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Formal Title:






6100 EXECUTIVE BLVD Room 7B03G, MSC 7510
Bethesda Md 20892-7510
For FedEx use:
Rockville Md 20852



Cuilin Zhang, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., is a tenure-track investigator who joined the Epidemiology Branch in 2007. Before coming to NICHD, Dr. Zhang was a research scientist at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Zhang earned both her master of public health degree and Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Washington. She received her postdoctoral training in genetic and nutritional epidemiology at Harvard University. Dr. Zhang's research interest is at the interface of genetic and non-genetic biological markers and potentially modifiable exogenous factors, focusing on their interplay in relation to the development of complex diseases. More specifically, her current research activities focus primarily on the roles of genetic and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity and health consequences of these complications. Dr. Zhang also has long-standing research interests in fetal origins of chronic diseases, life course epidemiology, and modifications of diet and lifestyle to improve reproductive outcomes and child health. Dr. Cuilin Zhang serves as the Principal Investigator of the Diabetes and Women’s Health Study ( External Web Site Policy), which is a retrospective cohort study of approximately 5,000 women from U.S. and Denmark who had diabetes in pregnancy and have been followed up for at least 10 years. These women will be prospectively followed up for an additional four years to collect updated information on major environmental factors and timed biospecimens. The study is focusing on the identification of determinants (medical, lifestyle, genetic and their interactions) for the progression from gestational diabetes to type 2 diabetes and its complications and the investigation of biochemical markers that may predict the development of these complications among the pre-diabetic population. Dr. Zhang is also the Principal Investigator of the investigation of the risk factors and pathogenesis of gestational diabetes using biospecimens longitudinally collected from prospective pregnancy cohorts. Currently, the study focuses on a comprehensive panel of biochemical markers and epigenetic markers that are putatively implicated in glucose homeostasis, fetal growth, or both. Non-targeted metabolomics will also be analyzed for the discovery of new pathways and/or biochemical markers related to glucose intolerance and subsequent adverse fetal outcomes. Dr. Zhang has published a number of papers and book chapters focusing on the determinants of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, type 2 diabetes and its complications, and obesity including genetic factors, diet and lifestyle factors, and biochemical markers.

Featured Items:

Diabetes & Women's Health Study:

Zhang C. (2010). Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes: from an Epidemiological Standpoint. In Kim & Ferrara (Eds.), Gestational Diabetes During and After Pregnancy (pp.71-81). Springer-Verlag, London.

Zhang C & Hu FB. (2012). Determinants of Obesity. In Gillman & Poston (Eds.), Maternal Obesity. Cambridge University Press.

Song Y, Yeung E, Liu A, Vanderweele TJ, Chen L, Lu C, Liu C, Schisterman EF, Ning Y, Zhang C. (2012). Pancreatic beta-cell function and type 2 diabetes risk: quantify the causal effect using a Mendelian randomization approach based on meta-analyses. Hum Mol Genet. Aug 29 Epub ahead of print. Hum Mol Genet Abstract

Tobias DK, Hu FB, Chavarro J, Rosner B, Mozaffarian D, Zhang C. (2012). Healthful dietary patterns and type 2 diabetes mellitus risk among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine. Sept 17 Epub ahead of print. Archives of Internal Medicine Abstract

Zhang C, Ning Y. (2011). Effect of dietary and lifestyle factors on the risk of gestational diabetes: Review of epidemiologic evidence. Am J Clin Nutr, 94, 1975S-1979S. Am J Clin Nutr Abstract

Bowers K, Hu G, Yu Z, Yang X, Klebanoff M, Yeung E, Zhang C. (2011). Birth weight, postnatal weight gain and high blood pressure among Chinese children 3-7 years old. Pediatrics, 127, e1272-1279. Pediatrics Abstract

Zhang C, Rexrode KM, van Dam RM, Li TY, Hu FB (2008). Abdominal obesity and the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: Sixteen years of follow-up in US women. Circulation, 117, 1658-1667. Circulation Abstract


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