Wensheng Zhang

Research Faculty


Dr. Zhang is a Research Instructor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and a member of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) Laboratory. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from Capital Medical University, China. He worked as an attending doctor in Beijing Friendship Hospital and was PrincipaI Investigator on two government grants awarded to support clinical trials in the area of liver diseases. He started his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in 2007 and continued to be a postdoctoral fellow in the Thomas E Starzl Transplantation Institute, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh. With extensive training and experience in Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry, he has built a strong foundation in transplantation research and developed his unique scientific skills and methods.

Dr. Zhang’s researches focus on the basic mechanisms and novel strategies that generate and maintain tolerance in autoimmune diseases and organ transplantation. Over the last 8 years, he has been involved in and played an essential role in various important projects related to vascularized composite allotransplantation, islets transplantation, tissue engineering, stem cell, and autoimmune disease.

Dr. Zhang is currently Principal Investigator on PSF/MTF Dermal Tissue Research Grant. He has been awarded Plastic Surgery Education Foundation (PSEF) Pilot Research Grant and JDRF Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant. He has received the Young Investigator Award and Distinguished Fellow for Outstanding Research in Transplantation from American Society of Transplantation, and the Scientific Award and the International Basic Science Mentee/Mentor Award from The Transplantation Society. He is also a member of The Transplantation Society, the American Society of Transplantation, the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation, and International Pancreas & Islet Transplant Association.

Dr. Zhang has published over twenty peer-reviewed articles, including the pioneering studies that demonstrated the effects of mutant TGF-β/Fc fusion proteins, antigen-specific CD4-CD8- T regulatory cells in the induction of transplant tolerance. Dr. Zhang’s long-term academic interests are to translate state-of-the-art research into effective new immune-based therapies for clinical organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases.

Research Lab Affiliation

Lab Role

Research Faculty