Weian Zhao, Ph.D.


Dr. Weian Zhao is an Associate Professor at the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California, Irvine

Research Interests

Working in an interdisciplinary field at the interface of pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical engineering, biology and medicine, Dr. Zhao’s laboratory aims to 1) elucidate and eventually control the fate of transplanted stem cells and immune cells in treating diseases including cancer and autoimmune disorders. Our ongoing efforts include developing engineered CAR-T cells and nanoparticle-based immunotherapies for cancer and autoimmune disorders. In addition, we are currently testing the use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease (CD), both of which are now at the Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling stages, 2) develop rapid diagnostics to diagnose diseases early and to guide treatment. For instance, we have been working on rapid diagnostics to combat the global issue of antimicrobial resistance that kills hundreds of thousands of patients every year, and 3) develop and apply single-cell technologies to facilitate the discovery of antibody and immune cell therapeutics. We hope these novel bioengineering tools together with immunology will allow us to make an immediate impact for improving the quality of life of patients. 



3027 Gross Hall
(949) 824-9744


3231 Gross Hall
(949) 824-7298