Professor,State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, College of Tea Biology and Food Science, Anhui Agricultural University, China

Dr. Jian Zhao received his Ph D of Pharmacognosy in the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China in 1999. He was then awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Foreigner Researcher Fellowship to conduct research on biosynthesis of monoterpene derivatives beta-thujaplicin in Cupressus lusitanica tree at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan during 2000-2002. After that Dr. Zhao moved to USA and worked on lipid metabolism, cation nutrient and flavonoid transport mechanisms, flavonoid biosynthesis and regulation at Kansas State University, USDA/Baylor College of Medicine/Children's Nutrition Research Center, and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. He returned to China and joined Huazhong Agricultural University as a professor of plant genetics and molecular biology from 2012 to 2017. His research focused on primary and secondary metabolism in leguminous plants including soybean, alfalfa, licorice, and kudzu for understanding how health-promoting metabolites, in particular, secondary metabolites like flavonoids, are synthesized, transported, and regulated, mainly focused on nutritional quality trait formation in these crops. From July of 2017, Dr. Zhao joined the State Key Lab of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, College of Tea Biology and Food Science, Anhui Agricultural University as a Professor to expand his research interests to more health-promoting phytonutrients in tea plants. The biosynthesis of flavonoids, saponins, vitamins, lipids, and phytosterols in tea and legume plants and their transcriptional regulation are research targets of his lab in AHAU. His lab uses genomic sequencing, metabolite profiling, transcriptomic analysis, in combination  with other genetic, molecular biology, and biochemical approaches to reveal fundamental principles underlying the plant metabolism and nutrition traits of crops. 


Dr. Zhao is first-authored or co-authored for more than 60 scientific papers in main-stream plant  scientific journals, including PNAS, Plant Cell, Science, Plant Physiology, New Phytologist, Plant Biotechnology Journal, and Plant Cell& Environment. The total citations by others have passed 3000 times. As a leading scientist in his research area, he was invited to write review for Trends in Plant Science, Biotechnology Advances, Journal of Experimental Botany, and Lipid Research Progress. His H index reaches 35 and his researches significantly contributed and influenced plant secondary metabolism research.