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Aiping  Zhao
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Aiping Zhao M.D.

Academic Title: Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: Radiation Oncology
Secondary Appointments: Medicine
Location: MSTF, 7-00D
Phone: (410) 706-5517
Phone: 410-706-5514

Research Interests:

  • Mucosal immunology and host/pathogen interactions: focus on the host mucosal immunity against enteric bacterial and parasitic infections. The overall objective of this project is to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms by which the host clears pathogens. Using various murine models of bacterial or parasitic nematode infection, we have been investigating the contributions of gut functional responses, mucosal innate and adaptive immune cells, intestinal stem cells, as well as gut microbiota to host defense mechanisms against pathogens.
  • Obesity and metabolic disease: focus on immunometabolism with respect to type 2 immunity. The overall objective is to reveal the molecular insights of type 2 immunity modulation of body weight and glucose/lipid metabolism, and the ultimate goal is to develop immune-based biologic therapies for obesity and the associated metabolic disease.
  • Medical countermeasure against irradiation-induced gastrointestinal syndrome: focus on irradiation-induced gastrointestinal injury and mucosal healing in the post irradiation period.


  1. Zhao A, Bossone C, Piñeiro-Carrero V, and Shea-Donohue T. Colitis-induced Alterations in Adrenergic Control of Circular Smooth Muscle in Vitro in Rats. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 2001; 299(2): 768-774.
  2. Zhao A, McDermott J, Urban JF, Gause WC, Madden KB, Au Yeung C, Morris SB, Finkelman FD, and Shea-Donohue T. Dependence of IL4, IL-13 and Nematode â?"Induced Alterations in Murine Small Intestinal Smooth Muscle Contractility on Stat6 and Enteric Nerves. Journal of Immunology, 2003, 171: 948-954.
  3. Zhao A and Shea-Donohue T. Protease-Activated Receptor-2 Agonists Induce Contraction of Murine Small Intestine through Neurokinin Receptors.   Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 2003, 285: G696-G703.
  4. Swiecki C, Stojadinovic A, Anderson J, Zhao A, Dawson H, and Shea-Donohue T. Effect of Hyperglycemia and Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibition on Heat Tolerance and Induction of Heat Shock Protein 72 kDa in vivo. Am. Surg, 2003, 69(7): 587-592.
  5. Madden KB, Au Yeung C, Zhao A, Gause WC, Finkelman FD, Katona IM, Urban JF, and Shea-Donohue T. Enteric Nematodes Induces Stereotypic STAT6-Dependent Alterations in Intestinal Epithelial Cell Function. Journal of Immunology, 2004 172(9): 5616-5621.
  6. Dawson HD, Beshah E, Nishi S, Solano-Aguilar G, Zhao A, Madden K, Dubey JP, Shea-Donohue T, Lunney JK, Urban JF Jr.  Localized multi-gene expression patterns support an evolving Th1/Th2-like paradigm in response to infection with Toxoplasma gondii and Ascaris suum. Infection and Immunity, 2005, 73: 1116-1128.
  7. Au Yeung K, Smith A, Zhao A, Madden KB, Elfrey J, Sullivan C, Levander O, Urban JF, and Shea-Donohue T.  Impact of vitamin E or selenium deficiency on helminth-induced alterations in murine intestinal function. J. Exp. Parasitology, 2005, 109: 201-208.
  8. Smith A, Madden KB, Au Yeung K, Zhao A, Elfrey J, Finkelman FD, Levander O, Shea-Donohue T, Urban JF Jr.  Effect of selenium and/or vitamin E deficiencies on Heligmosomoides polygyrus infections in mice. J. Nutrition, 2005, 135: 830-836.
  9. Zhao A, Morimoto A, Dawson H, Elfrey J, Madden KB, Gause WC, Min B, Finkelman FD, Urban JF, Shea-Donohue T.  Immune regulation of protease-activated receptor-1 expression in murine small intestine during Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection.  Journal of Immunology, 2005, 175(4): 2563-2639.
  10. Morimoto M, Morimoto M, Zhao A, Madden KB, Dawson H, Finkelman FD, Mentink-Kane M, Urban JF, Wynn T, Shea-Donohue T.  Functional importance of regional differences in localized gene expression of receptors for IL-13 in murine gut.  Journal of Immunology, 2006, 176(1): 491-495.
