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Guangju Zhai

BioMedical Sciences
PhD (Tasmania)

Professor, Discipline of Genetics

Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre, Room: M5M326
Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John’s, NL Canada  A1B 3V6
t: (709) 864-6683
f: (709) 864-6537
lab: (709) 864-6638


Dr. Zhai is looking for talented graduate students (PhD or Masters) to join his team and work on the CIHR funded metabolomics of osteoarthritis project. Research experience on genomics and metabolomics would be an asset. Please contact Dr. Zhai if you are interested.

Research Interests:

Pathogenesis and etiology of osteoarthritis; population genetic structure of Newfoundland & Labrador; metabolomics and genomics of complex traits 


2005: PhD (Medicine), University of Tasmania, Australia

2002: MSc (Genetic Epidemiology), Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Professional Experience: 

09/2016 – present: Professor, Discipline of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University
05/2011 – 09/2016: Associate Professor, Discipline of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University 
05/2011 – present: Senior Honorary Research Fellow, King’s College London, UK
09/2012 – present: Senior Research Scientist, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, Halifax, Canada
11/2005 – 05/2011: Senior Genetic Epidemiologist (Postdoctoral Fellow), King’s College London, UK
07/2005 – 11/2005:  Research Fellow (Postdoctoral Fellow), Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Australia


Dr. Zhai’s research is concentrated on population-based genetic epidemiological studies. He is interested in applying genomics and metabolomics approaches to identify novel genetic and metabolic markers for osteoarthritis, which can be used to predict disease risk and help better understand the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. He is also interested in unraveling genetic structure of isolated populations such as the Newfoundland & Labrador population using genome-wide genotype data, and facilitating the efficiency of genetic mapping using this population. In collaboration with other researchers, he applies epigenomics and metabolomics approaches to other complex traits including diabetes, obesity, colorectal cancer, and ankylosing spondylitis. 

Current Financial Support:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Medical Research Fund

Seed Bridge and Multidisciplinary Fund

Current Group Members: 
Dr. Weidong Zhang (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Mrs. Ming Liu (Lab Technician)
Ms. Sabreen Bibiana (PhD candidate)
Past Group Members: 
Dr. Erfan Aref-Eshghi
Mr. Yuhua Zhang
Ms. Patricia Harper
Mrs. Jieying Xiong
Mrs. Hongwei Zhang
Mrs. Michelle Simms

Publication list