Xiuli Zhao M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Zhao is interested in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders research. In her graduate school in Arizona State University, she worked in Dr. Steve Macknic’s lab and found that hypoxia, caused by capillary constrictions in the hippocampus, contributes to neurodegeneration in epileptic mouse model 1. She completed her Ph.D. dissertation project in Dr. Amelia Gallitano’s lab. She found that the transcription factor early growth response 3 (EGR3) regulates the serotonin 2A receptor gene (Htr2a) probably through both direct and indirect ways 2,3. Identification of the mechanism could provide information for the proposed regulatory network which integrates genetic and environmental factors influences on schizophrenia and could provide future therapeutic targets to diagnose and treat schizophrenia. Currently, she is working on how the aging process contributes to changes in neural stem cell activity in the subventricular zone.


  1. Leal-Campanario R, Alarcón-Martínez L, Rieiro H, Martinez-Conde S, Demirci T, Zhao X, LaMee L, Osborn P, Calhoun M, Arribas JI, Schlegel AA, Luigi Di Stasi L, Rho J, Inge L, Otero-Millan J, Treiman DM, Macknik SL. Abnormal Capillary Vasodynamics Contribute to Ictal Neurodegeneration in Epilepsy. Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 43276
  2. Maple AM, Zhao X, Elizalde DI, McBride AK, Gallitano AL. Htr2a Expression Responds Rapidly to Environmental Stimuli in an Egr3-Dependent Manner. ACS Chem Neurosci, 2015, 6(7): 1137-1142.
  3. Zhao X, Maple AM, Meyers KT, Marballi KK., McBride AK, Gallitano AL. Regulation of the Serotonin 2A Receptor Gene (Htr2a) by the Transcription Factor Early Growth Response 3 (EGR3) in the Mouse Cortex. In preparation