Zhen-Ming Pei


Associate Professor of Biology

My laboratory is interested in the early signaling events by which plants sense environmental signals and decode to give the appropriate responses. Upon perception of external signals, cell surface receptors trigger an increase in cytosolic free calcium concentration, which is mediated by ion channels. Our long-term goals are to identify these receptors and ion channels, isolate their interacting components, and assign molecular functions to them. Currently, we are using multidisciplinary approaches of biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular genetics, and function genomics to dissect the signaling cascades of external calcium as well as nitric oxide in the model plant Arabidopsis.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of Biology

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 3102 Ffsc, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-1000
  • Office Phone: (919) 613-8152
  • Email Address: zpei@duke.edu


  • Ph.D. Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology, 1993
  • M.S. Fudan University (China), 1990
  • B.S. Lanzhou University (China), 1985

Courses Taught

  • BIOLOGY 213D: Cell Signaling and Diseases
  • BIOLOGY 293: Research Independent Study
  • BIOLOGY 412S: Sensory Signal Transduction
  • BIOLOGY 493: Research Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Zhu, Y-H; Pei, Z-M, GSK2193874 treatment at heatstroke onset reduced cell apoptosis in heatstroke mice., Cellular and Molecular Biology (Noisy Le Grand, France), vol 64 no. 7 (2018), pp. 36-42 [abs].
  • Zhu, Y-H; Pei, Z-M, Sustenance of endothelial cell stability in septic mice through appropriate activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid-4., Cellular and Molecular Biology (Noisy Le Grand, France), vol 64 no. 7 (2018), pp. 80-85 [abs].
  • Liu, L; Jiang, Z; Zhang, S; Zhao, H; Yang, W; Siedow, JN; Pei, Z-M, Both NaCl and H2O2 Long-Term Stresses Affect Basal Cytosolic Ca2+ Levels but Only NaCl Alters Cytosolic Ca2+ Signatures in Arabidopsis., Frontiers in Plant Science, vol 9 (2018) [10.3389/fpls.2018.01390] [abs].
  • Li, Q; Wang, YJ; Liu, CK; Pei, ZM; Shi, WL, The crosstalk between ABA, nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, and calcium in stomatal closing of Arabidopsis thaliana, Biologia, vol 72 no. 10 (2017), pp. 1140-1146 [10.1515/biolog-2017-0126] [abs].
  • A R Webb, A; Kuchitsu, K; Kwak, J; Pei, Z-M; Iida, H, Sensors Make Sense of Signaling., Plant & Cell Physiology, vol 58 no. 7 (2017), pp. 1121-1125 [10.1093/pcp/pcx085] [abs].