Na Zhao, MD, PhD
I earned my MD degree, MS degree, completed the neurology residency training, and then worked at a memory clinic in Shanghai, China for four years as a neurologist. In the interim, I also earned my Ph. degree at Fudan University in China, gaining research experience in the neurodegenerative disease field. Since joining Dr. Guojun Bu’s lab at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, as a research fellow three years ago, I have gained further research training in apoE biology and pathobiology with techniques spanning biochemistry, cell biology, and animal modeling. These learning and working experiences in both clinical and lab settings helped me to appreciate the interconnection of science and medicine. I have a deep passion to help the suffering patients through innovative research with a specific interest in translational medicine. My research interest is to define how insulin signaling and glucose metabolism associate with the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and how APOE gene and apoE receptors modulate the pathological processing of AD, using both in vivo and in vitro approaches. In particular, my current research goal is to understand how amyloid β and apoE4 synergistically affect neuronal insulin signaling and glucose metabolism, and the mechanistic basis of apoE isoform-related differences upon insulin treatments, in order to design individualized therapies for AD based on APOE genotype status.