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Liping Zhao Profile Page
Liping Zhao
Liping Zhao


Prof Liping Zhao got his PhD in 1989 from Nanjing Agricultural University and worked in Cornell University as visiting scholar from 1993-1995. He is currently a professor for microbiology and associate dean for School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is also the leader for the functional Metagenomics platform in Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine. He is a Board member of the International Society for Microbial Ecology. He is current editorial board member of Applied and Systematic Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Journal of Molecular Medicine, etc.

His team is one of the first in China to apply molecular and genomic tools for systems understanding and predictive manipulation of the complex microbial communities in human and animal guts. They have published more than 30 papers in PNAS,ISME Journal,AEM,FEMS Microbiology Ecology etc. Their current focus is the interactions between nutrition and gut microbiota in onset and progression of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and how traditional Chinese medicine and medicinal foods may modulate this relationship for achieving preventive healthcare.

1. Education

March, 1989, PhD in molecular plant pathology from Nanjing Agricultural University,

July, 1983, BS in plant protection from Shanxi Agricultural University,

2. Working Experiences

2003-present Professor and Associate Dean of School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, SJTU,

2005-2009 Executive Director, Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine at SJTU,

2001-2003, Professor and Chair, Dept of Biotechnology, SJTU,

April-July, 2000, Visiting professor, Dept of Civil Engineering, University of Southern Carolina,

1997-2001, Professor and Director, Institute of Biotechnology, Shanxi University,

1995-1997, Associate professor, Institute of Biotechnology, Shanxi University,

1993-1995 Visiting Scholar, Dept of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, USA,

1989-1993 Associate Director, Institute of Biotechnology, Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences

3. Professional Affiliations:

2008- Member of Steering Committee of International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC),

2006- Board member of International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME),

2001-2003, Member, Committee for Grant Evaluation in Microbiology, NSF of China,

1999-2001, Member, Committee for Grant Evaluation in Genetics, NSF of China,

Current editorial board member of Systematic and Applied Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Journal of Molecular Medicine


Developing molecular and genomic tools for systems understanding and predictive manipulation of the complex microbial communities in wastewater bioreactors, human and animal guts etc.

Understanding interactions between diet and gut microbiota in onset and progression of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes

Formulating interventions based on traditional Chinese medicine and medicinal foods to modulate the relationship between gut microbiota and humans for achieving preventive healthcare


Zhao L, Nicholson JK, Lu A, Wang Z, Tang H, Holmes E, Shen J, Zhang X, Li JV, Lindon JC.. Targeting the Human Genome−Microbiome Axis for Drug Discovery: Inspirations from Global Systems Biology and Traditional Chinese Medicine. J Proteome Res. 2012 Jun 5, DOI:

Zhang Chenhong, Zhang Menghui, Pang Xiaoyan, Zhao Yufeng, Wang Linghua and Zhao L. Structural resilience of the gut microbiota in adult mice under high-fat dietary perturbations. The ISME Journal, doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.27.

Wang T, Cai G, Qiu Y, Fei N, Zhang M, Pang X, Jia W, Cai S, Zhao L (2011)

Structural Segregation of Gut Microbiota between Colorectal Cancer Patients and Healthy Volunteers

ISME J advance online publication, 18 August 2011; doi:10.1038/ismej.2011.109

Wei H, Dong L, Wang T, Zhang M, Hua W, Zhang C et al Zhao L. (2010). Structural shifts of gut microbiota as surrogate endpoints for monitoring host health changes induced by carcinogen exposure. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 73: 577-586.

Zhang C, Zhang M, Wang S, Han R, Cao Y, Hua W, Mao Y, Zhang X, Pang X, Wei C, Zhao G, Chen Y, Zhao L

Interactions between gut microbiota, host genetics and diet relevant to development of metabolic syndromes in mice

ISME J. 4(2): 232-241. 2010

Zhang M, Zhang M, Zhang C, Du H, Wei G, Pang X, Zhou H, Liu B, Zhao L.

Pattern extraction of structural responses of gut microbiota to rotavirus infection via multivariate statistical analysis of clone library data

FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2009 Nov; 70(2): 21-29. Epub 2009 Apr 27.

Li M, Zhou H, Hua W, Wang B, Wang S, Zhao G, Li L, Zhao L, Pang X.

Molecular diversity of Bacteroides spp. in human fecal microbiota as determined by group-specific16S rRNA gene clone library analysis

Syst Appl Microbiol. 2009 May; 32(3): 193-200. Epub 2009 Mar 24.

Wei H, Shen J, Pang X, Ding D, Zhang Y, Zhang B, Lu H, Wang T, Zhang C, Hua X, Cui L, Zhao L.

Fatal infection in human flora-associated piglets caused by the opportunistic pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae from an apparently healthy human donor

J Vet Med Sci. 2008 Jul; 70(7): 715-717. Epub 2008 Aug 8.

Li M, Wang B, Zhang M, Rantalainen M, Wang S, Zhou H, Zhang Y, Shen J, Pang X, Zhang M, Wei H, Chen Y, Lu H, Zuo J, Su M, Qiu Y, Jia W, Xiao C, Smith LM, Yang S, Holmes E, Tang H, Zhao G, Nicholson JK, Li L, Zhao L.

Symbiotic gut microbes modulate human metabolic phenotypes.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Feb 12;105(6):2117-22. Epub 2008 Feb 5.

Li, K., W. Guan, G. Wei, B. Liu, J. Xu, L. Zhao, and Y. Zhang. 2007. Phylogenetic analysis of intestinal bacteria in the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis). J Appl Microbiol 103:675-82.

