Li, Zhao


Contact Information

Young Hall 4238
(310) 206-1383


Zhao received her bachelor's degree in polymer science in the honors program from Sichuan University in 2010 and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from UCLA in 2015 under the direction of Professor Yung-Ya Lin.    She is currently a Libby Teacher-Scholar teaching undergraduate chemistry courses and continuing her research on early cancer detection and targeted therapy by magnetic resonance molecular imaging and nano theranostics in Lin's laboratory. Zhao also helps mentor about fifteen group members for graduate and undergraduate research.


The department's Teacher-Scholar program allows assistant adjunct professors to conduct research and teaching simultaneously, as a way to effectively prepare them for future faculty positions. In research, Zhao received a Roy and Dorothy John Fellowship from Division of Physical Sciences in 2014, the department's Physical Chemistry Dissertation Award in 2015, the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research Award in 2016, and the Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN) Scholar Award in 2018. In teaching, Zhao was awarded the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Hanson-Dow Teaching Assistant Award in 2011 and the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award for Teaching Assistants in 2015. In 2018, Zhao received the department’s highest teaching award, the Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-Senate Faculty.