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Chen-Ou Zhang, MD

Academic Title:

Research Associate

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Research Associate


20 Penn street, Baltimore,MD 21201

Phone (Primary):


Phone (Secondary):


Education and Training


1977~1982        M.D. China Medical University

1983~1986       Internship & Residency  Department of Neurology, First Hospital of China Medical    


1986~1988:      Fellowship, Department of Neurology, China Medical University.

1991~1994:      Fellowship, Neurovirology Lab, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Johns 

                         Hopkins University.   


 I have the expertise includes medical research, training and motivation necessary to successfully carry out the proposed research project. I have a broad background in molecular biology, immunology, cell biology, and data analysis.I have considerable experience and specific expertise in several research areas including the regulation of bladder epithelial cell growth in normal and inflammatory conditions. My research focused on isolation and characterization of APF, a novel peptide associated with interstitial cystitis, and its potential role in bladder epithelial cell proliferation and migration . I have made a number of important contributions to the field over the past decade.  I believe that my expertise and experience make me qualified to conduct these research project successfully.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Our laboratory discovered a novel antiproliferative factor (APF) glycopeptide that is made specifically by bladder epithelial cells from IC/PBS patients and whose biological activity is detectable in urine from approximately 95% of IC/PBS patients. APF induces changes in expression of certain epithelial cell proteins, decreases tight junction formation, increases paracellular permeability, and profoundly inhibits the proliferation of normal bladder epithelial cells in vitro; these same changes have been confirmed in cells grown from IC/PBS patient biopsies as compared to normal controls, suggesting that APF may contribute to the pathogenesis of IC/PBS. Inhibition of APF activity or production may therefore be useful for the development of therapies for this disorder.

Highlighted Publications

     Keay S, Szekely Z, Conrads TP, Veenstra TD, Barchi JJ, Zhang C-O, Koch KR,  Michejda CJ. An antiproliferative factor from interstitial cystitis patients is a frizzled 8 protein-relater sialoglycopeptide.  PNAS, 2004,Vol 101, no 32,           11803- 11808.

     Keay S, Warren JW, Zhang C-O, Tu LM, Gordon DA Whitmore KE. Antiprofilerative activity is present in  bladder but not renal pelvic urine from interstitial cystitis patients.  J of Urology, Vol. 162, 1487-1489, 1999.

     Keay S, Zhang C-O, Shoenfelt JL, Erickson DR, Whitmore K, Warren JW, Marvel  R, Chai TC.  Sensitivity and specificity of antiproliferative factor, heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor and epidermal growth           factor as urine markers for interstitial cystitis. Urology, Vol. 57, No. 6, Supplement, June 2001.
    Zhang C-O, Li Z-L, Shoenfelt JL, Kong C-Z, Chai TC, Erickson DR, Peters KM, Rovner ES, Keay S. Comparison of APF activity epithelial growth factor levels in urine from Chinese , African American and Caucasian American IC                patients. Urology, Vol 61, 897-901, 2003.
    Zhang C-O, Wang J-Y, Koch K-R, Keay S.  Regulation of tight junction proteins and bladder epithelial paracellular permeability by an antiproliferative factor from  interstitial cystitis patients. J of Urology , Dec;174(6):2382-7. 2005.
    Zhang C-O, Li Z-L and Kong C-Z.  APF, HB-EGF and EGF biomarkers in patients with ulcerative vs. non-ulcerative interstitial cystitis. BMC Urology, 5:7   (29 April) 2005.
    Keay S, Kaczmarek P, Zhang CO, Koch K, Szekely Z, Barchi JJ Jr, Michejda C. Normalization of proliferation and tight junction formation in bladder epithelial  cells from  patients with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome by         d-proline   and d-pipecolic acid derivatives of antiproliferative factor.Chem Biol Drug Des. Jun;77(6):421-30,2011.
    Yang W, Chung YG, Kim Y, Kim TK, Keay SK, Zhang CO, Ji M, Hwang D, Kim KP, Steen H, Freeman MR, Kim J. Quantitative proteomics identifies a beta-catenin   network as  an element of the signaling response to Frizzled-8                protein-related  antiproliferative factor. Mol Cell Proteomics. Jun;10(6):M110.007492,2011. 
    Koch KR, Zhang CO, Kaczmarek P, Barchi J Jr, Guo L, Shahjee HM, Keay S. The  effect  of  a novel frizzled 8-related antiproliferative factor on in vitro carcinoma  and melanoma  cell proliferation and invasion. Invest New Drugs.          Oct;30(5):1849- 64,2012.
    Keay SK, Zhang CO. Abnormal Akt signaling in bladder epithelial cell explants     
    from IC/BPS patients can be induced by antiproliferative factor treatment of nomal bladder cells. BJU int. Feb 25, 2016.

Research Interests

.  My research has been highly focused on investigating the pathogenesis of interstitial cystitis, especially the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which human bladder epithelial cell proliferation and interaction are regulated under biological and pathological conditions. I have made a great contribution to our understanding of bladder mucosal inflammation and epithelial barrier function.  The project utilizes state of the art cellular and molecular methodology and the progress of my works over the last 20 years is most impressive not only in the quantity but also more importantly in quality.  During this period, I have co-authored many papers that have been published or accepted by prestigious Journals.  my productivity and specific expertise in cellular and molecular epithelial biology makes it clear that I have become an extremely valuable investigator in our uro-epithelial biology research group.

Clinical Specialty Details

no clinical speciality.

Awards and Affiliations

1982:                Medical School, Honor Student at Graduation.  
1988:                Excellent Scientific Paper, Liaoning Scientific Associate.
1989:                Award for first class Excellent Scientific Paper, Liaoning, Scientific Associate.

Grants and Contracts

Fishbein Foundation grant:       Zhang Chen-Ou (PI)       04/01/2005~04/31/2006   
Identification of Agents that Inhibit APF production or Activity Potential Therapies for IC

Community Service