  11. Zhao A, Urban JF Jr., Morimoto M,  Elfrey JE, Madden KB, Finkelman FD, Shea-Donohue T.  Up-regulation of 5-HT2A Receptor Contributes to Nematode Infection-Induced Hyper-contractility of Murine Intestinal Smooth Muscle.  Gastroenterology, 2006, 131(2): 568-578.
  12. Li E, Zhao A, Shea-Donohue T, Singer SM. Mast cell-mediated changes in smooth muscle contractility during mouse giardiasis. Infection & Immunity, 2007, 75(9): 4514-4518.
  13. Scanlan BJ, Tuft B, Elfrey JE, Smith A, Zhao A, Morimoto M, Chmielinska JJ, Tejero-Taldo MI, Mak IuT, Weglicki WB, Shea-Donohue T.  Intestinal inflammation caused by magnesium deficiency alters basal and oxidative stress-induced intestinal function.  Mol Cell Biochem. 2007, 306(1-2):59-69.
  14. Shea-Donohue T, Thomas KE, Cody MJ, Zhao A, DeTolla LJ, Kopydlowski KM, Fukata M, Lira SA, and Vogel SN. Mice deficient in the CXCR2 ligand CXCL1 (KC/GRO-α) exhibit increased susceptibility to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis.  Innate Immunity, 2008, 14(2): 117-124.
  15. Zhao A, Urban JF, Anthony AM, Sun R, Stiltz J, van Rooijen N, Wynn T, Gause WC, and Shea-Donohue T. Th2 cytokine-Induced Alterations in Intestinal Smooth Muscle Function are Dependent on Alternatively Activated Macrophages. Gastroenterology, 2008, 135(1): 217-225.
  16. Sutton TL, Zhao A, Madden KB, Elfrey JE, Tuft BA, Sullivan CA, Urban, JF, and Shea-Donohue T. Anti-inflammatory Mechanisms of Enteric Heligmosomoides polygyrus Infection on TNBS-Induced Colitis in a Murine Model.  Infection & Immunity, 2008, 76(10): 4772-82
  17. Shea-Donohue T, Zhao A, Immune Regulation of Gut Function-The Role of T Helper 2 Cytokines and their Receptors. US Gastroenterology & Hepatology Review. 2008, 4(2):73-76.
  18. Morimoto M, Zhao A, Sun R, Stiltz J, Madden KB, Mentink-Kane M, Ramalingam T, Wynn TA, Urban JF Jr, Shea-Donohue T. IL-13 receptor alpha2 regulates the immune and functional response to N.  brasiliensis infection. J Immunol. 2009, 83(3):1934-1939.
  19. Tripathi A, Lammers KM, Goldblum S, Shea-Donohue T, Netzel-Arnett S, Buzza MS, Antalis TM, Vogel SN, Zhao A, Yang S, Arrietta MC, Meddings JB, and Fasano A. Identification of human zonulin, a physiological modulator of tight junctions, as prehaptoglobin-2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009, 106(39):16799-16804.
  20. Buzza MS, Netzel-Arnett S, Shea-Donohue T, Zhao A, Lin CY, List K, Szabo R, Fasano A, Bugge TH,   and Antalis TM. Membrane-anchored serine protease matriptase regulates epithelial barrier formation and permeability in the intestine. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010, 107(9): 4200-4205.
  21. Shea-Donohue T, Urban JF, Notari L, and Zhao A. Immune regulation of epithelial cell function: Implications for GI pathologies. International Dairy Journal. 2010, 20(4): 248-252.
  22. Shea-Donohue T, Fasano A, Smith A, and Zhao A. Enteric pathogens and gut function: role of cytokines and STATs.  Gut Microboes, 2010, 1 (5): 316-324.
  23. Shea-Donohue T, Notari L, Stiltz J, Sun R, Madden KB, Urban JF, and Zhao A. Role of enteric nerves in the immune regulation of protease activated receptor-2 expression and function. Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2010, 22(10): 1138-e291.
  24. Shea-Donohue T, Stiltz J, Zhao A, and Notari L. Mast Cells. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2010, 12(5): 349-357.
  25. Zhao A, Urban JF, Sun R, Stiltz J, Morimoto M, Notari L, Madden KB, Yang Z, Grinchuk V, Ramalingam TR, Wynn TA, and Shea-Donohue T. Critical role of IL-25 in nematode infection-induced alterations in intestinal function. J Immunol, 2010, 185(11): 6921-6929.
