Public Health Research Institute Center and
Dept. Microbiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
New Jersey Medical School - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
225 Warren Street
Newark, New Jersey 07103
Phone: (973) 854-3202
Early antimicrobial therapy is critical to a favorable outcome for patients with bloodstream infections. Current diagnostic methods can take from 24 hours up to a week for positive pathogen identification and even longer for drug susceptibility. Reducing the time period from specimen collection to species identification and antimicrobial susceptibility is essential for improving outcome for patients. Dr. Zhao developed multiple nucleic acid PCR- and RNA-based molecular beacon platforms for rapid identification of bacterial and fungal pathogens, and associated drug resistance in selected organisms including KPC, MRSA, VRE, C. difficile, Candida spp. and Aspergillus ssp. The new diagnostic tools are being validated in prospective clinical validation studies with clinical partners. In addition to pathogen identification, Dr. Zhao is also interested in developing rapid molecular diagnostics for antifungal drug resistance, including echinocandin resistance in Candida species and unculturable cryptic azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.
Another aspect of Dr. Zhao’s research focuses on using small animal models to evaluate new antifungal/antibacterial compound efficacy and tissue distribution, as well as to explore novel biomarkers to monitor therapeutic response for invasive aspergillosis.
Zhao Y, Perez WB, Jimenez-Ortigosa C, Hough G, Locke JB, Ong V, Bartizal K, Perlin DS (2016) CD101: A novel long-acting echinocandin. Cell Microbiol. PMI: 27354115
Zhao Y, Paderu P, Railkar R, Douglas C, Iannone R, Shire N, Perlin DS (2016) Blood Aspergillus RNA is a promising alternative biomarker for invasive aspergillosis. Med Mycol. PMI: 27335056
Zhao Y, Garnaud C, Brenier-Pinchart M-P, Thiébaut-Bertrand A, Saint-Raymond C, Camara B, Hamidfar-Roy R, Cognet O, Maubon D, Cornet M, Perlin DS (2016) Direct molecular diagnosis of aspergillosis and CYP51A profiling from respiratory samples of French patients. Frontiers in Microbiology 7. PMI:
Healey KR, Zhao Y, Perez WB, Lockhart SR, Sobel JD, Farmakiotis D, Kontoyiannis DP, Sanglard D, Taj-Aldeen SJ, Alexander BD, Jimenez-Ortigosa C, Shor E, Perlin DS (2016) Prevalent mutator genotype identified in fungal pathogen Candida glabrata promotes multi-drug resistance. Nat Commun 7: 11128. PMI: 27020939
Zhao Y, Paderu P, Delmas G, Dolgov E, Lee MH, Senter M, Park S, Leivers S, Perlin DS (2015) Carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid is a highly promising topical agent to enhance healing of wounds infected with drug-resistant pathogens. J Trauma Acute Care Surg 79: S121-129. PMI: 26406424
Perlin DS, Shor E, Zhao Y (2015) Update on Antifungal Drug Resistance. Curr Clin Microbiol Rep 2: 84-95. PMI: 26120512
Zhao Y, Kontoyiannis DP, Roilides E, Walsh TJ, Perlin DS (2014) Reply to "not over yet: fungal infections following methyl prednisolone injections smoulder on". J Clin Microbiol 52: 3508. PMI: 25143421
Zhao Y, Kontoyiannis DP, Roilides E, Walsh TJ, Perlin DS (2014) Reply to "detection of multiple fungal species in blood samples by real-time PCR: an interpretative challenge". J Clin Microbiol 52: 3517. PMI: 25143425
Zhao Y, Armeanu E, DiVerniero R, Lewis TA, Dobson RC, Kontoyiannis DP, Roilides E, Walsh TJ, Perlin DS (2014) Fungal DNA detected in blood samples of patients who received contaminated methylprednisolone injections reveals increased complexity of causative agents. J Clin Microbiol 52: 2212-2215. PMI: 24719442
Krel M, Petraitis V, Petraitiene R, Jain MR, Zhao Y, Li H, Walsh TJ, Perlin DS (2014) Host biomarkers of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis to monitor therapeutic response. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 58: 3373-3378. PMI: 24687510
Farmakiotis D, Shirazi F, Zhao Y, Saad PJ, Albert ND, Roilides E, Walsh TJ, Perlin DS, Kontoyiannis DP (2014) Methylprednisolone Enhances the Growth of Exserohilum rostratum In Vitro, Attenuates Spontaneous Apoptosis, and Increases Mortality Rates in Immunocompetent Drosophila Flies. J Infect Dis. PMI: 24837401
Zhao Y, Stensvold CR, Perlin DS, Arendrup MC (2013) Azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples of patients with chronic diseases. J Antimicrob Chemother 68: 1497-1504. PMI: 23463213
Zhao Y, Petraitiene R, Walsh TJ, Perlin DS (2013) A real-time PCR assay for rapid detection and quantification of Exserohilum rostratum, a causative pathogen of fungal meningitis associated with injection of contaminated methylprednisolone. J Clin Microbiol 51: 1034-1036. PMI: 23303500
