Dr. Zhao received his medical degree from Beijing Medical University (now Peking University Health Science Center). He completed his first stage of residency in surgery at Beijing Medical University and his doctorate in nutrition sciences from Purdue University. Dr. Zhao studied the pathogenesis of Juvenile dermatomyositis as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center and fellowship in pediatric rheumatology at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.
During his rheumatology fellowship training, Dr. Zhao recognized the need for reliable and valid assessment tools, and systematic evaluation methods, for chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CNO), also known as chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), a potentially debilitating condition. He developed a comprehensive MRI scoring tool to assess disease activity and damage. He used this tool in a retrospective study of children with CNO treated with TNF alpha inhibition, demonstrating significant improvements of disease activity and no damage progression.
Dr. Zhao joined Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington in 2013. Dr. Zhao's main clinical focus has been the aggressive treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and other pediatric rheumatic diseases.