  26. Yang Z, Grinchuk V, Siu Po Ip, Che CT, Fong HHS, Lao L, Wu JC, Sung JJ, Berman B, Shea-Donohue T, and Zhao A. Anti-inflammatory activities of a Chinese herbal formula IBS-20 in vitro and in vivo. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012: 491496.
  27. Shea-Donohue T, Notari L, Sun R, and Zhao A. Mechanisms of smooth muscle responses to inflammation. Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2012, 24 (9):802-811.
  28. Yang Z, Grinchuk V, Urban JF Jr, Bohl J, Sun R, Notari L, Yan S, Ramalingam T, Keegan AD, Wynn TA, Shea-Donohue T, and Zhao A. Novel Role of Macrophages as IL-25/IL-33-Responsive Cells in the Induction of Type 2 Immunity. PLOS One. 2013, 8(3):e59441.
  29. Zhao A, Yang Z, Sun R, Grinchuk V, Anglin IE, Netzel-Arnett S, Notari L, Bohl JA, Madden KB, Urban JF Jr, Antalis TM, and Shea-Donohue T. SerpinB2 is Indispensable to Th2 Immunity against Enteric Nematode Infection. J. Immunol. 2013, 190(11): 5779-5787.
  30. Yang Z, Grinchuk V, Smith A, Qin B, Bohl JA, Sun R, Notari L, Zhang Z, Sesaki H, Urban JF Jr, Shea-Donohue T, and Zhao A. Enteric Nematode Infection-induced Immunotherapy against Obesity and the Associated Metabolic Syndrome. Infection and Immunity. 2013, 81(6):1905-1914.
  31. Yang Z, Sun R, Grinchuk V, Fernandez Blanco JA, Notari L, Bohl JA, McLean LP, Ramalingam TR, Wynn TA, Urban JF Jr., Vogel SN, Shea-Donohue T, and Zhao A. IL-33-induced Alterations in Murine Intestinal Function and Cytokine Responses Are MyD88-, STAT6-, and IL-13-dependent. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 2013, 304:G381-9.
  32. Rajaiah R, Perkins DJ, Polumuri SK, Zhao A, Keegan AD, Vogel SN. Dissociation of Endotoxin Tolerance and Differentiation of Alternatively Activated Macrophages. J. Immunol. 2013 190(9): 4763-4772.
  33. Alaish SM, Smith AD, Timmons J, Greenspon J, Eyvazzadeh D, Murphy E, Shea-Donahue T, Cirimotich S, Mongodin E, Zhao A, Fasano A, Nataro JP, Cross A. Gut microbiota, tight junction protein expression, intestinal resistance, bacterial translocation and mortality following cholestasis depend on the genetic background of the host. Gut Microbes. 2013, 4(4):292-305.
  34. Alaish SM, Timmons J, Smith AD, Buzza MS, Murphy E, Zhao A, Sun Y, Turner DJ, Shea-Donahue T, Antalis TM, Cross A, and Dorsey SG. Candidate genes for limiting cholestatic intestinal injury identified by gene expression profiling. Physiol Rep, 2013, Sep; 1(4) [Epub ahead of publication]
  35. Notari L, Riera DC, Sun R, Bohl JA, McLean LP, Madden KB, van Rooijen N, Vanuytsel T, Urban JF Jr, Zhao A, Shea-Donohue T. Role of Macrophages in the Altered Epithelial Function during a Type 2 Immune Response Induced by Enteric Nematode Infection. PLOS One. 2014, 9(1):e84763.
  36. Shea-Donohue T, Zhao A, Antalis T. SerpinB2 mediated regulation of macrophage function during enteric infection. Gut Microbes, 2014, 5(2) [Epub ahead of publication]
  37. Wang AJ, Yang Z, Grinchuk V, Smith A, Qin B, Lu N, Wang D, Wang H, Ramalingam TR, Wynn TA, Urban JF, Shea-Donohue T, Zhao A. Interleulin-25 protects against high-fat diet-induced hepatic steatosis in mice dependent upon IL-13 activation of STAT6 (submitted).
  38. Wang AJ, Smith A, Li Y, Urban JF, Ramalingam TR, Wynn TA, Lu N, Shea-Donohue T, Yang Z, Zhao A. Genetic deletion of IL-25 conferes resistance to dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice (submitted).
  39. Fricke WF, Song Y, Wang AJ, Smith A, Grinchuk V, Pei C, Lu N, Urban JF, Shea-Donohue T, Zhao A. Parasitic nematodes modulate the expression of IL-17-associated genes through host type 2 immunity-dependent inhibition of segmented filamentous bacteria (submitted).