As the only faculty with a medical background in our department, my teaching effectiveness has been reflected by the high rating from 1864 students in the recent four years. It is the students at UNA who provide me with continuous power to keep my loving and enthusiasm in teaching. The course I mainly teach in our department is Human Anatomy and Physiology which is intended to prepare the future nurses and other health related professionals. As the construction of the new Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions Building is in progress, I try my best to help more students realize their dreams in the future. My scholarly activity focuses clinically related diseases: obesity and diabetes, the epidemic diseases in Alabama. More specifically, my work is to study the mechanisms how the obesity surgery demonstrated immediate and long-standing improvement or resolution of diabetes that appeared to be independent of body weight loss. My research project was supported by RO1 grant for my mentor, Dr. April Strader (NIDDK No. 1RC1DK086999-01, $742,541), which is the most competitive grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH). I have published two papers after I came to UNA as both the first author and corresponding author, especially one in a journal with high impact factor. Courtney Hunt, a student who worked in my lab from College of Nursing at UNA, won second prize in both Alabama Academy of Science and UNA Research Day. I have served on a number of committees, taskforces, and work groups across the college and campus. In my department, I served most SOAR sessions from summer 2016 to summer 2018. At the college level, I am serving in Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee and College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. I joined the Dragon Boat Team for COAS in both 2016 and 2017. Most recently, I have been called to serve the joint program between UNA and Huaiyin Normal University in China for our department.

Research Interests

  • Obesity surgery and diabetes


  •   Molecular, Cellular and Systemic (PhD)
    Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  •   Molecular, Cellular and Systemic (MS)
    Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  •   Medicine (BS)
    Nanjing Medical University

Selected Intellectual Contributions

  • Ping Zhao. 2020. Switching Fractioned R-CHOP Cycles to Standard R-CHOP Cycles Guided by Endoscopic Ultrasonography in Treating Patients with Primary Gastric Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Cancer management and Research
  • Ping Zhao, Donna Wendt, Sean Z. Goodin, Shewtha Ravichandran, and Michael L. Chouinard. 2018. Adaptation of Intestinal and Bile Acid Physiology Accompany the Metabolic Benefits Following Ileal Interposition in the Rat. Obesity surgery
  • Ping Zhao and April Strader. 2017. Ileal Interposition Surgery cannot Prevent the Onset of Type 2 Diabetes in Rats.. Journal of Alabama Academy of Science
  • Alicia R. Kiechler, Elliott Zieman, Ping Zhao, and April D. Strader. 2011. Energy Balance Dysregulation and Glucose Intolerance in the Melanocortin Receptor 4 Knockout Rat. Obesity
  • Elizabeth D. Grisley, Ping Zhao, and April D. Strader. 2011. GLUT2 mRNA and Protein Within the Small Intestine Following Ileal Interposition. Obesity
  • Ping Zhao, Elliott Zieman, and April D. Strader. 2011. The Metabolic Effects of Internal Biliary Diversion. Obesity
  • Ping Zhao, Shwetha Ravichandran, and April D. Strader. 2010. Improved glucose tolerance, insulin and GLP-1 secretion in a high-fat fed streptozotocin-treated rat model with ileal interposition. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases