Phoenix, Arizona




The research interests of Jun Zhang, M.D., complement his clinical expertise in anatomic pathology, with an emphasis on cytopathology and molecular pathology. Dr. Zhang's research accomplishments include the discovery of diagnostic markers to distinguish thyroid cancer from benign growths and to differentiate between the precursor lesion for esophageal cancer (squamous dysplasia) and other reactive changes in the esophagus.

Focus areas

  • Markers to help distinguish benign versus malignant lesions for several carcinomas. Since his fellowship in clinical molecular pathology, Dr. Zhang has focused on diagnostic and prognostic markers for different human cancers. His research group discovered a panel of DNA hypermethylation markers to distinguish low-grade anal dysplasia from high-grade dysplasia and anal squamous cell carcinoma.

    Dr. Zhang and colleagues also detected chromosomal alterations by florescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in urothelial carcinoma and rarer histologic variants of bladder cancer, and discovered the diagnostic utility of combination of HMGA2 and IMP3 qRT-PCR in thyroid neoplasms.

  • Molecular markers for thyroid cancer. Dr. Zhang is developing molecular diagnostic markers for thyroid cancer and collaborating with endocrinologists at Mayo Clinic to develop prognostic markers. In both efforts, he works with cytology and paraffin-embedded specimens of thyroid carcinomas.
  • Molecular markers for prostate cancer. Using paraffin-embedded specimens, he is also working to develop diagnostic, prognostic and immunohistochemistry markers for prostate cancer.
  • Markers and therapy for urothelial cancer. Additionally, Dr. Zhang is studying new prognostic molecular markers of urothelial carcinoma and investigating possible targeted therapies, specifically focusing on individualized medicine and on chemotherapy agents based on DNA cross-link agents (cisplatin).
  • The role of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) in signal transduction pathway and cell proliferation. Dr. Zhang's group was the first to identify that ADP-ribosylation of proteins inhibits thrombin-induced activation of human platelet PI3-kinase. The group also showed that phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate stimulates phosphorylation of pleckstrin in human platelets. Moreover, Dr. Zhang and colleagues demonstrated that a new isoform of PI3-kinase, PI3KC2, as a source of PtdIns3P, is stimulated via activated integrin in platelets. These findings advanced the understanding of the role of PI3-kinase in signal transduction pathway and cell proliferation.

Significance to patient care

At Mayo Clinic, Dr. Zhang has developed more than 10 molecular diagnostic markers for use in diagnosis and prognosis. He is dedicated to combining a strong clinical and diagnostic practice with ongoing basic and translational research.

Professional highlights

  • Member, editorial board, Endocrine Pathology journal, 2015-present
  • Director, Histopathology, Oncology-Molecular and Cellular Tumor Markers Laboratory, New York State Department of Health, 2013-present
  • Co-chair, molecular diagnostics prostate and genitourinary working group, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, 2009-present
  • Leader, molecular cytology working group, Mayo Clinic, 2009-present
  • First place award, 6th Annual Young Investigators' Day, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2005


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology


  1. Fellow - Cytopathology/Molecular Pathology/Genitourinary Pathology Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  2. Resident - Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Department of Pathology, Temple University Hospital
  3. Internship - Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Department of Pathology, Saint Barnabas Health Care System/Hahnemann Medical College
  4. MS Department of Pathology, Peking (Beijing) Union Medical College Hospital
  5. MD Xu Zhou Medical University

Clinical Studies

Learn about clinical trials that address specific scientific questions about human health and disease.

Explore all research studies at Mayo Clinic.


See the peer-reviewed findings I have published as a result of my research.

Review publications.

Mayo Clinic Footer