Our Mission

We are dedicated to developing novel bioengineered tools to address unmet biomedical needs and biological questions, and to quickly translate them to the clinic to help patients. Through working at the interface of pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical engineering, biology. and medicine, our interdisciplinary and collaborative team aims to develop next generation stem cell-based and immuno-therapeutics and miniaturized diagnostics (Research). We are also fully committed to the professional development of the personnel in the laboratory and do everything we can to ensure successful career paths (Education).  If you are interested in joining the team, collaborating, donating, or are interested in what our research expertise can do for you, please contact Dr. Weian Zhao (weianzhao.uci@gmail.com).


Multiple positions available for highly motivated Postdocs, Graduate Students, Undergraduate students and Research Staff who want to join an interdisciplinary and collaborative team to address unmet challenges in medicine. The applicants who have a background/interest in immunology and immunotherapy, cancer and mechanobiology, synthetic biology and genome editing, protein and cell engineering, molecular diagnostics and NGS, implantable sensors, artificial intelligence, and technology and
clinical translation are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Prospective graduate students can apply through the Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology (MCP) program, Pharmacological Sciences PhD Program, Biomedical engineering (BME) graduate program, and Cellular & Molecular Biosciences (CMB) program

May 16, 2019: Congratulations to Ruchi Desai for winning the Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship

Jan 10, 2019: Congratulations to Morgan Kopecky, Jayapriya Jayaraman and Jan Zimak to receive the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2019 Scholar, Otto W. Shaler Scholarship, and NIH-funded ICTS TL1 Training Award, respectively

Dec 19, 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Aude Segaliny for winning the AAI Young Investigator Award for poster titled Functional immunotherapeutic screening using single-cell droplet microfluidics

Dec 19, 2018: Our talented high school intern Morgan Kopecky has been accepted to Stanford University for Early Action! Congratulations!!

Nov 6, 2018: Zhao lab receives UCI Applied Innovation Proof of Product
Grant, in collaboration with Dr. Enrico Gratton

Nov 6, 2018: Congratulations! Our new paper “Functional TCR T cell
screening using single-cell droplet microfluidics”, published at Lab on a Chip, featured in the Emerging Investigators collection. Featured in UCI NewsLab on Chip Emerging Investigators

Oct 11, 2018: Zhao lab receives UCI CFCCC/GHTF Single-cell RNA-Seq pilot award

Aug 20, 2018: Zhao lab receives NIH U54 Supplement Award, with Drs.Gratton, Lander, Waterman and Lowengrub

July 27, 2018: Congratulations to Henry Farhoodi who won pre-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS/NIH) Training Grant.

June 12, 2018: Congratulations to Tam Vu who won the NSF-supported Student’s Travel Award to 2018 ASME NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology (NEMB) Conference. Tam also won the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

February 22, 2018: Congratulation to Linan (Jerry) Liu and Shirley Zhang whose article “Targeting Biophysical Cues: A Niche Approach to Study, Diagnose, and Treat Cancer” was accepted by Trends in Cancer in their special issue on “Physical Forces in Cancer.”

February 10, 2018: Congratulations to Aude Segaliny for winning the Tom Angell Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring Fellowship for her excellent mentorship and her training of students in the lab.

October 20, 2017: The Zhao Lab receives UCI Applied Innovation Proof of Product Grant to develop rapid chemistries for detection of blood pathogens. Congrats!

August 17, 2017: Congratulations to Menglu Han in winning the 2nd place poster prize at the Moving Targets Conference hosted by AAPS-USC.

May 5, 2017: Congratulations to Linan (Jerry) LiuShirley Zhang, and the team, whose article “Mechano-Responsive Stem Cells to Target Cancer Metastases Through Biophysical Cues” was accepted by Science Translational Medicine. (UCI NewsThe ScientistGenetic Engineering and  Biotechnology News)

April 25, 2017: Congratulations to Linan (Jerry) Liu and William Wong, whose article “A Mathematical Model of Mechanotransduction Reveals How Mechanical Memory Regulates Mesenchymal Stem Cell Fate Decisions” was accepted by BMC Systems Biology.

March 17, 2017: Congratulations to Zhao alumni, Erika Calle, who received admission to USC PhD Program in Biomedical and Biological Sciences (PIBBS); and Victor Pham, who received 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

March 2, 2017: Congratulations to Dr. Linan (Jerry) Liu, the first PhD student graduated from Zhao lab!!

February 22, 2017: Congratulations to Reza Mohammadi, who has received the Biomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery Laboratory Award from the Stanford University School of Medicine and featured on UCI Samueli School of Engineering website (Collaboration Makes Perfect).

August 5, 2016: Congratulations to Claire Chen, who has just received the Society for Neuroscience fellowship award.

July 22, 2016: Watch Dr. Weian Zhao’s TED Talk on “Future Diagnostics to Combat the Global Crisis of Antibiotic Resistance” (Video).

Jun 13, 2016: Congratulations to Justin Shun and Seowon Lee in winning SURP fellowship for the Summer 2016.

Jun 1, 2016: Welcome to new members, Dr. Yiyan Li (postdoctoral fellow), Bahar Mousapour (research specialist) and Ryan Castellano (student assistant).

May 14, 2016: Dr. Weian Zhao gives TED Talk on “Future Diagnostics to Combat the Global Crisis of Antibiotic Resistance” in the TEDx UC Irvine Event. 

May 7, 2016: Congratulations to Aude in winning the best poster prize in the 2016 UCI Campuswide Symposium on Basic Cancer Biology.

May 6, 2016: Congratulations to Louai and his team in winning the 2nd place in the 2016 Business Plan Competition (campus-wide) at the UCI Paul Merage School of Business.

April 21, 2016: Congratulations to Milad in receiving an internship position in Amgen‘s therapeutic discovery division for Summer 2016.

March 29, 2016: Congratulations to Louai in receiving the prestigious NSF graduate fellowship and Edge fellowship from Stanford University to support his PhD program (featured on UCI Samueli School of Engineering website).

March 16, 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Weian Zhao in receiving the promotion to Associate Professorwith tenure.

March 4, 2016: Congratulations to Neto in receiving UCI OCEAN Graduate Student Fellowship to develop tests to study and detect environmental bacteria.

February 16, 2016: Postdoctoral Scholar Position in Microfluidics Diagnostics available. Apply now.

June 2, 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Zhao in receiving this year’s UCI Academic Senate Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Research.

April 20, 2015: Dr. Zhao has been selected as the Young Investigator of the Year Award from UCI’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS).

April 15, 2015: Dr. Zhao has been selected as 2015 outstanding professor for UCI Anthology’s 50th Anniversary Yearbook.

April 9, 2015: Zhao lab receives a $5 million R01 grant from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostics Projects (NIH NewsUCI NewsWorldJournal).

February 4, 2015: Zhao lab receives a grant from Lymedisease.org to develop a better test for Lyme diseases.

January 28, 2015: IC 3D technology was highlighted in Lab on a Chip: Research highlights: microfluidic analysis of antimicrobial susceptibility.

More news…

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