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Dr Xun Zhang BSc, PhD

Post Doctoral Research Associate

Xun did his undergraduate BSc in Biotechnology at the Ocean University of China and moved to Bonny Scotland to complete his PhD the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he studied the mechanisms leading to the development of inherited retinal disease. 

Xun then joined John McCarron’s lab in August 2017. The long-term goal of his research is to understand the communication among endothelial cells and other types of cells e.g. blood cell and smooth muscle cells via calcium signalling in healthy and disease conditions.


Currently, his research focuses on understanding how calcium signalling in endothelial cells is regulated by reactive oxide species (ROS) by using high-speed, high-sensitivity microscopy. The aim is to unravel the role of ROS and mitochondria in regulating calcium  dependent signalling cascades.

In his spare time, Xun enjoys road and trail running, and making amazing fried rice for the group.

Contact Xun via:



Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Lee, MD, MacDonald, M, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2024, 'Increased TRPV4 channel expression enhances and impairs blood vessel function in hypertension'. Biorxiv.

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Buckley, C, Lee, MD, Zhang, X, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2024, 'Signalling switches maintain intercellular communication in the vascular endothelium'. British Journal of Pharmacology.


Zhang, X, Lee MD, Buckley, C, Hollenberg, MD, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2023, 'Endothelial PAR2 activation evokes resistance artery relaxation'. Journal of Cellular Physiology.

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Journal icon.jpg
Journal icon.jpg

Wilson, C, Lee MD, Buckley, C, Zhang, X, McCarron, JG 2022, 'Mitochondrial ATP production is required for endothelial cell control of vascular tone'. Function.

Lee MD, Buckley C, Zhang, X, Louhivuori, L, Uhlen, P, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG, 2022, 'Small-world connectivity dictates collective endothelial cell signaling'. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2118927119

Zhang, X, Lee MD, Buckley C, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG, 2021, 'Mitochondria regulate TRPV4 mediated release of ATP'. British Journal of Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1111/bph.15687


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Wilson, C, Lee MD, Buckley C, Zhang, X,  McCarron, JG, 2021, 'Mitochondrial ATP production is required for endothelial cell control of vascular tone'. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2021.09.14.460297

Zhang, X, Alhasani, R, Shu, X, Reilly, J, Zeng, Z, Strang, N, 2021, 'Oxysterols and retinal degeneration'. British Journal of Pharmacology.

DOI: 10.1111/bph.15391

Buckley, C, Zhang, X, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG, 2021, 'Carbenoxolone and 18b-glycyrrhetinic acid inhibit IP3-mediated endothelial cell calcium signalling and depolarise mitochondria'. British Journal of Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1111/bph.15329


Wilson, C, Zhang, X, Lee, MD, MacDonald, M, Heathcote, HR, Alorfi, NMN, Buckley, C, Dolan, S, McCarron, JG  2019, 'Disrupted endothelial cell heterogeneity and network organization impair vascular function in prediabetic obesity'. Metabolism. DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2020.154340


Zhang, X, Lee, MD, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Hydrogen peroxide depolarizes mitochondria and inhibits IP3-evoked Ca2+ release in the endothelium of intact arteries'. Cell Calcium. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceca.2019.102108

Wilson, C, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Heathcote, H, Lee, MD, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Increased Vascular Contractility in Hypertension Results From Impaired Endothelial Calcium Signaling' Hypertension. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.13791

Heathcote, H, Lee, MD, Zhang, X, Wilson, C,  McCarron, JG,(2019). Endothelial TRPV4 channels modulate vascular tone by Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release at IP3 receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology DOI: 10.1111/bph.14762

McCarron, JG, Wilson, C, Heathcote, H, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, and Lee, MD (2019). Heterogeneity and emergent behaviour in the vascular endothelium. Current Opinions in Pharmacology DOI: 10.1016/j.coph.2019.03.008

Wilson, C, Lee, MD, Heathcote, H, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Girkin, JM, Saunter, CD, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Mitochondrial ATP production provides long-range control of endothelial inositol trisphosphate–evoked calcium signaling' Journal of Biological Chemistry. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.005913


Patnaik, S.R., Zhang, X., Biswas, L., Akhtar, S., Zhou, X., Kusuluri, D.K., Reilly, J., May-Simera, H., Chalmers, S., McCarron, J.G. and Shu, X., 2018. RPGR protein complex regulates proteasome activity and mediates store-operated calcium entry. Oncotarget, 9(33), p.23183. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.25259


Zhang, X., Tohari, A.M., Marcheggiani, F., Zhou, X., Reilly, J., Tiano, L. and Shu, X., 2017. Therapeutic potential of co-enzyme Q10 in retinal diseases. Current medicinal chemistry, 24(39), pp.4329-4339. DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170801100516

Zhang, X., Biswas, L., Tohari, A.M., Reilly, J., Tiano, L. and Shu, X., 2017. Coenzyme Q10 as a therapeutic candidate for treating inherited photoreceptor degeneration. Neural regeneration research, 12(12), p.1979. DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.221152

Raghupathy, R.K., Zhang, X., Liu, F., Alhasani, R.H., Biswas, L., Akhtar, S., Pan, L., Moens, C.B., Li, W., Liu, M. and Kennedy, B.N., 2017. Rpgrip1 is required for rod outer segment development and ciliary protein trafficking in zebrafish. Scientific reports, 7(1), p.16881. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12838-x


Zhang, X., Reilly, J. and Shu, X., 2016. Reflection on the Efficacy of Gene Therapy in the Treatment of Inherited Retinal Degeneration. Clon Transgen, 5, p.e122.

Raghupathy, R.K*., Zhang, X*., Alhasani, R.H., Zhou, X., Mullin, M., Reilly, J., Li, W., Liu, M. and Shu, X., 2016. Abnormal photoreceptor outer segment development and early retinal degeneration in kif3a mutant zebrafish. Cell biochemistry and function, 34(6), pp.429-440. DOI: 10.1002/cbf.3205


Patnaik, S.R., Raghupathy, R.K., Zhang, X., Mansfield, D. and Shu, X., 2015. The role of RPGR and its interacting proteins in ciliopathies. Journal of ophthalmology, 2015. DOI: 10.1155/2015/414781

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