Dr. Zhao received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Beijing Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Prior to joining KU in 2013, she was a Research Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Southern California (USC), where she also served as the Director of the Translational Research Laboratory as well as Core Facilities and Services. Dr. Zhao’s research focuses on brain aging, neurodegenerative (with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease) and neuropsychological disorders (with an emphasis on depression) that are investigated at both mechanistic and translational levels. Dr. Zhao has authored over 50 research articles, 80 conference presentations, six patents (four granted), and served as an editor/reviewer for more than 30 medical research journals. Dr. Zhao and her research have been featured by multiple news outlets including USC News, USC Trojan Family Magazine, USC Pharmacy Magazine, KU News, KU Chancellor’s Report, Lawrence 6News, Women’s Brain Health Initiative, Nature Medicine, and Alzheimer’s Association under Spotlight on Researchers Dedicated to Alzheimer’s.
At the KU School of Pharmacy, in addition to directing a research lab and training students on their research activities, Dr. Zhao teaches in both Pharm.D. and graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) programs, with a teaching focus on the nervous system including both autonomic and central nervous system. Dr. Zhao also directs the “Beyond the Lab” career development program (https://pharmtox.ku.edu/beyond-lab).