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Baohong Zhao, PhD

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Photo of Dr. Zhao

Baohong Zhao, PhD

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Research Description

Laboratory of Pathological Bone Metabolism and Osteoimmunology

We study osteoimmunology, an interdisciplinary field linking bone biology and immune system, with a focus on the inflammatory regulation of gene expression and signaling in osteoclastogenesis, adipogenesis, skeletal damage and repair involved in diseases, such as osteoporosis and inflammatory arthritis. We use genetic approaches (knockout and transgenic mice), primary cells (for example, bone marrow cells and PBMCs), a combination of molecular and cellular methods and various disease models, such as osteoporosis, arthritis or tumor metastasis mouse models. We have worked extensively on signal transduction and crosstalk, genetic and epigenetic regulation of gene expression, cell differentiation and in vivo bone remodeling and metabolism. We have published work at Nature Medicine, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Immunology, and Nature Communications (http://vivo.med.cornell.edu/display/cwid-baz3002).


Bone destruction is a severe consequence of many skeletal diseases, including the common but refractory diseases, inflammatory arthritis and osteoporosis, and is a major cause of morbidity and disability in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Our long term goals are to identify and understand the mechanisms that regulate bone remodeling in inflammatory settings, and to develop new therapeutic approaches to suppress pathological bone resorption, recover bone formation and repair skeletal damage based on our discoveries of pathogenic mechanisms and drug targets.

Dr. Baohong Zhao holds faculty positions at Weill Cornell Medicine, BCMB graduate program and the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). HSS is ranked national number 1 in Orthopedics for many years and No. 3 in Rheumatology. Weill Cornell Medicine, BCMB program and HSS provide strong academic support and resources for us to study and improve skeletal health. We expect that our research will benefit the treatment of RA, inflammatory arthritis and multiple skeleton diseases.


Research Topics:

  • Cell differentiation
  • Genetic and epigenetic regulation of gene expression
  • Signal transduction and crosstalk
  • Skeletal development and diseases: RA, osteoporosis and tumor metastasis

Candidates interested in Postdoctoral positions should send a detailed resume, electronic reprints of recent publications, and names and contact information for three references to zhaob@hss.edu

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Research staff at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however, HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists Research staff collaborations with outside companies if the Research staff member received any payment during the prior year or expects to receive any payment in the next year. The disclosures are based on information provided by the Research staff and other sources and are updated regularly. Current ownership interests and leadership positions are also listed. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

As of April 27, 2020, Dr. Zhao reported no relationships with healthcare industry.

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS Research staff with industry on this website, HSS and its Research staff make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit payment of royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Selected Publications

Zhao B, Katagiri T, Toyoda H, Takada T, Yanai T, Fukuda T, Chung U, Koike T, Takaoka K, and Kamijo R. Heparin Potentiates the in Vivo Ectopic Bone Formation Induced by Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281(32), 23246-23253, 2006. PMID: 16754660

Mochizuki A, Takami M, Kawawa T, Suzumoto R, Sasaki T, Shiba A, Tsukasaki H, Zhao B, Yasuhara R, Suzawa T, Miyamoto Y, Choi Y, and Kamijo R. Identification and characterization of the precursors committed to osteoclasts induced by TNF-related activation-induced cytokine/receptor activator of NF-kappa B ligand. Journal of Immunology, 177: 4360 – 4368, 2006. PMID: 16982870

Yamada A, Takami M, Kawawa T, Yasuhara R, Zhao B, Mochizuki A, Miyamoto Y, Eto T, Yasuda H, Nakamichi Y, Kim N, Katagiri T, Suda T, Kamijo R. Interleukin-4 inhibition of osteoclast differentiation is stronger than that of interleukin-13 and they are equivalent for induction of osteoprotegerin production from osteoblasts  Immunology 120 (4), 573–579, 2007. PMC2265899

Zhao B, Takami M, Miyamoto Y, Suzawa T, Yamada A, Mochizuki A, Yasuhara R, Wang X, Inoue T, Namiki O, Sakamoto K, Kamijo R. Characterization of synovial cell clones isolated from rheumatoid arthritis patients: possible involvement of TNF-alpha in reduction of osteoprotegerin in synovium.  Cytokine, 41, 61-70, 2008. PMID: 18083042

Zhao B, Takami M, Kamijo R. Regulation of Osteoclast Differentiation by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). J Tissue Cult Dent Res. 17(2): p33-39, 2008.

