Research Abstract


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD) are the most common neurodegenerative diseases and affect millions of people worldwide. Currently the molecular mechanism of disease pathogenesis remains unclear and there are no therapies can prevent, slow, or halt disease progression. The focus of our lab is on dissecting the molecular mechanism of neurodegeneration through multiple integrated approaches including single nucleus RNA-seq (snRNA-seq), network analysis, genomics, epigenomics and machine learning. Our long-term goal is to provide novel insights into the mechanism of disease pathogenesis and new targets for disease prevention and drug development. Areas of current interest include: 1) Dissect cellular and transcriptomic changes in AD and PD human brains using single nucleus RNA-seq; 2) Understand the relationship between neuroinflammation and selective neuronal death; 3) Computational tool development for single cell ligand-receptor signaling network analysis, transcriptional regulatory network analysis and their application  on AD and PD snRNA-seq data. 4) Transcription regulation and AD and PD disease pathogenesis.

Selected Publications

  • Hou, Y., Lee, H.J., Chen, Y., Ge, S., Osman, F.O.I., McAdow, R., Mokalled, M., Johnson, S.L., Zhao, G. *, Wang, T. * (*co-corresponding), Cellular Diversity of The Regenerating Caudal Fin, Science Advances (In Press).
  • Chen X, Zhang B, Wang T, Bonni A, Zhao G. Robust principal component analysis for accurate outlier sample detection in RNA-Seq data. BMC Bioinformatics. 2020 21(1):269.
  • Goodman JV, Yamada T, Yang Y, Kong L, Wu DY, Zhao G, Gabel HW, Bonni A. The chromatin remodeling enzyme Chd4 regulates genome architecture in the mouse brain. Nat Commun. 2020 11(1):3419.
  • Clemens AW, Wu DY, Moore JR, Christian DL, Zhao G, Gabel HW, MeCP2 represses enhancers through chromosome topology-associated DNA methylation, Molecular Cell, 2020: 16;77(2):279-293.
  • Zhao G., Ihuegbu N., Lee M., Schriefer L., Wang T. and Stormo G.D., Conserved Motifs and Prediction of Regulatory Modules in Caenorhabditis elegans, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. 2012: 2(4): 469-481.

For a complete list of Dr. Zhao's publications, click here.

Guoyan Zhao, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Washington University
School of Medicine
809 McDonnell Science Building
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 273-9045


Zhao Lab

Other Information

1995 BS, Environmental Biology, Peking University, P. R. China

2003 PhD, Molecular Cell Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO

2007 Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO

Selected Honors
2005 NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award

2016 DDRCC Pilot and Feasibility Award

2017 DDRCC Pilot and Feasibility Award

2019 GTAC@MGI Symposium Pilot Award