Zhao Y, Perlin DS (2013) Quantitative detection of Aspergillus spp. by real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification. Methods Mol Biol 968: 83-92. PMI: 23296887
Pratt A, Garcia-Effron G, Zhao Y, Park S, Mustaev A, Pillai S, Perlin DS (2013) Evaluation of fungal-specific fluorescent labeled echinocandin probes as diagnostic adjuncts. Med Mycol 51: 103-107. PMI: 22587729
Huong DT, Zhao Y, Nguyet NT, Loan TT, Binh NT, Thinh NV, Hanh NT, Perez-Perez GI, Perlin DS (2013) Candida krusei colonization in patients with gastrointestinal diseases. Med Mycol 51: 884-887. PMI: 23815437
Hong JH, Clancy CJ, Cheng S, Shields RK, Chen L, Doi Y, Zhao Y, Perlin DS, Kreiswirth BN, Nguyen MH (2013) Characterization of porin expression in Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase (KPC)-producing K. pneumoniae identifies isolates most susceptible to the combination of colistin and carbapenems. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57: 2147-2153. PMI: 23459476
Clancy CJ, Chen L, Shields RK, Zhao Y, Cheng S, Chavda KD, Hao B, Hong JH, Doi Y, Kwak EJ, Silveira FP, Abdel-Massih R, Bogdanovich T, Humar A, Perlin DS, Kreiswirth BN, Hong Nguyen M (2013) Epidemiology and molecular characterization of bacteremia due to carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in transplant recipients. Am J Transplant 13: 2619-2633. PMI: 24011185
Clancy CJ, Chen L, Hong JH, Cheng S, Hao B, Shields RK, Farrell AN, Doi Y, Zhao Y, Perlin DS, Kreiswirth BN, Nguyen MH (2013) Mutations of the ompK36 porin gene and promoter impact responses of sequence type 258, KPC-2-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae strains to doripenem and doripenem-colistin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57: 5258-5265. PMI: 23939888
Zhao Y, Paderu P, Park S, Dukhan A, Senter M, Perlin DS (2012) Expression turnover profiling to monitor the antifungal activities of amphotericin B, voriconazole and micafungin against Aspergillus fumigatus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. PMI: 22314535
Chen L, Shopsin B, Zhao Y, Smyth D, Wasserman GA, Fang C, Liu L, Kreiswirth BN (2012) Real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay for rapid detection and quantification of agr functionality in clinical Staphylococcus aureus isolates. J Clin Microbiol 50: 657-661. PMI: 22219302
Chen L, Chavda KD, Mediavilla JR, Zhao Y, Fraimow HS, Jenkins SG, Levi MH, Hong T, Rojtman AD, Ginocchio CC, Bonomo RA, Kreiswirth BN (2012) Multiplex real-time PCR for detection of an epidemic KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258 clone. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 56: 3444-3447. PMI: 22450983
Pedersen MB, Zhao Y, Arendrup MC, Bendix K, Bojsen-Moller M, Molle I, D'Amore F (2011) Co-existence of cerebral infection with Rhinocladiella mackenziei and primary central nervous system lymphoma in a HIV-negative patient. Apmis 119: 221-223. PMI: 21284740
Chen L, Mediavilla JR, Endimiani A, Rosenthal ME, Zhao Y, Bonomo RA, Kreiswirth BN (2011) Multiplex real-time PCR assay for detection and classification of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase gene (bla KPC) variants. J Clin Microbiol 49: 579-585. PMI: 21123529
Zhao Y, Park S, Warn P, Shrief R, Harrison E, Perlin DS (2010) Detection of Aspergillus fumigatus in a rat model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis by real-time nucleic acid sequence-based amplification. J Clin Microbiol 48: 1378-1383. PMI: 20129972
Zhao Y, Park S, Kreiswirth BN, Ginocchio CC, Veyret R, Laayoun A, Troesch A, Perlin DS (2009) Rapid real-time nucleic Acid sequence-based amplification-molecular beacon platform to detect fungal and bacterial bloodstream infections. J Clin Microbiol 47: 2067-2078. PMI: 19403758
Perlin DS, Zhao Y (2009) Molecular diagnostic platforms for detecting Aspergillus. Med Mycol 47 Suppl 1: S223-232. PMI: 18608902
Zhao YN, Perlin DS, Park S, Jiang RJ, Chen L, Chen Y, Gardiner R, Jiang QW (2006) FDJS03 isolates causing an outbreak of aseptic meningitis in China that evolved from a distinct Echovirus 30 lineage imported from countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. J Clin Microbiol 44: 4142-4148. PMI: 16957029
Zhao YN, Jiang QW, Jiang RJ, Chen L, Perlin DS (2005) Echovirus 30, Jiangsu Province, China. Emerg Infect Dis 11: 562-567. PMI: 15829194
Fudan University, Shanghai, China, Ph.D. 2005.
2005-2006 Lecturer, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
2006-2009 Postdoctoral Fellow, PHRI Center, UMDNJ, Newark, NJ, USA.
2009-2015.6 Research Associate, PHRI Center, UMDNJ, Newark, NJ, USA.
Present Assistant Professor, PHRI, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA.