Shuguang Zhang, Ph.D.


Center for Biomedical Engineering                          Phone: 617-258-7514

Room 56-341                                                                          FAX:   617-258-0204

Massachusetts Institute of Technology                   E-Mail: Shuguang@MIT.EDU

Cambridge, MA 02139-4307               



Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Associate Director, Center for Biomedical Engineering, 1998-

Principal Research Scientist, 1997-

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Scientist, Depart. of Biology & Center for Biomedical Engineering, 1992-1996

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

American Cancer Society Postdoc Fellow, Structural & Molecular Biology, 1988-1991.

University of California at Santa Barbara

Ph.D. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, June, 1988

Sichuan University

B.S. Biochemistry, January, 1980



Shuguang Zhang is the Associate Director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and was a recipient of Regent Fellowship and a Graduate Mentor Fellowship at UCSB.  He was a past American Cancer Society Fellow at MIT.  He discovered a self-assembling peptide system while working in molecular and structural biology with Alexander Rich at MIT.  This serendipitous discovery was selected to be one of the fifteen research achievements over last quart century at MIT.  He pursues actively on the various self-assembling peptide systems to develop a new class of biological materials including peptide matrix scaffold for tissue engineering, biological surface engineering for cell pattern formation, molecular switch, biological operating systems and surfactant peptide nanotubes.  He also works on problems to gain understanding of a class of protein conformational diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the prion diseases (mad cow disease).  He holds three US patents and additional seven pending patents on the self-assembling peptide systems.


He is a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.  He is member of AAAS, American Society of Biochemistry and molecular Biology, the Human Genome Organization Americas, the Protein Society, New York Academy of Sciences, The International Society for the Study of Origin of Life, and the honorary society of Sigma Xi. 


Selected Publications


 Aggeli, A., Boden, N. & Zhang, S (2001) Self-assembling peptide systems in biology, engineering and medicine.  Crete Meeting proceedings.  Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrent, The Netherlands.


Selected Scholarly papers:


Zhang, S., Holmes, T., Lockshin, C. & Rich, A. (1993), Spontaneous assembly of a self-complementary oligopeptide to form a stable macroscopic membrane.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 3334-3338.

Zhang, S. & Egli, M. (1994) A hypothesis: Reciprocal information transfer between oligoribonucleotides and oligopeptides in prebiotic molecular evolution.  Origins of Life & Evolution of the Biosphere 24, 495-505.

Zhang, S. & Egli, M. (1995) A proposed complementary pairing mode between single-stranded nucleic acids and b-stranded peptides: A possible pathway for generating complex biological molecules.  Complexity 1, 49-56.

Zhang, S., Holmes, T., DiPersio, M., Hynes, R.O., Su, X. & Rich, A. (1995) Self-complementary oligopeptide matrices support mammalian cell attachment.  Biomaterials 16, 1385-1393.

Zhang, S. & Rich, A. (1997) Direct conversion of an oligopeptide from a b-sheet to an a-helix: A Model for amyloid formation.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94, 23-28.

Zhang, S. (1999) Basic research in China, Science 283, 1850-1851.

Zhang, S., Yan, L., Altman, M., Lässle, M., Nugent, H., Frankel, F., Lauffenburger, D., Whitesides, G. & Rich, A. (1999) Biological surface engineering: A simple system for cell pattern formation Biomaterials 20, 1213-1220. 

Zhang, S. & Altman, M. (1999) Peptide self-assembly in functional polymer science and engineering.  Reactive and Functional Polymers 41, 91-102.

Schwartz, J. & Zhang, S. (2000) Peptide-mediate cellular delivery.  Current Opinion in Molecular Therapeutics 2 162-167.

Holmes, T. Delacalle, S., Su, X., Rich, A. & Zhang, S. (2000) Extensive neurite outgrowth and active neuronal synapses on peptide scaffolds Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 6728-6733.

Altman, M., Lee, P., Rich, A. & Zhang, S. (2000) Conformational behavior of ionic self-complementary peptides Protein Science 9 1095-1105.

Zhang, S. (2001) Molecular self-assembly.  Encyclopedia of Materials: Science & Technology, Elsevier Science, Oxford, UK pp.5822-5829.

Zhang, S. & Altman, M. (2001) Self-assembling peptide systems in biology, engineering and medicine.  Crete Meeting Proceedings (Ed. Aggeli, A., Boden, N. & Zhang, S.)  Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrent, The Netherlands pp. 343-360. 

Zhang, S., Altman, M., & Rich, A. (2001) Structural plasticity of peptides and proteins.  Diseases of Conformation – A Compendium  Ed. Katzir, E, Solomon, B & Taraboulos, A.  pp.63-72. 

Hamad-Schifferli, K. Schwartz, J., Santos, A., Zhang, S., & Jacobson, J. (2002) Remote electronic control of DNA hybridization through inductive heating of an attached metal nanocrystal  Nature 415, 152-155.

Marini, D., Hwang, W., Lauffenburger, D. A, Zhang, S. & Roger D. Kamm (2002) Left-handed helical ribbon intermediates in the self-assembly of a beta-sheet peptide.  NanoLetters 2, 295-299.

Vauthey, S. Santoso, S., Gong, H., Watson, N. & Zhang, S. (2002) Molecular self-assembly of surfactant-like peptides to form nanotubes and nanovesicles.   Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 5355-5360.

Zhang, S. & Janciauskiene, S. (2002 Multi-functional capability of proteins: alpha1-antichymotrypsin and the correlation with Alzheimer's disease.  J. Alzheimer’s Disease 4, 115-122.

