Imperial College London

Dr Hailin Zhao

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Research Associate







Chelsea and Westminster HospitalChelsea and Westminster Campus






Dr Hailin Zhao is a research associate in the Department of Anesthetics, Pain Medicine & Intensive Care, imperial college London.His research interests are in organo-protection and cancer biology. He has been working in the following research areas:

Renal medicine: Renal transplantation

As a mainstream therapeutic method, kidney transplantation has drastically transformed the health quality of patients suffering from end-stage renal failure. Success in renal transplantation is promoted by introduction of powerful immuno-suppressive medication. However, the long-term outcome of the transplanted kidney is still far from ideal. A high priority in kidney transplantation research, therefore, lies in the development of reno-protective strategy, which confers a long-term benefit in graft survival. Dr Zhao has been working in developing novel renoprotective strategy against early graft injury and later graft lost.

Neuroscience: Neonatal asphyxia

Perinatal hypoxic-ischaemic brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain during birth remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity. It is crucial that strategies are developed to minimise the long-term neurological sequelae of fetal hypoxia-ischaemia during birth. Dr Zhao has been working in developing novel neuroprotective therapies against neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.

Cancer biology: Tumor growth and metastasis

Cancer remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Surgical resection is a commonly used method for patients with solid tumors. However, tumor metastasis after cancer surgery often occurs, which is mainly responsible for deaths in cancer patients. Dr Zhao has been working in the molecular mechanisms of tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis and chemo-resistance and has been investigating the factors which promote cancer recurrence after surgery.

Molecular cell biology: regulated necrosis

Cell death research was revitalized by the understanding that necrosis can occur in a highly regulated and genetically controlled manner. Dr Zhao has been working on the novel cell mechanisms of regulated necrosis, such as necroptosis, parthanatos, pyroptosis and NETosis and exploring their potential roles in organ injury and disease. This is a cutting-edge field with substantial research interest and potential for clinics.

Dr Zhao's research is supported with grants from

British Medical Research Council (MRC), DPFS program (2009-2012)

SPARKS Charity (2012-2014)

BJA / RCoA Basic Science Research Fellowship (2014-2016)

BOC Chair cancer grant (2017-present)

Westminster Medical School Research Trust (2018-present)

The National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia, BJA/RCoA project grant (2018-present)

External Links:





Huang H, Liu P, Ma D, et al., 2022, Triiodothyronine attenuates neurocognitive dysfunction induced by sevoflurane in the developing brain of neonatal rats., J Affect Disord, Vol:297, Pages:455-462

Chen L, Alam A, Pac-Soo A, et al., 2021, Pretreatment with valproic acid alleviates pulmonary fibrosis through epithelial-mesenchymal transition inhibition in vitro and in vivo, Laboratory Investigation, Vol:101, ISSN:0023-6837, Pages:1166-1175

Ishikawa M, Iwasaki M, Zhao H, et al., 2021, Inhalational Anesthetics Inhibit Neuroglioma Cell Proliferation and Migration via miR-138,-210 and-335, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol:22

Ishikawa M, Iwasaki M, Zhao H, et al., 2021, Sevoflurane and Desflurane Exposure Enhanced Cell Proliferation and Migration in Ovarian Cancer Cells via miR-210 and miR-138 Downregulation, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol:22

Zhao H, Davies R, Ma D, 2021, Potential therapeutic value of dexmedetomidine in COVID-19 patients admitted to ICU., Br J Anaesth, Vol:126, Pages:e33-e35

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