Guo-Ping Zhao - Doctor of Agriculture

May 2014  

Guo-Ping Zhao

Guo-Ping Zhao 
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Dr. Guo-Ping Zhao is a molecular microbiologist and has been working on microbial molecular physiology and metabolic regulation since he graduated from Fudan University with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1982. He is currently the director of the CAS-Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology at the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (IPPE), Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBS), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He is also the director of the Department of Microbiology and Microbial Engineering and the Center for Synthetic Biology at the School of Life Sciences, Fudan University. His research has been focused on systems and synthetic biology of microorganisms since 2008. 

Zhao obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue in 1990 and returned to China in 1992 as the founding production manager of Shanghai Promega Biological Products, Ltd., a subsidiary joint venture of Shanghai Research Center of Biotechnology (SRCB), CAS. He was promoted to full professor in 1995 after rejoining the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology (SIPP), CAS, where he started his graduate studies in 1982.  

Zhao was appointed director of SRCB, CAS, from 1997 to 1999 and the vice president of SIBS from 1999 to 2002, where he began to work on the Human Genome Project of CAS (1998-2001) and made pioneering contributions in positional cloning of human disease genes. Since 2002 he has been the executive director of the Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai and director of the National Engineering Center for BioChip at Shanghai, continuing the endeavor of genomic sequencing and typing as well as large-scale transcriptomic profiling on various organisms ranging from virus to high plants and human beings. 

With his strong academic background in microbiology, he focuses on pathogen genomics research, and his timely and systematic studies for the molecular epidemiology of SARS and evolution of SARS coronavirus is a landmark contribution to combating emerging zoonotic endemics. In 2008, he was appointed the joint professor of the Department of Microbiology and Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, where he has been directing a clinical microbial genomics research group focusing on identifying novel virulence factors from bacteria causing important infectious diseases, for example, tuberculosis, employing the strategy of “omics” and systems biology. 

Zhao was elected a member of the CAS in 2005 and the honored president of the Chinese Society for Microbiology in 2011 after serving as president from 2006-2011. He was elected as a member of the Third World Academy of Sciences in 2011.

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