November 2023 – Dong-Yan Zhang (China)


  • Tell us about yourself.

My name is Dong-Yan Zhang, and I was born in Henan, People’s Republic of China, in 1993. In 2020, I received the M.D. and Ph.D. degree from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. I am currently a resident physician of hypertension department in Ruijin Hospital, which is a renowned general hospital in Shanghai, China and is a university hospital affiliated to School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

  • What are your research interests?

My research interest includes diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment of arterial hypertension, blood pressure measurement, blood pressure variability, epidemiology and molecular mechanism of masked hypertension, isolated nocturnal hypertension and clinical trials. I have been conducting prospective observational and interventional studies using clinic, home, and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in China. My major research findings have been published in top peer-reviewed journals in the field, including Circulation, PLoS Med, Hypertension, Hypertension Research and so on.

  • What are you working on right now?

Currently, I am a resident physician of hypertension department in Ruijin Hospital and work as an assistant research fellow in Shanghai Institute of Hypertension. Moreover, I work as a member of the International Society of Hypertension from 2022, and work on the editorial board for International Journal of Cardiology Cardiovascular Risk and Prevention from 2023 and work as a referee for several international journals on hypertension.

  • What do you hope to achieve in the field of hypertension over the next 5 years?

In the next five years, I hope I can help our team establish a large ambulatory blood pressure database belonging to the Chinese population, and assist the sound development of multi-centre randomized controlled clinical trials.

  • What challenges have you faced in your career to date?

Being a physician-researcher is not easy in China, I have to balance my life and work perfectly. I am also struggling in the early stage of my career, and how to expand my knowledge and put forward new ideas creatively are the main challenges of my career.

  • Which of your publications are you proudest of and why (please include paper reference)?

In 2020, one of our RCT results has been published in Circulation. The research concluded that antihypertensive treatment with Chinese traditional medicine (gastrodia-uncaria granules) is effective and safe for patients with masked hypertension. Our study set up a paradigm for clinical studies on Chinese herb medicine and masked hypertension. This research shaped my research spirit, team collaboration and critical thinking.

(Reference: Zhang DY… Li Y, Wang JG. Treatment of Masked Hypertension with a Chinese Herbal Formula: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Circulation. 2020;142:1821-1830. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.046685.)

  • What is your favourite manuscript from a lab other than your own?

I think it is the “HIGHCARE: the HIGH altitude CArdiovascular Research study” led by Prof. Gianfranco Parati (Eur Heart J. 2015;36:260-1. PMID: 25763439). HIGHCARE is a multidisciplinary scientific project aimed to study the changes and adaptation mechanisms of cardiovascular and respiratory system occurring in subjects exposed to high altitude hypobaric hypoxia, along with the evaluation of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. The expedition took place in September 2008. So far seven expeditions have taken place – five on the Italian Alps (HIGHCARE – ALPS), one in the Himalaya (HIGHCARE – HIMALAYA), and the last was located in the Peruvian Andes (HIGHCARE – ANDES).

  • What are your passions outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my family and my friends, camping, picnics, hiking and so on.