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Zehua Bao PhD
Principal investigator | Doctoral supervisor
2024-05-28 | 1834
  • 1-408, Hetong Yuan, Zijingang Campus
    • · Synthetic Biology
    • · Genome Engineering
    • · Epigenome Engineering
    • · Directed Evolution


Dr. Bao is currently a principal investigator at the Center for Synthetic Biology at Zhejiang University. He is also affiliated with ZJU-Hangzhou Innovation Center. Before coming to ZJU, Dr. Bao conducted doctoral research with Huimin Zhao at UIUC and postdoctoral research with Mo Khalil at BU.


Our lab is interested in developing multiplex and high-throughput technologies for editing and regulating genomes. We emphasize two aspects of potential technologies that we believe enable true genome engineering: first, precise modification of DNA bases at will, as opposed to random insertions/deletions; second, genome-wide programmability, i.e. rational target selections. Based on such technologies, we employ directed evolution as a powerful means to engineer optimal cells for industiral and therapeutic applications.


Original Research                  

12.  L. Deng, Y. Zhou, Z. Cai, J. Zhu, Z. Li, Z. Bao# (2024) Massively parallel CRISPR-assisted homologous recombination enables saturation editing of full-length endogenous genes in yeast. Science Advances 10 (20), eadj9382.

11. J. You, N. Singh, A. Reyes-Ordonez, N. Khanna, Z. Bao, H. Zhao, J. Chen (2020) ARHGEF3 regulates skeletal muscle regeneration and strength through autophagy. Cell Reports 34 (1), 108594.

10.   Z. Bao, M. HamediRad, P. Xue, H. Xiao, I. Tasan, R. Chao, J. Liang, H. Zhao (2018) Genome-scale engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with single nucleotide precision. Nature Biotechnology 36 (6), 505-508.

·   Highlighted by U.S. Department of Energy, AAAS, Illinois News Bureau, etc.

9.   J. Lian, Z. Bao, S. Hu, H. Zhao (2018) Engineered CRISPR/Cas9 system for multiplex genome engineering of polyploid industrial yeast strains. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 115 (6), 1630-1635.

8.   Z. Bao, S. Jain, V. Jaroenpuntaruk, H. Zhao (2017) Orthogonal genetic regulation in human cells using chemically induced CRISPR/Cas9 activators. ACS Synthetic Biology 6 (4), 686-693.

·   Recommended by F1000Prime

7.   Z. Jin, T. Schwend, J. Fu, Z. Bao, J. Liang, H. Zhao, W. Mei, J. Yang (2016) Members of the Rusc protein family interact with Sufu and inhibit vertebrate hedgehog signaling. Development 143 (21), 3944-3955. 

·   Highlighted article: Regulating Hh signaling with Rusc. Development 2016 143: e2014

6.   Z. Bao*, H. Xiao*, J. Liang, L. Zhang, X. Xiong, N. Sun, T. Si, H. Zhao (2014) Homology-Integrated CRISPR-Cas (HI-CRISPR) system for one-step multigene disruption in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ACS Synthetic Biology 4 (5), 585-594.

·   ESI highly cited paper

5.   T. Si, Y. Luo, Z. Bao, H. Zhao (2014) RNAi-assisted genome evolution in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for complex phenotype engineering. ACS Synthetic Biology 4 (3), 283-291.

4.   N. Sun, Z. Bao, X. Xiong, H. Zhao (2014) SunnyTALEN: a second-generation TALEN system for human genome editing. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 111 (4), 683-691.

·   Selected as a spotlight article in Biotechnol Bioeng, Vol. 111, No. 4, April, 2014

3.   J. Liang, R. Chao, Z. Abil, Z. Bao, H. Zhao (2014) FairyTALE: a high-throughput TAL effector synthesis platform. ACS Synthetic Biology 3 (2), 67-73.

·   Recommended by F1000Prime

·   Highlighted in ACS Synth. Biol. 2014, 3, 52-53

2.  K. Yu, Z. Ming, Y. Li, C. Chen, Z. Bao, Z. Ren, B. Liu, W. Tao, Z. Rao, Z. Lou (2012) Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of nonstructural protein 2 (nsp2) from avian infectious bronchitis virus. Acta Crystallographica. Section F, Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 68 (6), 716-719.

1.  Y. Li, Z. Ren, Z. Bao, Z. Ming, X. Li (2011) Expression, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic study of the C-terminal half of nsp2 from SARS coronavirus. Acta Crystallographica. Section F, Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 67 (7), 790-793.


3.  Z. Cai*, W. Xie*, Z. Bao# (2024) Broadening the targetable space: engineering and discovery of PAM-flexible Cas proteins. Trends in Microbiology (In press).

2.   Z. Bao*, R. E. Cobb*, H. Zhao (2016) Accelerated genome engineering through multiplexing. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Systems Biology and Medicine 8 (1), 5-21.

·   Top ten accessed WSBM articles in 2016

1.   H. Xiao*, Z. Bao*, H. Zhao (2014) High throughput screening and selection methods for directed enzyme evolution. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 54 (16), 4011-4020.


Protein Engineering, Graduate


We are always interested in exceptional postdoc candidates, graduate and undergrad students, postgraduate research assistants/technicians. Just shoot an email to zbao@zju.edu.cn to get started! 

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