Director of the High Accuracy Computational Chemistry Group, Dr. Yong Zhang is utilizing computer simulations incorporating quantum mechanics principles applied to chemical and biological processes to produce highly-accurate computer simulations of experimental medicines at the atomic level. Dr. Zhang's research interests include molecular design and mechanisms of metal-centered pharmaceuticals to combat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, structural and functional investigation of novel metallobiomolecules involved in cellular regulation and signaling, molecular toxicities of environmentally hazardous compounds and design of protective and detoxifying agents, and structural and functional fingerprints of interesting molecules and biomolecules. His research is critical for pushing medical research and drug development to the next frontier.

Dr. Zhang has published many papers on computational analysis in the world's top chemical journals and other prestigious publications. He has been especially focused on the properties of HNO, a derivative of nitric oxide, NO, for which the fundamental research won the Nobel Prize in 1998. HNO has been shown to function in the regulatory process of vascular and neurological systems, and may help to treat victims of heart failure and hold back neurological damage after stroke. Dr. Zhang's research provides the first atomic level structural information of HNO bound in an important protein in the blood system, and reveals a unique HNO-protein interaction mode that may help understand many other HNO effects in biological systems.

Dr. Zhang is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Mississippi Academy of Sciences, Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines, and Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry.