Dr. Zhao received her Ph.D. from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University and a postdoctoral fellowship at Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He joined the University of Southern California in 2002 and most recently served as a Research Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director of Translational Research Laboratory and Core Facilities & Services in the School of Pharmacy. In 2013, he joined the faculty as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Kansas School Of Pharmacy. He has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on a number of research projects funded by the Alzheimerís Association and National Institute on Aging. In recognition of her work on estrogen receptor (ER) beta and achievement in bench to bedside translational development of an ERbeta-selective therapy (two patents granted and one pending) that is currently under evaluation in a phase I/IIa clinical trial, he was chosen as one of five researchers profiled in the Alzheimerís Associationís annual report: The Year in Alzheimer Science 2010. Moreover, he is recognized by the Association under Spotlight on Researchers Dedicated to Alzheimerís. She has authored nearly 50 research articles, 70 conference presentations, 6 patents (4 granted), and served as an editor/reviewer for more than 30 medical research journals.
The primary focus of research in our laboratory is directed toward a molecular understanding of sex differences and sex-genetics interactions in the development of late-onset Alzheimerís disease (LOAD). Our current research involves two lines of investigation: 1) the mechanisms underlying sex and apolipoprotein E polymorphisms-mediated differential risks for LOAD; and 2) the roles of apolipoprotein J isoforms and regulation by sex hormones in the brain under both normal and neurodegenerative conditions. The goals of these investigations are to identify the key molecular pathways and biomarkers for translational development of therapeutic strategies aimed at AD prevention, risk reduction, and early intervention.