Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
3459 Fifth Avenue,
628 NW
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Academic Office: (412) 692-2210
Comprehensive Lung Center (Patient Care and Referral): (412) 648-6161

Jinming Zhao, PhD

Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
Montefiore Hospital - NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-864-2615
Fax: 412-692-2260
Assistant: Emily Stilwell
Assistant Email:


Dr. Zhao completed his medical training at Nanhua University and received his PhD in Toxicology at Fudan University Medical School in China in 2003. He then came to the University of Pittsburgh for post-doctoral training and in 2006, joined Dr. Sally Wenzel’s lab   as a research associate conducting translational research on asthma. In 2010, Dr. Zhao became a faculty member in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute @UPMC/UPSOM.

Academic and Research Interests

Dr. Zhao’s research has been focused on the pathogenesis of severe asthma as it relates to the role of the 15-Lipoxygenase-1 (15LO1) signaling pathway. 15-Lipoxygenase 1 is one of several key enzymes involved in arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism. Using primary human airway epithelial cells as a model,   Dr. Zhao’s research suggests that 15LO1 increases with severity of asthma and regulates MUC5AC gene expression. He was the first to show that 15LO1 interacts with Raf-1/PEBP1 to regulate MAPK/ERK signal pathway and amplify IL-4Rα signaling in human airway epithelial cells. These data suggest that the 15LO1 pathway could play a critical role in regulating gene expression which contributes to asthma pathogenesis. Dr. Zhao is particularly interested in the mechanism of 15LO1 expression in chronic Th2 background, the downstream effects of 15LO1 pathway activation on inflammatory gene expression and the key biologic activity of the 15LO1 enzyme products.

15LO1 is highly expressed and positively correlated with ERK phosphorylation in vivo in fresh asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells

Confocal images of endobronchial tissue show high expression and co-localization of 15LO1 with PEBP1 (in yellow) in airway epithelium of a severe asthmatic as compared to normal control (area indicated with white arrows).

Key Publications

Zhao J, O'Donnell VB, Balzar S, St Croix CM, Trudeau JB, Wenzel SE. 15-Lipoxygenase 1 interacts with phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein to regulate MAPK signaling in human airway epithelial cells. PNAS, 2011 Aug 23;108(34):14246-51.

Zhao J, Maskrey B, Balzar S, Chibana K, Mustovich A, Hu H, Trudeau JB, O'Donnell V, Wenzel SE. IL-13 induced MUC5AC is regulated by 15-Lipoxygenase (LO) 1 Pathway in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells. AJRCCM, 2009 May 1;179(9):782-90.

Zhao J, Harper R, Barchowsky A, Di YP. Identification of multiple MAPK-mediated transcription factors regulated by tobacco smoke in airway epithelial cells. AJP Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007 Aug; 293(2):L480-90.

PubMed Link