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

XueJun Zhao, PhD


Research Assistant Professor

10051-5A BST 3,
3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Phone: 412-624-0465
Fax: 412-648-9009



Dr. Zhao earned his M.D. at the Hunan Medical University, China in 1986 followed by receiving his M.S. in Clinical Pharmacology from the same university. After completing his post-doctoral training at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, International Medical Center of Japan, he became a recipient of the Merck Sharp & Dohme international fellowship in clinical pharmacology and moved to the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1998, under the mentorship of Dr. Craig Brater. After the 2-year training in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology Dr. Zhao took another research fellowship in the Gene Therapy Program of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) before relocated, with Dr. Jay Kolls, to the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy, and Immunology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2003, where he served as a research associate and a research assistant professor. In December of 2008, Dr. Zhao became a faculty member at the HVBRI.

Research Interests

Dr. Zhao has broad research interests that include gene and protein expression regulation by acute and chronic ethanol both in monocytes/macrophages and in mice, signal transduction via reactive oxygen species (ROS) and transcription factors including NFκB, AP-1 and IRF-3. He also worked on bone marrow transplantation, lentiviral transduction of human and rodent cells with a particular interest in epigenetic regulation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production in human Mono Mac 6 cells and in bone marrow-derived macrophages, in addition to drug metabolism by cytochrome P450.

Dr. Zhao currently focuses on the production and regulation of nitrite by ceruloplasmin, a nitric oxide (NO) oxidase, in macrophages, as well as the role of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in this process.

Key Publications

X.-J. Zhao, Q. Dong, J. Bindas, J. D. Piganelli, A. Magill, J. Reiser, and J. K. Kolls. TRIF and IRF-3 binding to the TNF promoter results in macrophage TNF dysregulation and steatosis induced by chronic ethanol. J Immunology, 181: 3049-3056, 2008.

K. Song, X.-J. Zhao, L. Marrero, P. Oliver, S. Nelson, and J.K. Kolls. Alcohol reversibly disrupts TNF-α/TACE interactions in the cell membrane. Respiratory Research, 6: 123, 2005.

X.-J. Zhao, P. Oliver, K. Song, J. R. Schurr, Z. Zhang, and J. K. Kolls. Chronic ethanol enhances ectodomain shedding in T-cells and monocytes. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2004 Sep;28(9):1399-407.

X.-J. Zhao, L. Marrero, K. Song, P. Oliver, S. Y. Chin, H. Simon, J. R. Schurr, Z. Zhang, D. Thoppil, S. Lee, S. Nelson, and J. K. Kolls. Acute alcohol inhibits TNF-α processing in human monocytes by inhibiting TNF/TNF-alpha-converting enzyme interactions in the cell membrane. J Immunology, 170: 2923-2931, 2003.

PubMed Link