Research models

Justin Zhao, PhD

Principal Scientist


+ Genome editing and animal model generation

+ Biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology

+ In vivo research and services

What inspired you to enter your field of work?

I love animals and believe that studying them can help us better understand human diseases. I originally studied animal and veterinary science, then changed to biochemistry and molecular biology for my master's degree. 

After teaching biochemistry and molecular biology at a university for several years, I moved to the US to pursue a PhD with a major in comparative and experimental medicine. Continuing my interest in using animals to study human disease, my postdoctoral work was in a field of development biology.

What are your individual responsibilities?

I lead a group of scientists in making animal models for pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, government, and academia organizations. Our models mimic human diseases in order to help our customers find treatments for those diseases. 

As a leading scientist, I am responsible for most of the scientific aspects of our animal model generation and characterizations. 

Tell us about some of your achievements. 

Over the last 10 years, we have successfully created nearly a thousand animal models. These models have helped our customers achieve their research objectives as they seek to find treatments for numerous human diseases. 

By way of example, and to highlight the importance of the work we do, we are currently making animal models to help scientists in their fight against the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

What makes Envigo different?

Envigo is the largest organization solely dedicated to providing research models and related products and services. As a result, the animal model generation department has excellent opportunities to work with customers as they seek to develop new treatments.

Compared to other companies in this field, we have more experience using engineered endonucleases to make different types of animal models. For example, we were the first commercial provider to use engineered endonucleases to make genome modified mouse, rat, and rabbit models.

What motivates you?

As a company, we want to remain the top animal model provider in the world and, continue delivering scientific excellence to our customers. 

My work in animal model generation and in vivo services is a perfect fit for me, because it offers opportunities to improve our understanding of many different types of human disease.

I am passionate about making the world a healthier and safer place to live. The work we do in the laboratory helps to save more human lives from diseases.

If you have a question for Justin or are interested in learning more about our animal modeling capabilities, please contact us.

Review Justin's CV