Jixin Zhong , MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
School of Medicine
Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology
School of Medicine

Research Information

Research Interests

My research focuses on inflammatory regulation of cardiometabolic disease including diabetes and atherosclerosis, with a particular interest in immune-mediated visceral adipose inflammation and vascular inflammation in the etiology of cardiometabolic disease. Recent research has centered on the regulatory role of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) in the process of macrophage and T cell-mediated inflammation. My team utilizes multiple unique animal models and human samples to dissect the role of DPP4/incretin axis in inflammatory regulation.

Research Projects

I have been conducting research to investigate the implication of DPP4 in inflammation and diabetes since 2011, with over 40 peer-reviewed articles (as first/co-first or corresponding author on over a half of them) over the past 5 years. Our work has been published in top tier journals such as Diabetes, Circulation Research, Circulation, and Journal of Autoimmunity. My research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and industry sponsored Investigator-initiated Studies.


  1. Role of T Lymphocytes in Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetes-Associated Inflammation. Xia C, Rao X, Zhong J.J Diabetes Res. 2017;2017:6494795. doi: 10.1155/2017/6494795. Review.PMID: 28251163
  2. The Role of HMGB1 in the Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes. Wang Y, Zhong J, Zhang X, Liu Z, Yang Y, Gong Q, Ren B.J Diabetes Res. 2016;2016:2543268. doi: 10.1155/2016/2543268. Review.PMID: 28101517
  3. CD8+ T Cells and Macrophages Regulate Pathogenesis in a Mouse Model of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Coleman CM, Sisk JM, Halasz G, Zhong J, Beck SE, Matthews KL, Venkataraman T, Rajagopalan S, Kyratsous CA, Frieman MB.J Virol. 2016 Dec 16;91(1). pii: e01825-16.PMID: 27795435
  4. BTLA-expressing CD11c antigen presenting cells in patients with active tuberculosis exhibit low capacity to stimulate T cell proliferation.Wang WD, Gao YC, Lu YB, Zhang JA, Liu GB, Kong B, Xiang WY, Dai YC, Yu SY, Jia Y, Fu XX, Yi LL, Zheng BY, Chen ZW, Zhong J, Xu JF.Cell Immunol. 2017 Jan;311:28-35. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2016.09.015.PMID: 27717503
  5. Reply: Trading Lower HbA1c for Increased Adverse Events: A Zero Sum Game? Rajagopalan S, Waldrop G, Zhong J.J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Sep 20;68(12):1373-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.07.716. No abstract available.PMID: 2763413
  6. Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibition: insights from the bench and recent clinical studies. Zhong J, Kankanala S, Rajagopalan S.Curr Opin Lipidol. 2016 Oct;27(5):484-92. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000340.PMID: 27472408
  7. Cardiovascular safety of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors: recent evidence on heart failure. Kankanala SR, Syed R, Gong Q, Ren B, Rao X, Zhong J.Am J Transl Res. 2016 May 15;8(5):2450-8.PMID: 27347354
  8. Repeated ozone exposure exacerbates insulin resistance and activates innate immune response in genetically susceptible mice. Zhong J, Allen K, Rao X, Ying Z, Braunstein Z, Kankanala SR, Xia C, Wang X, Bramble LA, Wagner JG, Lewandowski R, Sun Q, Harkema JR, Rajagopalan S.Inhal Toxicol. 2016 Aug;28(9):383-92. doi: 10.1080/08958378.2016.1179373.PMID: 27240593
  9. Incretin-Based Therapy for Diabetes: What a Cardiologist Needs to Know. Waldrop G, Zhong J, Peters M, Rajagopalan S.J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Mar 29;67(12)
  10. IL-6 Inhibition Reduces STAT3 Activation and Enhances the Antitumor Effect of Carboplatin. Wang ZY, Zhang JA, Wu XJ, Liang YF, Lu YB, Gao YC, Dai YC, Yu SY, Jia Y, Fu XX, Rao X, Xu JF, Zhong J.Mediators Inflamm. 2016;2016:8026494. doi: 10.1155/2016/8026494.PMID: 27006530
  11. Subacute inhalation exposure to ozone induces systemic inflammation but not insulin resistance in a diabetic mouse model. Ying Z, Allen K, Zhong J, Chen M, Williams KM, Wagner JG, Lewandowski R, Sun Q, Rajagopalan S, Harkema JR.Inhal Toxicol. 2016;28(4):155-63.
  12. GLP-1 Agonists and Blood Pressure: A Review of the Evidence. Goud A, Zhong J, Peters M, Brook RD, Rajagopalan S.Curr Hypertens Rep. 2016 Feb;18(2):16. doi: 10.1007/s11906-015-0621-6. Review.PMID: 26803771
  13. Emerging utility of once-weekly exenatide in patients with type 2 diabetes. Goud A, Zhong J, Rajagopalan S.Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2015 Oct 21;8:505-12. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S69354. Review.PMID: 26527891
  14. Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Regulation of SDF-1/CXCR4 Axis: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease. Zhong J, Rajagopalan S.Front Immunol. 2015 Sep 25;6:477. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00477. Review.PMID: 26441982
  15. Glycemia Lowering and Risk for Heart Failure: Recent Evidence from Studies of Dipeptidyl Peptidase Inhibition. Zhong J, Goud A, Rajagopalan S. Circ Heart Fail. 2015 Jul;8(4):819-25. Review. No abstract available.PMID: 26199308 Free Article
  16. Dpp4 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in cardiometabolic disease: Incretin-dependent and -independent function. Gong Q, Rajagopalan S, Zhong J.Int J Cardiol. 2015 Oct 15;197:170-9. . Review.PMID: 26142202
  17. Recent Advances in Dipeptidyl-Peptidase-4 Inhibition Therapy: Lessons from the Bench and Clinical Trials. Zhong J, Gong Q, Goud A, Srinivasamaharaj S, Rajagopalan S.J Diabetes Res. 2015 Review.PMID: 26075284 Free PMC Article
  18. Lipoprotein effects of incretin analogs and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors. Zhong J, Maiseyeu A, Rajagopalan S.Clin Lipidol. 2015;10(1):103-112.PMID: 26005496 Free PMC Article
  19. BTLA associates with increased Foxp3 expression in CD4(+) T cells in dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis. Zhang HX, Zhu B, Fu XX, Zeng JC, Zhang JA, Wang WD, Kong B, Xiang WY, Zhong J, Wang CY, Zheng XB, Xu JF.Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Feb 1;8(2):1259-69.PMID: 25973010
  20. DPP4 in cardiometabolic disease: recent insights from the laboratory and clinical trials of DPP4 inhibition. Zhong J, Maiseyeu A, Davis SN, Rajagopalan S.Circ Res. 2015 Apr 10;116(8):1491-504.


Doctor of Philosophy
Transplant Immunology
Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University
Doctor of Medicine
Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University

Residencies, Internships and Fellowships

University of Maryland, Baltimore
The Ohio State University
Medical College of Georgia, Augusta
Research Assistant
Medical College of Georgia, Augusta

Additional Information

2015-2016: Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD