Faculty Profile

Zhenhua Yang

Zhenhua Yang, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Epidemiology

Dr. Yang has ten years of experience in vaccine development and manufacturing and over two decades of multidisciplinary research studying tuberculosis at both molecular and population levels from the perspectives of epidemiology, molecular pathogenesis, and new vaccine and diagnostic development. As a principal investigator and a collaborator, she has studied the epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) and TB/HIV coinfection both in the U.S. and globally, aiming at identifying the factors influencing the occurrence, distribution, transmission, and clinical presentation of TB and TB/HIV coinfection in different populations. The other major research focuses of her lab are the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical strains and its clinical and epidemiological relevance, and implications for developing new TB vaccines and therapeutics. In addition, she has more than two decades of experience in teaching and mentoring public health graduate students at the School of Public Health of the University of Michigan. More recently she has extended her teaching and mentoring to the public health undergraduate students. As a tenured teaching faculty member, she has taught several interdisciplinary courses relevant to public health practice and research, such as "Vaccine in Public Health" (EPID513/PUBHLTH413), "Hospital Epidemiology I" (EPID680), and "Links between Infectious and Chronic Diseases" (PUBHLTH407).

  • PhD, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, 1995
  • Fellowship (Genetics of Microorganisms), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, 1992
  • Certificate of French Language, Beijing Language Institute, Beijing 1991
  • Fellowship (Vaccinology), Staten Serum Institute, Copenhagen, 1982 - 1984
  • MD, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong, 1981

Research Interests:
Infectious disease epidemiology/global health (with a focus on TB, TB-HIV coinfection)
Novel TB vaccine development using innovative interdisciplinary approach
Relationship between diabetes and TB and its public health implications

Research Projects:
Identification of drivers for TB incidence disparity across subpopulations and geographic regions in Arkansas during 2010-2021
An ecological time-trend study of TB and HIV dual epidemics among nine high TB and HIV burden countries representing different WHO regions
A cross-sectional study of the impact of antiretroviral treatment of HIV on the clinical presentation incident cases diagnosed in Harare, Zimbabwe, during 2011-2017
Genetic diversities in five M. tuberculosis antigens with vaccine potential among clinical strains representing different genetic lineages and their implications for the development of new TB vaccines
Trends of TB- HIV coinfection among children and factors associated with varied access to HIV diagnosis and counseling in Harare, Zimbabwe, 2011-2017
Trends in tuberculosis treatment completion and predictors for tuberculosis treatment default in Arkansas 2009-2019
Trends and risk factors for severe types of shingles in Arkansas during 2000-2018

Yang Z, Yang D, Kong Y, Zhang L, Marrs CF, Foxman B, Bates JH, Wilson F, Cave MD. Clinical relevance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis plcD gene mutations. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Jun 15; 171 (12):1436-42. Epub 2005 Apr 1. PubMed PMID: 15805187; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2718484. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.200408-1147OC

France AF, Cave MD, Bates J, Yang Z. What's driving the decline of incidence of tuberculosis in Arkansas? A molecular epidemiologic analysis of tuberculosis trends in a rural, low-incidence population. American J. Epid. 2007 Sep 15; 166(6):662-71. PMID: 17625223, DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwm135

Desjardin C, Chirenda J, Ye W, Mujuru AH, Yang Z. Factors associated with unfavorable treatment outcomes among pediatric tuberculosis cases in Harare, Zimbabwe during 2013 - 2017. Int. J. Infect. Dis. 2020 Dec; 101:403-408. PMID: 32890725 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.08.079

Hakim J, Yang Z. Predicted structural variability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis PPE18 protein with immunological implications among clinical strains. Frontier in Microbiology, 2021 Jan 8; 11:595312. PMID: 33488541; PMCID: PMC7819968; DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.595312 

Teahan B, Ong E, Yang Z. Identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens with vaccine potential using a machine learning-based reverse vaccinology approach. Vaccines (Basel) 2021 Sep 28;9 (10):1098. PMID: 34696207; PMCID: PMC8538456 DOI: 10.3390/vaccines9101098 

Humayun M, Chirenda J, Ye W, Mukeredzi I, Mujuru AH, and Yang Z. Effect of gender on clinical presentation of tuberculosis (TB) and age-specific risk of TB, and TB-HIV coinfection. Open Forum Infect Dis (In press)

Email: zhenhua@umich.edu

Office: 734-763-4296

Fax: 734- 764-3192

Address: 5124 SPH II
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

For media inquiries: sph.media@umich.edu