Zhiyu Zhao received her B.E. in 1997 and her M.E. in 2000 in computer engineering from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China. In 2004, she began her bioinformatics research at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. In 2006, she earned her M.S. in computer science and in 2008 she received her Ph.D. in engineering and applied science from the University of New Orleans.

Dr. Zhao joined the faculty at the Children’s Medical Research Institute at UT Southwestern as a research assistant professor in May 2012. 

Dr. Zhao uses her experience in computer science, mathematics and statistics to process big data, develop software tools and workflows and analyze various datasets generated by biological experiments in cancer and stem cell research. 

Research Summary


Huazhong Univ of Sci & Tech (1997), Engineering
Graduate School
Huazhong Univ of Sci & Tech (2000), Engineering
Graduate School
(the) Uni of New Orleans (2006), Engineering
Graduate School
University of New Orleans (2008), Engineering

Research Interest

  • Biological high-performance computing and big data processing
  • Computational, informatics and statistical methods for biological data analyses


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Ascorbate regulates haematopoietic stem cell function and leukaemogenesis.
Agathocleous M, Meacham CE, Burgess RJ, Piskounova E, Zhao Z, Crane GM, Cowin BL, Bruner E, Murphy MM, Chen W, Spangrude GJ, Hu Z, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ Nature 2017 Aug
Bone marrow adipocytes promote the regeneration of stem cells and haematopoiesis by secreting SCF.
Zhou BO, Yu H, Yue R, Zhao Z, Rios JJ, Naveiras O, Morrison SJ Nat. Cell Biol. 2017 Aug 19 8 891-903
Prdm16 is required for the maintenance of neural stem cells in the postnatal forebrain and their differentiation into ependymal cells.
Shimada IS, Acar M, Burgess RJ, Zhao Z, Morrison SJ Genes Dev. 2017 Jun 31 11 1134-1146
Erratum: Synergistic effects of ion transporter and MAP kinase pathway inhibitors in melanoma.
Eskiocak U, Ramesh V, Gill JG, Zhao Z, Yuan SW, Wang M, Vandergriff T, Shackleton M, Quintana E, Frankel AE, Johnson TM, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ Nat Commun 2016 7 13080
Oxidative stress inhibits distant metastasis by human melanoma cells.
Piskounova E, Agathocleous M, Murphy MM, Hu Z, Huddlestun SE, Zhao Z, Leitch AM, Johnson TM, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ Nature 2015 Oct
Deep imaging of bone marrow shows non-dividing stem cells are mainly perisinusoidal.
Acar M, Kocherlakota KS, Murphy MM, Peyer JG, Oguro H, Inra CN, Jaiyeola C, Zhao Z, Luby-Phelps K, Morrison SJ Nature 2015 Sep
Leptin-receptor-expressing mesenchymal stromal cells represent the main source of bone formed by adult bone marrow.
Zhou BO, Yue R, Murphy MM, Peyer JG, Morrison SJ Cell Stem Cell 2014 Aug 15 2 154-68
Crystal structure and computational modeling of the fab fragment from a protective anti-ricin monoclonal antibody.
Zhao Z, Worthylake D, LeCour L, Maresh GA, Pincus SH PLoS ONE 2012 7 12 e52613
Isoform-level microRNA-155 target prediction using RNA-seq.
Deng N, Puetter A, Zhang K, Johnson K, Zhao Z, Taylor C, Flemington EK, Zhu D Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 May 39 9 e61
Efficient protein alignment algorithm for protein search.
Lu Z, Zhao Z, Fu B BMC Bioinformatics 2010 Jan 11 Suppl 1 S34