Director of Tissue Therapy
Wake Forest Institute for Regeneration Medicine
Wake Forest University United States of America
Dr. Yuanyuan Zhang is a director of tissue therapy and assistant professor in the Wake Forest Institute for Regeneration Medicine (WFIRM) at the University of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He received his M.D. from Jiangxi Medical Collage in China, earned his spot as attending urologist in department of urology at the First Affiliated Hospital in Nanchang University, China. After his twelve-year career as a urology and renal transplant surgeon, Dr. Zhang decided to do biomedical research on stem cells and regeneration medicine when he entered PhD training program in University of Lausanne in Switzerland. After obtaining PhD and completing postdoctoral training, he was a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center and then at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a premier environment for research in cell therapy and tissue engineering in surgery. Dr. Yuanyuan Zhang has conducted research in stem cell, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine in urology and kidney diseases for more than 20 years. He was the first to demonstrate that stem cells exist in urine and that those cells (urine derived stem cells, USCs), with self-renewal and multipotent capacity, have a number of potential applications in cell-based therapy or noninvasive diagnosis in urology or kidney diseases. He has a productive record of 135 original peer-reviewed research, review and chapter publications. In addition, he has received 14 patents for his work and applied for 2 more. As a PI, Dr. Zhang led NIH-funded studies in the fields at 1) Autogolous stem cells for urinary incontinence (2014, NIH R56); 2) Urinary tract tissue reconstruction with bone marrow stem cells (2006, NIH R21). Dr. Zhang has specific training and expertise in key research areas required for this application. His research interests include stem cells in renal biology, cell therapy, tissue regeneration, patient specific iPSCs for disease modeling, diabetic nephropathy, cystic diseases of the kidney, and obstructive nephropathy.