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Pei Zhao Dr. Pei Zhao received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Graduate Center in 2016.

Before coming to CUNY, Pei completed her medical education and received an M.D. degree from the West China Medical Center of Sichuan University in 2006 in China.  Then she began her research career focused on cardiovascular pharmacology and drug-screening in Peking Union Medical College. In 2009, she received her master’s degree in Medical Science.

Pei came to New York and entered the CUNY Biochemistry Doctoral Program in 2009 fall. She worked in Professor Dixie J. Goss’s laboratory at Hunter College doing research about how a viral RNA element utilizes host proteins to synthesize viral proteins. Pei explored the biochemical and physical mechanism of one viral RNA element (BTE) interaction with the core translation initiation factors (eIF4G, eIF4A, eIF4E) and its function in regulating translation. During her Ph.D. study, Pei published one research paper and received several awards to present her work at international conferences.

In 2017, Pei was offered and accepted a position in Dr. William E. Balch lab at The Scripps Research Institute in California. Her research focuses on proteostasis in human health and disease by exploring how protein misfolding occurs due to genetic variations found in the human population.  This research could identify potential therapeutic targets that could be modified to avoid protein misfolding diseases.

Pei noted, “ The education in the CUNY Biochemistry PhD. program prepared me with broad knowledge in biochemistry and biophysics.  It also provided me a very solid scientific training in independent thinking ability and problems solving skills.  I can benefit from my CUNY education for the whole span of my research career. ”