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Liang Zhao, PhD

  • Research Associate

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room W7032
Baltimore, Maryland 21205



PhD, University of the Pacific, 2011


Dr. Liang Zhao received his Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry from University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA, US). His research interestes focus primarily on the application of mass spectrometry in ‘omics’ technologies. He is familiar with different types of mass spectrometers and has extensive experience of applying these analytical tools in metabolomics and proteomics studies. He has developed several methods which are successfully utilized to identify new proteins and characterize several types of post-translational modifications (e.g. glycosylation, disulfide bond). He also obtained professional training in bioinformatics for data processing and database development. His current research includes the metabolic profiling using mass spectrometry to explore the biological functions of metabolites and to apply metabolomics as a tool for defining perturbations in metabolic pathways and networks in human disease. His longer-term goals are focusing on the integration of mass spectrometry, biology and bioinformatics to address the biological importance of metabolites and proteins (including PTMs), and to better understand their roles in human disease and treatment options.

  • Metabolomics
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Metabolite profiling
  • Bioinformatics
  • Toxicology
  • Biomarker discovery
  • Proteomics
  • Post-translational modifications
  • Glycan and Glycoprotein analysis.

 Selected Peer-reviewed Publications:

    1. Liang Zhao, Thomas Hartung. Metabonomics and Toxicology, Metabonomics: Methods and Protocols (2015): 209-231 (Book chapter, Springer).
    2. Head, S.; Shi, W.; Zhao, L.; Gorshkov. K.; Pasunooti, K.; Chen, Y.; Deng, Z.; Li, R.; Shim, J.-S.; Tan, W.; Hartung, T.; Zhang, J.; Zhao, Y.; Colombini, M.; Liu, J. O. The antifungal drug itraconazole targets VDAC1 to modulate the AMPK/mTOR signaling axis in endothelial cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2015), in press.
    3. Bouhifd, M., Beger, R., Flynn, T., Guo, L., ... Zhao, L., Hartung, T. Quality assurance of metabolomics. Altex, (2015), 32(4), 319-326.
    4. A K Krug, S Gutbier, L Zhao, D Pöltl, C Kullmann, V Ivanova, S Förster, S Jagtap, J Meiser, G Leparc, S Schildknecht, M Adam, K Hiller, H Farhan, T Brunner, T Hartung, A Sachinidis and M Leist. Transcriptional and metabolic adaptation of human neurons to the mitochondrial toxicant MPP+, Cell Death Dis. (2014) 5: e1223; doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.188
    5. Nina V Balmer, Tyna Dao, Marcel Leist, Kinga Vojnits, Tanja Waldmann, Liang Zhao, Helena T Hogberg, Erwin van Vliet. Application of “Omics” Technologies to In Vitro Toxicology, In Vitro Toxicology Systems, (2014) 399-432 (Book chapter)
    6. Mounir Bouhifd, Helena T Hogberg, Andre Kleensang, Alexandra Maertens, Liang Zhao, Thomas Hartung. Mapping the Human Toxome by Systems Toxicology, Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol. (2014) DOI: 10.1111/bcpt.12198
    7. Mounir Bouhifd, Thomas Hartung, Helena T Hogberg, Andre Kleensang, Liang Zhao. Review: Toxicometabolomics. J. Appl. Toxicol. (2013) 12, 1365-1383
    8. Erwin van Vliet, Elisenda Eixarch, Miriam Illa, Ariadna Arbat-Plana, Anna González-Tendero, Helena T Hogberg, Liang Zhao, Thomas Hartung, Eduard Gratacos. Metabolomics Reveals Metabolic Alterations by Intrauterine Growth Restriction in the Fetal Rabbit Brain. PLoS ONE, (2013) 8(5): e64545. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064545
    9. Kleensang A, Maertens A, Rosenberg M, Fitzpatrick S, ... & Zhao L, t4 Workshop Report: Pathways of Toxicty. ALTEX (2014) 31, 53-61
    10. Yang Hsia, Eric Gnesa, Simon Tang, Felicia Jeffery, Paul Geurts, Liang Zhao, Andreas Franz, Craig Vierra. Identification and Synthesis of Novel Materials Based on Spider Fibers. Appl. Phys. A, (2011) 301-309
    11. Felicia Jeffery, Coby La Mattina, Tiffany Tuton-Blasingame, Yang Hsia, Eric Gnesa, Liang Zhao, Andreas Franz, and Craig Vierra. Microdissection of Black Widow Spider Silk-producing Glands. J Vis Exp. (2011) 47, doi: 10.3791/2382
    12. Paul Geurts, Liang Zhao, Yang Hsia, Eric Gnesa, Simon Tang, Felicia Jeffery, Coby La Mattina, Andreas Franz, Leah Larkin, Craig Vierra. Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Pyriform Spidroin 2, A Glue Silk Protein Discovered in Orb-Weaving Spider Attachment Discs. Biomacromolecules, (2010) 12, 3495-503
    13. Eric Blasingame, Tiffany Tuton-Blasingame, Leah Larkin, Arnold M. Falick, Liang Zhao, Justine Fong, Veena Vaidyanathan, Anabelle Visperas, Paul Geurts, Xiaoyi Hu, Coby La Mattina, Craig Vierra. Pyriform Spidroin 1, a Novel Member of the Silk Gene Family That Anchors Dragline Silk Fibers in Attachment Discs of the Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus Hesperus. J. Biol. Chem. (2009) 284, 29097-108
    14. Liang Zhao, Ruben T. Almaraz, Fan Xiang, Jerry L. Hedrickb, Andreas H. Franz. Gas-Phase Scrambling of Disulfide Bonds during Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry. J. Am. Soc. Mass. Spectr. (2009) 20, 1603-16