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, Prideaux B, Nagasaki Y, Lee MH, Chen PY, Blanc L, Ho H, Clancy CJ, Nguyen MH, Dartois V, Perlin DS (2017) Unraveling Drug Penetration of Echinocandin Antifungals at the Site of Infection in an Intra-abdominal Abscess Model. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 61. PMI: 28739797
Wiedman GR, Zhao Y, Mustaev A, Ping J, Vishnubhotla R, Johnson ATC, Perlin DS (2017) An Aptamer-Based Biosensor for the Azole Class of Antifungal Drugs. mSphere 2. PMI: 28861519
Lee MH, Wiedman G, Park S, Mustaev A, Zhao Y, Perlin DS (2017) A novel, tomographic imaging probe for rapid diagnosis of fungal keratitis. Med Mycol. PMI: 29228372
Kordalewska M, Zhao Y, Lockhart SR, Chowdhary A, Berrio I, Perlin DS (2017) Rapid and Accurate Molecular Identification of the Emerging Multidrug-Resistant Pathogen Candida auris. J Clin Microbiol 55: 2445-2452. PMI: 28539346
Healey KR, Nagasaki Y, Zimmerman M, Kordalewska M, Park S, Zhao Y, Perlin DS (2017) The Gastrointestinal Tract Is a Major Source of Echinocandin Drug Resistance in a Murine Model of Candida glabrata Colonization and Systemic Dissemination. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 61. PMI: 28971865
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 18: 1308-1316. 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 54: 801-807. PMI: 27335056
Zhao Y, Nagasaki Y, Kordalewska M, Press EG, Shields RK, Nguyen MH, Clancy CJ, Perlin DS (2016) Rapid Detection of FKS-Associated Echinocandin Resistance in Candida glabrata. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 60: 6573-6577. PMI: 27550360
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:
Henry C, Fontaine T, Heddergott C, Robinet P, Aimanianda V, Beau R, Beauvais A, Mouyna I, Prevost MC, Fekkar A, Zhao Y, Perlin D, Latge JP (2016) Biosynthesis of cell wall mannan in the conidium and the mycelium of Aspergillus fumigatus. Cell Microbiol 18: 1881-1891. PMI: 27603677
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, 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
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
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.