Faculty A-Z

Guangju Zhai

University Research Professor
PhD (Tasmania)

Human Genetics & Genomics, Division of Biomedical Sciences

(709) 864-6683


Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre, Room: M5M326 Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John's, NL Canada A1B 3V6

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:

10/2023 – present: University Research Professor, Human Genetics & Genomics, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

09/2016 – present: Professor, Human Genetics & Genomics, Division of Biomedical Sciences, 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
  • Arthritis Society (Canada)
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation

Current Group Members:

Mr. Robert Gill (MD student)
Mrs. Ming Liu (Lab Technician)
Alecia Robichaud (MSc student)
Ms. Jingyi Huang (MSc student)
Mr. Abdullah Elnaas (MSc student)

Past Group Members:

Dr. Erfan Aref-Eshghi
Mr. Yuhua Zhang
Ms. Patricia Harper
Mrs. Jieying Xiong
Mrs. Hongwei Zhang
Mrs. Michelle Simms
Ms. Christie Costello
Nafiza Hague
Mr. Zikun Xie
Mr. Salem Werdyani

Publication list