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Zhenqiang Yao, B.Med., Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 273-4129

Fax: (585) 756-4468

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments


Dr. Yao’s research interests focus on the basic and translational studies of musculoskeletal diseases and breast cancer.


1. Musculoskeletal Research: Our current projects focus on osteoimmunology with aging, which studies how interactions between bone and immune systems during aging cause age-related osteoporosis and immunosenescence, an acquired dysfunctional adaptive and innate immunity with aging, through TRAF3-NF-kappaB signaling. We are also collaborating with chemists to develop a bone-targeted lysosomal inhibitor that stabilizes TRAF3 to treat osteoporosis and immunosenescence.
2. Cancer Research: The most significant challenges in treating cancer are recurrence and metastasis. Our current projects focus on cancer immunotherapy using our newly developed engineered macrophage to prevent and eliminate metastatic cancers specifically while avoiding systemic side effects. We are also interested in the mechanism by which microbiome-derived LPS promotes the development of metastatic cancer and the influence of LPS signaling on the therapeutic response of metastatic cancer to a class of small molecular compounds that degrade IAP proteins.



MS | Kunming Medical College
Orthopedic Surgery

PhD | University of Westminster
Biomedical Science


The Mid-Career Faculty Travel Grant
Sponsor: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

Young Investigator Award
Sponsor: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

Young Investigator Award
Sponsor: International Society of Bone Morphology

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Patent Title: Phosphonate-Chloroquine Conjugates and Methods Using Same
Patent #: 10,660,884
Issue Date: May 26, 2020
Country: United States
Invented By: Robert K Boeckman, Jr., Brendan Boyce, Frank (Hal) Ebetino, Lifeng Xiao, Zhenqiang Yao


Journal Articles

Li J, Yao Z, Liu X, Duan R, Yi X, Ayoub A, Sanders JO, Mesfin A, Xing L, Boyce BF. "TGF?1CCR5 neutrophil subset increases in bone marrow and causes age-related osteoporosis in male mice." Nature communications.. 2023 Jan 11; 14(1):159. Epub 2023 Jan 11.

Yao Z, Boyce BF. "TGF? priming promotes TNF-induced bone erosion: a promising new target in RA?" Nature reviews. Rheumatology.. 2022 Sep 16; Epub 2022 Sep 16.

Shen G, Liu X, Lei W, Duan R, Yao Z. "Plumbagin is a NF-?B-Inducing Kinase Inhibitor with Dual Anabolic and Anti-Resorptive Effects that Prevents Menopausal-Related Osteoporosis in Mice." The Journal of biological chemistry.. 2022 Feb 27; :101767. Epub 2022 Feb 27.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: RANKL-Based Osteoclastic Assay from Murine Bone Marrow Cells
Book Title: Skeletal Development and Repair. Methods in Molecular Biology
Author List: Yao Z, Xing L and Boyce B.
Published By: Springer 2021

Chapter Title: Osteoclast Signal Transduction Pathways: The RANKL/RANK System.
Book Title: Encyclopedia of Bone Biology
Author List: Yao Z, Boyce B.
Published By: Elsevier 2020

Chapter Title: Translational Pharmacology in the Development of RANKL Inhibitors
Book Title: Encyclopedia of Bone Biology
Author List: Boyce B, Yao Z.
Published By: Elsevier 2020