Dr Jichao Zhao

PhD (UWO, Canada), FHRS

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Senior Research Fellow

Biography

Dr. Zhao is a Principal Investigator (PI) and leads a team at Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland, New Zealand,  that aims to improve our understanding of the most common cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation (AF), and to investigate effective strategies for AF treatment by combining novel computational approaches (signal/structural analysis, computer models and machine learning) with structural imaging, experimental mapping and clinical studies.

Recent collaboration with overseas researchers has made it possible for Dr. Zhao to study the intact human hearts directly to illustrate the roles of human atrial structure and function in AF and improve our understanding of the human sino-atrial node. He also leads an MRI study of patients with AF. His team has developed novel machine learning approaches for analyzing functional and structural data from patients to aid clinical diagnosis and targeted treatment.  Finally, his group has also developed a robust rabbit model with metabolic syndrome to study the exact mechanism underlying the increased susceptibility to cardiac disease.

In the past four years (2014-20), Dr. Zhao has published >40 journal articles with an average impact factor of >6.0. As a result of his highly influential work, he has received three prestigious project grants in the past three years; one from the Health Research Council of New Zealand and two from US National Institutes of Health. These sources of external funding enable him to support his current team.

Currently, we have a couple of PhD/Masters/Postdoc positions open, contact Dr. Zhao (j.zhao@auckland.ac.nz) if you are interested in.

 

Grants recieved:

2019 - 2021: PI, Small Project Grant, National Heart Foundation of NZ, $20K

2018 - 2022: New Zealand PI, National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 Project Grant, USD ~$450K

2017 - 2019: PI, Small Project Grant, National Heart Foundation of NZ, $15K

2017 - 2021: New Zealand PI, National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 Project Grant, USD ~$500K

2016 - 2020: PI, Project Grant, Health Research Council of NZ NZD ~$1.2M

2015 - 2016: PI, Small Project Grant, National Heart Foundation of NZ

2014 - 2016: PI, 2-year International Mobility Fund (USA) from Royal Society of NZ

2013 - 2014: PI, Project grant from Lottery Health Research of NZ

2013 - 2015: PI, Project grant from Auckland Medical Research Foundation of NZ

2013 - 2016: PI, Health Research Council of NZ Emerging Researcher First Grant

Research | Current

Current research interests

  • Machine learning
  • Computer models of atria
  • Atrial mapping study
  • Atrial electrogram analysis
  • Patient specific models of atria
  • Sino-atrial node structure

Project links

 

Postgraduate supervision

2020-Mrs Anuradha Umayangani Kulathilaka

2019-Ms Sarah Fong

2019-Mr Zhaohan Xiong

2017-Ms Shaleka Agrawal

2017-Mr Kevin Jamart

2017-Mr Andy Lo

2014- Mr Girish Ramlugun

2013- Mr Belvin Thomas

2012- Ms Shu Meng

 

Distinctions/Honours

2019   A University of Auckland Research Excellence Medal

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Invited Lectures/Talks, Conference Chair or Editor

2019   Invited talk in Surgical Treatment of Arrhythmias and Rhythm Disorders,

           Beijing 22-23 Nov

2019   Invited talk in NZ Medical Sciences Congress, Queenstown, 2-4 Sept.

2019   Invited talk in the Cardiac Society of AUS and NZ, Wellington, 13-15 June

2019   Invited faculty and talk in the workshop on Uncertainty Quantification in

           Cardiac Modelling, Cambridge UK, 5-7 June

2019   Invited faculty and talk in the Annual Conference of Heart Rhythm Society,

           San Francisco, 8-11 May

2019   Invited talk in China Interventional Therapeutics, Beijing March 28-31

2018   Invited talk in the Annual Conference of Asia Pacific HRS, Taipei, 17-20 Oct.

2018   Talk in the Annual Conference of Heart Rhythm Society, Boston, May

2017   Invited talk in Workshop on Mathematical Methods in Cardiac

           Electrophysiology, Ottawa, Canada, 3-6 November.

