Zhang is a condensed matter theorist, specializing unconventional superconductivity and other strongly correlated electron systems. He did his college education in Fudan Univ, Shanghai, and received Ph.D. in physics at Virginia Tech in 1983. He was a postdoc fellow in Univ. of Minnesota, Univ. of Maryland, and ETH-Zurich 1983-1988, before he joined Univ. of Cincinnati, Ohio as a faculty. He moved to Univ. of Hong Kong as Chair of Physics in 2003, and was the Head of Physics Dept for several years. Zhang joined Zhejiang Univ. in China in 2014, and has been Director of Kavli Inst. of Theoretical Science at the Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences since 2017.