Takami M, Mochizuki A, Yamada A, Tachi K, Zhao B, Miyamoto Y, Anada T, Honda Y, Inoue T, Nakamura M, Suzuki O, Kamijo R. Osteoclast differentiation induced by synthetic octacalcium phosphate through RANKL expression in osteoblasts. Tissue Eng Part A. 15: 3991-4000, 2009. PMID: 19594360

Zhao B, Takami M, Yamada A, Wang X, Koga T, Hu X, Tamura T, Ozato K, Choi Y, Ivashkiv LB, Takayanagi H, Kamijo R. Interferon regulatory factor 8 regulates bone metabolism by suppressing osteoclastogenesis. Nature Medicine 15:1066-1071, 2009. PMC2755267

Kalliolias G, Zhao B, Triantafyllopoulou A, Park-Min K, Ivashkiv L. IL-27 inhibits human osteoclastogenesis by abrogating RANKL-mediated induction of NFATc1 and suppressing proximal RANK signaling. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 62(2):402-13, 2010. PMC2822027

Zhao B, Ivashkiv L. Negative regulation of osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption by cytokines and transcriptional repressors. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 13(4): 234, 2011. PMC3239342

Ivashkiv L, Zhao B, Park-Min KH, Takami M. Feedback inhibition of osteoclastogenesis during inflammation by IL-10, M-CSF receptor shedding, and induction of IRF8. Ann N Y Acad Sci., 1237: 88-94, 2011. PMC3263822

Zhao B, Grimes S, Li S, Hu X, Ivashkiv L. TNF-induced Osteoclastogenesis and Inflammatory Bone Resorption are Inhibited by Transcription Factor RBP-J. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 209(2): 319-34, 2012. PMC3280875

Xu H, Zhu J, Smith S, Foldi J, Zhao B, Chung A, Outtz H, Kitajewski J, Shi C, Weber S, Saftig P, Li Y, Ozato K, Blobel C, Ivashkiv L, Hu X. Notch-RBP-J Signaling Regulates IRF8 to Promote Inflammatory Macrophage Polarization. Nature Immunology, 13(7): 642-50, 2012. PMC3513378

Zhao R, Wang A, Hall KC, Otero M, Weskamp G, Zhao B, Hill D, Goldring MB, Glomski K, Blobel CP. Lack of ADAM10 in endothelial cells affects osteoclasts at the chondro-osseus junction. J Orthop Res., 32:224–230, 2014. PMID: 24108673

Park-Min K, Lim E, Lee M, Park S, Giannopoulou E, Yarilina A, Meulen M, Zhao B, Smithers N, Witherington J, Lee K, Tak P, Prinjha R, Ivashkiv L. Inhibition of osteoclastogenesis and inflammatory bone resorption by targeting BET proteins and epigenetic regulation. Nature Communications, 2014 Nov 13;5:5418. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6418

Li S, Miller C, Giannopoulou E, Hu X, Ivashkiv L , Zhao B. RBP-J imposes a requirement for ITAM-mediated costimulation of osteoclastogenesis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2014 Nov 3;124(11):5057-73

Susan Li, Christine H. Miller, Eugenia Giannopoulou, Xiaoyu Hu, Lionel B. Ivashkiv, and Baohong Zhao. RBP-J imposes a requirement for ITAM-mediated costimulation of osteoclastogenesis. The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014; 124:5057-5073

Christine H. Miller, Sinead M. Smith, Mahmoud Elguindy, Tuo Zhang, Jenny Z. Xiang, Xiaoyu Hu, Lionel B. Ivashkiv and Baohong Zhao. RBP-J-Regulated miR-182 Promotes TNF-a -Induced Osteoclastogenesis. Journal of Immunology 2016; 196:4977-4986

Baohong Zhao. TNF and Bone Remodeling, Current Osteoporosis Reports, 2017; 5:126–134

Nikolaus Binder, Christine Miller, Masaki Yoshida, Kazuki Inoue, Shinichi Nakano, Xiaoyu Hu, Lionel B. Ivashkiv, Georg Schett, Alessandra Pernis, Steven R. Goldring,  F. Patrick Ross and Baohong Zhao. Def6 Restrains Osteoclastogenesis and Inflammatory Bone Resorption, Journal of Immunology 2017; 198:3436-3447

Kazuki Inoue,  Zhonghao Deng, Yufan Chen, Eugenia Giannopoulou, Ren Xu, Shiaoching Gong, Matthew B. Greenblatt, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, David G. Kirsch, Anil K. Sood, Liang Zhao & Baohong Zhao. Bone protection by inhibition of microRNA-182. Nature Communications  2018 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06446-0

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.


Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Associate Professor, Graduate Program in Cell & Developmental Biology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Associate Scientist, Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program, Hospital for Special Surgery