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Chuangzhen Zhao

Dr. Chuanzhen Zhao (M.S. ’17 chemistry, Ph.D. ’20 materials chemistry P. Weiss and A. Andrews groups), currently a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford, has been named to Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Science list for 2023 in recognition of his work in making biosensors for healthcare monitoring.

Hormones like cortisol, which are released when people are stressed, are powerful markers of what’s happening inside the body. However, measuring them in real-time is difficult.  Zhao has created a DNA-biosensor smartwatch that can assess cortisol levels in sweat– accurately, noninvasively, and in real-time. Read more about the research here.

According to Forbes magazine, their writers and editors, with the help of expert independent judges, evaluated more than 12,000 candidates on factors including funding, revenue, social impact, inventiveness, and potential to compile the 12th annual list. “The 600 who made the cut are both an inspiration and a challenge to the conventional wisdom. Either way, they provide plenty of reason to believe that tomorrow will be brighter than today.”

Currently, a postdoctoral scholar in Professor Zhenan Bao’s lab at Stanford University, Zhao is working on developing flexible and stretchable biosensors and bioelectronics.

Zhao received his Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from UCLA in 2020 working with Professor Paul S. Weiss and Professor Anne M. Andrews in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Health. His Ph.D. research focused on developing translational biosensors, including implantable neuroprobes and wearable devices, to monitor chemical signaling in the body. While at UCLA, Zhao received a Materials Research Society (MRS) Gold Graduate Student Award, a Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation Award, a Dissertation Year Fellowship, and a Thomas and Ruth F. Jacobs Dissertation Award. He received his bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering from the Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China in 2015, which included research at UCLA in the Cross-disciplinary Scholars in Science and Technology program in 2014. Zhao is the first author or co-author of 25 publications in top journals.