Kisiday, J., Jin, M., Kurz, B., Hung, H., Semino, C., Zhang, S. & Grodzinsky, A.J. (2002) Self-assembling peptide hydrogel fosters chondrocyte extracellular matrix production and cell division: implications for cartilage tissue repair. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 9996-10001.

Santoso, S., Hwang, W., Hartman, H. & Zhang, S. (2002) Self-assembly of surfactant-like peptides with variable glycine tails to form nanotubes and nanovesicles.  NanoLetters 2, 687-691.

Zhang, S. (2002) Emerging biological materials through molecular self-assembly Biotechnology Advances 20, 321-339. 

Zhang, S. Marini, D. & Hwang, W., Santoso, S. (2002) Design nano biological materials through self-assembly of peptide & proteins.  Current opinion in Chemical Biology 6, 865-871.

Santoso, S., Vauthey, S. & Zhang, S. (2002) Structures, functions, and applications of amphiphlic peptides. Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science 7, 262-266.

Hwang, W., Marini, DM, Kamm, RD, & Zhang, S. (2003) Supramolecular structure of helical ribbons self-assembled from a beta-sheet peptide.  J. Chem. Physics 118, 389-397.

Zhang, S. (2003) A questioning mind. Nature, (Lifeline interview) 421, 581.

Zhang, S. (2003) More Cinderella than ugly sister. Nature Review Genetics, 4 (April)

von Maltzahn, G., Vauthey, S., Santoso, S. & Zhang, S. (2003)  Positively charged surfactant-like peptides self-assemble into nanostructures.  Langmuir 19, (In press, May, 27, Cover article).

Santoso, S. & Zhang, S. (2003) Nanomaterials through molecular self-assembly.  Encyclopaedia of Nanotechnology (In press).

Zhang, S. & Semino, C. (2003) Design peptide scaffold for regenerative medicine.  Proceedings of Biomed 2002 on Tissue Engineering, Gene Therapy & Regenerative Medicine (In press)

Zhang, S. (2003) Building materials from bottom-up.  Materials Today (In press).


Journal Referee for:

Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, USA


Protein Science

Nature Structural Biology

Journal of Molecular Biology

Journal of American Chemical Society




Materials Science & Engineering


Journal of Thin Films

Biotechnology Advances


Grant review for:

US Department of Defense

National Science Foundation

Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation, US

The Wellcome Trust, London, UK

Israel Science Foundation, Jerusalem, Israel

American Chemical Society


Invited Lectures


Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland

Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

University of Uppsala, Sweden

University of Oslo, Norway

University of Padova, Italy

University of Camerino, Italy

Freie University, Berlin, Germany

Germany, Hans-Knoll Institute, Jena, Germany

Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Roslin Insitute, Edinburg, Scotland, UK

University of Leeds, UK,

University of Sheffield, UK,

University of York, UK,

CNRS/Gif-sur-Yvett, Paris, France

UNITE INSERM, Paris, France,

The Weizmann Institute, Israel,

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel,

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel,

Osaka University, Japan,

Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

University of Tokyo, Japan

University of Kyoto, Japan

Japan International Center of Medical Science, Tokyo

Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan

Osaka National Research Institute, Ikeda, Japan

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Qinghua University, Beijing, China,

Beijing University, China,

Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China

Sichuan University, China,

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

MIT, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University, MA,

Harvard Medical School, MA

Tufts University, Medford, MA

Tufts University Medical School, Boston, MA

Boston University, Boston, MA

California Institute of Technology, CA

Stanford University, CA

Scripps Research Institute, CA

University of California-San Francisco, CA

University of California -Santa Barbara, CA

University of California Davis, CA

University of Washington, Seattle, WA,

University of Toronto, Canada,

University of Waterloo, Canada,

Naval Research Labs, Washington, DC.


Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA

Johnson & Johnson, NJ

Du Pont, & Co., Wilmington, DE

Hercules, Inc., Wilmington, DE

Institute of Human Virology, Baltimore, MD

BioWhittaker, Walkersville, MD

Biosurface Technology, Cambridge,

Convatec, Chester, UK,

Convatec, Skillman, NJ, USA

Beckton-Dickinson, Bedford, MA

Acorda Therapeutics, NY

EngeneOS, Waltham, MA

Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Yokohama, Japan

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Osaka, Japan

Menicon, LTD, Nagoya, Japan

Teijin, Ltd. Hino, Tokyo, Japan

Peptide Engineering Symposium, Ikeda, Japan

Peptide Science & Technology, Kyoto, Japan

Perspective in Protein Engineering, Montpelier, France

Perspective in Protein Engineering, Norwich, UK

Condensed Soft Matter Symposium, Tel Aviv, Israel

Active & Functional Biopolymers Symposium, Jerusalem, Israel

The Era of Biotechnology, Beer Sheva, Israel

Materials Research Society, Boston, MA

Stem Cell & Progenitors: Biology and Applications, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Engineering Tissue Growth International Conference, Pittsburgh, PA

The Frontier of Biomaterials, University of Delaware, Wilmington, DE

Fourth World Congress on Brian Injury, Torino, Italy

Self-assembly: The Future, Massa Marittima, Italy

Self-assembling peptides & proteins in biology, medicine & engineering, Crete, Greece

American Chemical Society Symposium, Biotechnology Section, Boston 2002

Third Conference on Regenerative Medicine, Washington, DC. 2002