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Zhao Sun successfully passed his Ph.D. examination

Friday, December 11, 2015

Zhao Sun successfully passed his Ph.D. examination on Friday, December 11, 2015, in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. His thesis title was "New Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Dental Epithelial Stem Cell Maintenance, Growth and Craniofacial Morphogenesis". Members of her thesis committee were chair, Brad Amendt, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Andrew Russo, Physiology; Andrew Lidral, Dows Institute for Dental Research; Martine Dunnwald, Neonatology and John Engelhardt and Hank Qi from Anatomy and Cell Biology.

Zhao Sun graduated from School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, China in 2010 with a Master's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. During his time at East China Normal University, Zhao used forward genetic approaches to screen enzyme-producing fungi with better enzyme activity and improved low-pH tolerance.

After graduating from ECNU, Zhao was admitted to the Biomedicine Program of the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Texas A&M University at Houston. He joined Dr. Brad Amendt's lab in
2011 and focused his research on the roles of miRNA and transcription factor in craniofacial/dental development. In 2012, he relocated with Dr. Amendt's lab to The University of Iowa and joined the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology PhD Program. As a graduate student, he participated in several research projects and presented his work at several national/international conferences.

In his spare time, Zhao likes to fish in the Iowa River, travel and practice photography. He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Following graduation, Zhao will continue to investigate topics he worked on in Dr. Amendt's laboratory while seeking a postdoc position to diversify his scientific background.