2017   Guest Research Topic Editor for Frontiers in Physiology, Frontiers in

           Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine 

2017   Chair for Atrial Fibrillation Special Session at Computer in Cardiology, Rennes

2017   Talk in the Annual Conference of Heart Rhythm Society, Chicago

2016   Invited talk in International Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Singapore

2016   Talk in the Annual Conference of Heart Rhythm Society, San Francisco

2012   Invited Overseas Faculty and Presenter, China Heart Congress, Beijing

 

Experience in Review

  • Ad hoc reviewer for granting agencies: UK Welcome Trust; Heart Research UK; Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Associate Editor for Nature Scientific Reports, Frontiers in Physiology, PLoS ONE
  • Ad hoc reviewer for journals: Circulation Arrhythmias & Electrophysiology, IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Engineering, Medical Image Analysis, PLoS Computational Biology, and The Journal of Physiology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Li, N., Kalyanasundaram, A., Hansen, B. J., Artiga, E. J., Sharma, R., Abudulwahed, S. H., ... Zakharkin, S. (2020). Impaired neuronal sodium channels cause intranodal conduction failure and reentrant arrhythmias in human sinoatrial node. Nature communications, 11 (1)10.1038/s41467-019-14039-8
  • van Hal, V. H. J., Zhao, D., Gilbert, K., Gamage, T. P. B., Mauger, C., Doughty, R. N., ... Camara, O. (2020). Comparison of 2D Echocardiography and Cardiac Cine MRI in the Assessment of Regional Left Ventricular Wall Thickness. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). 10.1007/978-3-030-39074-7_6
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Thiranja Babarenda Gamage, Alistair Young, Martyn Nash, Vicky Wang, Rob Doughty, Malcolm Legget, Debbie Zhao
  • Xiong, Z., Nalar, A., Jamart, K., Stiles, M. K., Fedorov, V. V., & Zhao, J. (2020). Fully Automatic 3D Bi-Atria Segmentation from Late Gadolinium-Enhanced MRIs Using Double Convolutional Neural Networks. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). 10.1007/978-3-030-39074-7_7
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Zhaohan Xiong
  • Jamart, K., Xiong, Z., Talou, G. M., Stiles, M. K., & Zhao, J. (2020). Two-Stage 2D CNN for Automatic Atrial Segmentation from LGE-MRIs. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics). 10.1007/978-3-030-39074-7_9
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Zhaohan Xiong, Gonzalo Maso Talou
  • Shao, Q., Meng, L., Lee, S., Tse, G., Gong, M., Zhang, Z., ... Liu, T. (2019). Empagliflozin, a sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitor, alleviates atrial remodeling and improves mitochondrial function in high-fat diet/streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Cardiovascular diabetology, 18 (1)10.1186/s12933-019-0964-4
  • Wang, Y., Xiong, Z., Nalar, A., Hansen, B. J., Kharche, S., Seemann, G., ... Zhao, J. (2019). A robust computational framework for estimating 3D Bi-Atrial chamber wall thickness. Computers in biology and medicine, 11410.1016/j.compbiomed.2019.103444
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Zhaohan Xiong
  • Lozano, W. M., Calvo, C. J., Arias-Mutis, O. J., Díaz A, Such-Miquel, L., Zhao, J., ... Zarzoso, M. (2019). Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome Reduced Heart Rate Variability and Increased Irregularity and Complexity of Short-Term RR Time Series in Rabbits. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9 (8).10.3390/ani9080572
  • Kalyanasundaram, A., Li, N., Hansen, B. J., Zhao, J., & Fedorov, V. V. (2019). Canine and human sinoatrial node: differences and similarities in the structure, function, molecular profiles, and arrhythmia. Journal of veterinary cardiology : the official journal of the European Society of Veterinary Cardiology, 22, 2-19. 10.1016/j.jvc.2018.10.004

Identifiers

Contact details

Primary office location

UNISERVICES HOUSE - Bldg 439
Level 6, Room 639
70 SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand

Social links

Web links