Professor, Biochemistry and Microbiology
B.S. Plant Protection, Shanxi Agicultural University, Taigu, China,
Ph.D Molecular Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing China
Dr. Zhao is currently the Eveleigh-Fenton Chair of Applied Microbiology at Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University. He is a fellow of American Academy of Microbiology. He is a senior fellow of Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). He serves on Scientific Advisory Board for the Center for Microbiome Research and Education of American Gastroenterology Association (AGA).
Dr. Zhao and his team have pioneered the approach of applying metagenomics-metabolomics integrated tools and dietary intervention for systems understanding and predictive manipulation of gut microbiota to improve human metabolic health. Following the logic of Koch’s postulates, Dr. Zhao has found that an endotoxin-producing opportunistic pathogen isolated from an obese human gut can induce obesity in germfree mice. Their clinical trials published in Science and EBioMedicine showed that dietary modulation of gut microbiota can significantly alleviate metabolic diseases including a genetic form of obesity in children and type 2 diabetes in adults. The Science magazine featured a story on how he combines traditional Chinese medicine and gut microbiota study to understand and fight obesity (Science 336: 1248, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/336/6086/1248)