Pediatrics faculty member Zili Zhang passes away

Zili Zhang CWRUZili Zhang, a member of the faculty at the School of Medicine, died late Thursday night surrounded by his friends and family. He is survived by his wife, Hong, and sons, Gary and Zak.

An associate professor of pediatrics, Zhang specialized in pediatric gastroenterology—specifically, how to treat disease that emerged when the immune system reacts too strongly to perceived threats. He focused on conditions such as esophagitis, Crohn’s disease and uveitis, and won such honors as the European Uveitis Patient Association’s Experimental Uveitis Research Award and the World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Annual Meeting’s Distinguished Poster recognition.

Zhang came to Case Western Reserve and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in 2012 from the Oregon Health and Science University and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, both in Portland, Ore. While there, he twice was cited in Portland Monthly’s Top Doctors issue, and won several federal and foundation grants to support his studies. Prior to moving to Portland in 2004, Zili spent seven years at Louisiana State University completing his residency and several fellowships. He earned his MD from Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in China, and his doctorate from North Carolina State University.

Although at the university a relative short time, Zhang quicky impressed his colleagues through his strong science and kind demeanor.

“He was such a wonderful person, along with being a first-class scientist embarking on some very exciting projects,” said Pediatrics Professor and Vice Chair of Research Mitchell Drumm. “He will be missed by us, and our hearts go out to his wife and sons.”

Memorial services will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. in Amasa Stone Chapel.