Dr. Chen Zhao comes to us from Rockefeller University where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Nobel Prize awardee, Dr. Roderick MacKinnon. Her Ph.D. training was at Yale University in the laboratory of Dr. Anna Marie Pyle where she she also gained extensive teaching experience in both graduate and undergraduate courses.
Dr. Zhao did some outstanding work in Dr. MacKinnon’s laboratory utilizing cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), electro-physiology, and cell culture to define the molecular mechanisms of ion channel function. During her postdoctoral training period, she developed novel approaches to purify previously difficult ion channels. Impressively, Dr. Zhao combines cryo-EM with physiology and biochemistry, a unique combination of expertise that will bring national recognition to UF. Her postdoctoral work has resulted in multiple first-author publications in PNAS, Neuron, and others as well as being an author of a pending patent. She has received multiple awards, including a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund Award and a Gruber Science Fellowship. She also has an outstanding track record of teaching/mentoring, service to promote inclusivity, and leadership. In her free time, Dr. Zhao enjoys listening to music, walking and spending time with family.
Dr. Zhao has all of the tools to be a leader at UF in the laboratory, classroom, and among her colleagues, and the BMB department is thrilled that she will be joining us.