The research interests of my laboratory include cardiac and vascular smooth muscle electrophysiology and pharmacology. One of the primary goals of my research is to investigate the signaling pathways underlying ion channel regulation in both cardiac and vascular smooth muscle cells under normal and pathophysiological conditions. Ion channels play a center role in the excitation-contraction coupling of these cells, and thus directly control cardiac function and vascular tone. Abnormal activity of these channels directly contributes to the heart diseases and abnormal blood pressure. Application of patch clamp technique allows us to study these channels in the freshly isolated cardiac and vascular smooth muscle cells. Another primary focus of my laboratory is to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying myocardial dysfunction resulted from various patho-physiological conditions. Specifically, we try to understand the mechanisms that influence intracellular calcium homeostasis and cell contraction of cardiac myocytes taken from different animal disease models.
Teaching Responsibilities: Dr. Zhong’s teaching responsibilities include course coordinator and instruction in Basic Microanatomy of Domestic Animals (Microanatomy I), and assist in instruction of Organology of Domestic Animal (Microanatomy II) to first year veterinary medical students and graduate study.