Haiqing Zhao


Associate Research Scientist

Haiqing Zhao is a postdoctoral research scientist in Barry Honig’s laboratory. Trained in physics, computer science and biophysics, Haiqing is interested in applying fundamental physics or chemistry principles to understand the biophysics perspective of biology. Currently, he develops and applies computational methods from molecular biophysics aiming to understand specificity in protein-protein interactions and examine how closely related proteins from the same family behave. From this investigation, he expects to develop an improved prediction algorithm for protein-protein interactions.

Haiqing earned his PhD in biophysics with Dr. Garyk Papoian at University of Maryland. His PhD thesis titled, “Uncovering the Biophysical Mechanisms of Histone Complex Assembly”, reveals the step-by-step assembly principles of histones and those dynamics differences between canonical and variant histone. He was a research trainee in the UMD-NCI partnership program, where he was co-advised by Dr. Dalal Yamini from NCI/NIH for three years. 


Education History

PhD, Biophysics, University of Maryland



Zhao H ., Wu, H., Guseman, A., Abeykoon, D., Camara, C. M., Dalal, Y., ... & Papoian, G. A. (2024). The role of cryptic ancestral symmetry in histone folding mechanisms across Eukarya and Archaea. PLOS Computational Biology, 20(1), e1011721.

Zhao H., Petrey, D. S., Murray, D., & Honig, B. (2023). ZEPPI: proteome-scale sequence-based evaluation of protein-protein interaction models. bioRxiv, 2023-05.

Petrey, D., Zhao H., Trudeau, S. J., Murray, D., & Honig, B. (2023). PrePPI: A Structure Informed Proteome-wide Database of Protein–Protein Interactions. Journal of Molecular Biology, 168052.

Su, Z., Kon, N., Yi, J., Zhao H., Zhang, W., Tang, Q., ... & Gu, W. (2023). Specific regulation of BACH1 by the hotspot mutant p53R175H reveals a distinct gain-of-function mechanism. Nature Cancer, 4(4), 564-581.

Zhao H, Winogradoff D, Dalal Y, and Papoian G. The Oligomerization Landscape of Histones. Biophysical Journal 116, no. 10 (2019): 1845-1855.

Zhao H, Winogradoff D, Bui D, Dalal Y, and Papoian G. Promiscuous Histone Mis-assembly is Actively Prevented by Chaperones. Journal of the American Chemical Society (highlighted on the cover and spotlight), no. 40 (2016): 13207-13218. 

Winogradoff D, Zhao H, Dalal Y, and Papoian G. Shearing of the CENP-A Dimerization Interface Mediates Plasticity in the Octameric Centromeric Nucleosome. Scientific Reports (2015): 17038.

Melters D, Nye J, Zhao H, and Dalal Y. Chromatin Dynamics in vivo: a Game of Musical Chairs. Genes, no. 3 (2015): 751-776.

Zhao H, Rui S, and Wang Y. Nanoscale Tail Aggregation in Ionic Liquids: Roles of Electrostatic and Van der waals Interactions. Communications in Theoretical Physics, no. 3 (2011): 499.