Pang X, Hua X, Yang Q, Ding D, Che C, Cui L, Jia W, Bucheli P, Zhao L.

Inter-species transplantation of gut microbiota from human to pigs.

ISME J. 2007 Jun;1(2):156-62. Epub 2007 May 17.

Shen J, Zhang B, Wei G, Pang X, Wei H, Li M, Zhang Y, Jia W, Zhao L.

Molecular profiling of the Clostridium leptum subgroup in human fecal microflora by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and clone library analysis.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Aug;72(8):5232-8.

Xiang, H., G. F. Wei, S. Jia, J. Huang, X. X. Miao, Z. Zhou, L. Zhao, and Y. P. Huang. Microbial communities in the larval midgut of laboratory and field populations of cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera).

Can J Microbiol 2006. 52:1085-92.

Zhang M, Liu B, Zhang Y, Wei H, Lei Y, Zhao L.

Structural shifts of mucosa-associated lactobacilli and Clostridium leptum subgroup in patients with ulcerative colitis.

J Clin Microbiol. 2007 Feb;45(2):496-500. Epub 2006 Dec 6.

Wang X, Su M, Qiu Y, Ni Y, Zhao T, Zhou M, Zhao A, Yang S, Zhao L, Jia W.

Metabolic regulatory network alterations in response to acute cold stress and ginsenoside intervention.

J Proteome Res. 2007 Sep;6(9):3449-55. Epub 2007 Jul 21.

Wei G, Lu H, Zhou Z, Xie H, Wang A, Nelson K, Zhao L.

The microbial community in the feces of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) as determined by PCR-TGGE profiling and clone library analysis.

Microb Ecol. 2007 Jul;54(1):194-202. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Li H, Ni Y, Su M, Qiu Y, Zhou M, Qiu M, Zhao A, Zhao L, Jia W.

Pharmacometabonomic phenotyping reveals different responses to xenobiotic intervention in rats.

J Proteome Res. 2007 Apr;6(4):1364-70. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Chen M, Su M, Zhao L, Jiang J, Liu P, Cheng J, Lai Y, Liu Y, Jia W.

Metabonomic study of aristolochic acid-induced nephrotoxicity in rats.

J Proteome Res. 2006 Apr;5(4):995-1002.

Chen M, Zhao L, Jia W.

Metabonomic study on the biochemical profiles of a hydrocortisone-induced animal model.

J Proteome Res. 2005 Nov-Dec;4(6):2391-6.

Cao Y, Wang L, Xu K, Kou C, Zhang Y, Wei G, He J, Wang Y, Zhao L.

Information theory-based algorithm for in silico prediction of PCR products with whole genomic sequences as templates.

BMC Bioinformatics. 2005 Jul 26;6:190.

Pang X, Ding D, Wei G, Zhang M, Wang L, Zhao L.

Molecular profiling of Bacteroides spp. in human feces by PCR-temperature gradient gel electrophoresis.

J Microbiol Methods. 2005 Jun;61(3):413-7. Epub 2005 Jan 22.

Wei G, Pan L, Du H, Chen J, Zhao L.

ERIC-PCR fingerprinting-based community DNA hybridization to pinpoint genome-specific fragments as molecular markers to identify and track populations common to healthy human guts.

J Microbiol Methods. 2004 Oct;59(1):91-108.


van Hylckama Vlieg JE, Veiga P, Zhang C, Derrien M, Zhao L. (2011). Impact of microbial transformation of food on health-from fermented foods to fermentation in the gastro-intestinal tract. Curr Opin Biotechnol 22 (2): 211-219.

Zhao L and Shen J. Whole-body systems approaches for gut microbiota-targeted, preventive healthcare. J Biotech, 2010, doi:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2010.02.008. (review)

Jia W, Li H, Zhao L, Nicholson JK.

Gut microbiota: a potential new territory for drug targeting.

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2008 Feb;7(2):123-9.

Current invitation from Nature Reviews Microbiology for writing a review on microbiome-wide association studies

Book chapters

Zhao L, Shen J.. Functional Metagenomics and Systems Biology: understanding the human organismal complexity in disease and health. 2011. In Metagenomics: Current Innovations and Future Trends, D. Marco, ed. (Horizon Scientific Press) (Book chapter)

Selected Invited presentations:

Gut microbiota-based biomarker discovery for prevention of metabolic diseases

Plenary talk in Diabetes Technology Meeting, Bethesda, November, 2010

Health assessment and monitoring with gut microbiota as a primary target

Plenary talk in International Human Microbiome Conference, Vanvouver, March, 2011

Re-engineering of gut microbiota based on traditional Chinese medicinal foods for early prevention of metabolic diseases

Plenary talk in opening session of 111th annual meeting of American Society for Microbiology, New Orleans, USA, May 21, 2011

6. Selected grants:

(1 ) Principal Investigator of key project from National Science Foundation: understanding dynamics of structure-function relationship of complex microbial communities-gut microbiota and diabetes in rats as a model

(2007-2011) RMB: 1,800,000

(2) Principal Investigator for key project for international collaboration of Shanghai Government: Gut microbiota-targeted, dietary intervention for early prevention of metabolic diseases

(2007-2010) RMB: 1,200,000

(3) Principal Investigator for key project for Sino-French collaboration of Ministry of Science and Technology: Meta_GUT, the Sino-French Collaboration on gut microbiota for health.

(2007-2010) RMB: 1,800,000

(4) Joint Research Center with Perfect Group on metagenomic health (2011-2013) RMB 50,000,000


2009, Outstanding leading scientist, awarded by Shanghai government

2011, Best teacher of the year, awarded by Shanghai Jiao Tong University