Dr. Qijing Zhang, a Clarence Harley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Zhang, who also serves as the associate dean of research and graduate studies, is among 120 new members and 30 international members named to the prestigious academy.

“Dr. Zhang’s election to the National Academy of Sciences is a testament to his international impact, leadership and outstanding achievements in antimicrobial resistance and food safety,” said President Wendy Wintersteen, “We are delighted that Dr. Zhang is being recognized with this prestigious honor. I am very proud of how our faculty at Iowa State University continually demonstrate their exceptional talent.”

“I am extremely honored to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences,” Zhang said. “It is an honor not just for me, but also for my team and my beloved college and university. I am very proud to be a member of Iowa State and feel incredibly fortunate for having had my career at this fine institution.”

Zhang’s research has had regional, national and global impact on the control of antibiotic-resistance pathogens in animals and humans. As a renowned microbiologist, Zhang built a world-class research program on antimicrobial resistance and food safety.

His expertise in antibiotic resistance has earned him international acclaim. He is an expert in areas related to antibiotic resistance development, persistence, transmission from animal reservoirs to humans, and mitigation strategies. He is a pioneer in the effort to understand mechanisms involved in the emergence, persistence and fitness of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter, a major zoonotic pathogen worldwide.

Zhang’s research group at Iowa State was among the first to document the impact of antibiotic resistance on bacterial fitness. His work is often used as a resource for science-based policy making by regulatory agencies on the use of antimicrobials in animal production. His work also identified emergence and transmission of zoonotic pathogens and their intervention strategies, contributing to improvement of animal health and public health.

He has published more than 170 peer-viewed papers and 14 books or book chapters. His publications are cited more than 12,000 and he has made more than 140 presentations at conferences and institutions globally. During his career, Zhang has received competitive grants totaling over $25 million from various funding agencies including NIH, USDA, NSF and FDA.

A faculty member in Iowa State’s Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine since 2003, Zhang has also served on the faculty at The Ohio State University. He earned a Ph.D. in immunobiology from Iowa State in 1994. He served as the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Frank K. Ramsey Endowed Chair in Veterinary Medicine from 2003-2012 and again from 2017-2019. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology as well as an Honorary Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.

Election to the National Academy of Sciences is among the most prestigious honors given to U.S. scientists and engineers. Zhang is the twelfth Iowa State faculty member to receive the honor, and the first faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine to be elected since Dr. Harley Moon’s election in 1991.

Those elected this year bring the total number of active members to 2,512 and the total number of international members to 517. International members are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and – with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council – provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.