Dr. Zhao is an Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research, an Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, and Chief Bioinformatics Officer at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), with join appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. in human and molecular genetics from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT-Houston). He also received three M.S. degrees: genetics from Beijing University, biomathematics from UT-Houston, and computer science from the University of Houston. He joined Vanderbilt University in 2009.
Dr. Zhao's research interests include integrative genomics and systems biology approaches to studying complex diseases, heterogeneous data analysis and integration, next generation sequencing data analysis, pharmacogenomics, translational bioinformatics, and personalized medicine. He published more than 150 papers in these areas. Dr. Zhao has served as Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, or an editorial board member of more than 15 journals. Additionally, he has served in numerous grant review panels to review research grants for NIH, NSF, The Wellcome Trust, and the German Research Foundation (DFG), among others. He received several awards including the Keck Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship (twice: 2002, 2003), NARSAD Young Investigator Award (twice, 2005, 2008), the best paper award (ICIC'08), Nick Norgan Award for the best paper published in Annals of Human Biology during 2009, and an Outstanding Achievement Award from the International Society of Intelligent Biological Medicine in 2011.