCB!

April 29, 2016: John passed his Prelim/Qual exam! Great job John!

April 25, 2016: Vishnu passed his Prelim exam! Great job Vishnu!



March 2016: Undergraduate student Humza Ashraf received the Biochemistry Summer Research Scholarship Award! Great job Humza!


February 2016: Undergraduate student Neeka Haack (MCB) joined our lab. Welcome, Neeka!

February 2016: Vishnu gave an excellent lecture in Neuroscience course NEUR598. Good Job Vishnu!


January 2016: Kai started teaching Physical Biochemistry II.

January 2016: Graduate student Payel Mondal (MCB) joined our lab. Welcome, Payel!

January 2016: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

December 2015: Kai gave a talk at the International Symposium of Neural Regeneration. Such a fun symposium!

November 2015: Celebrate our lab-warming party! The “Zhang lab baby” is 100 days old.


October 2015: Twinkle-twinkle single quantum dots. Imaging with our home-built single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. (download video here: sQD610_TIRF_488nm)

October 2015: Graduate student Yeoman Youn from the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology program took a rotation in our lab. Welcome, Yeoan!

September 2015: Graduate student Eric Shinn from the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology program took a rotation in our lab. Welcome, Eric!

September 2015: Graduate student Payel Mondal (MCB) took a rotation in our lab. Welcome, Payel!

August 2015: New semester starts. Celebrate our past year and welcome new students!

August 2015: Check out the birth of our new “Zhang lab baby” by clicking the GIF animation below!


August 2015: Undergraduate student Humza Ashraf joined our lab. Welcome, Humza!

July 2015: Undergraduate student Noah Risner and Dil Patel joined our lab. Welcome, Noah and Dil!

June 2015: We moved to our newly renovated lab! Awesome! New microscope installed! Check out our first sets of images under the microscope!



May 2015: Farewell party for Cara (and celebrate our first paper) at Turkey Run State Park — Kayaking is fun!

May 2015: Cara graduated! She will be a graduate student at Vanderbilt University. Congratulations Cara!

April 2015: Kai is affiliated with the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology. [Link]

March 2015: Vishnu’s paper was accepted by Analytical Biochemistry! Good job Vishnu!


February 2015: Undergraduate student Max Chen joined our lab. Welcome, Max!

January 2015: Kai’s review paper on optogenetic control of intracellular signal transduction was published in Trend in Biotechnology. [Link]

January 2015: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

December 2014: Kai gave invited presentations at Fudan University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China.

December 2014: First-year graduate student John Khamo joined our lab. Welcome aboard John!

November 2014: Undergraduate student Cara Schornak joined our lab. Welcome, Cara!

October 2014: Kai’s new baby girl Elena was born! Busy and happy daddy!

September 2014: Kai is affiliated to the neuroscience program [link].

September 2014: Graduate student Erik Andersen took his second rotation in our lab. Welcome, Erik!

September 2014: Graduate student Vishnu Vardhanour Krishnamurthy joined our lab. Welcome, Vishnu!

August 2014: Undergraduate Ellen Cho joined our lab. Welcome, Ellen!

August 2014: Graduate student John Khamo took his first rotation in our lab. Welcome, John!

August 2014: The Zhang Lab started!