Holly Zhao, M.D., Ph.D.

Holly H. Zhao, M.D., Ph.D.


Medical Acupuncture

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Spinal Cord Injury Medicine


  • Associate Professor
To see if Holly H. Zhao is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

4860 Y St., Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Clinical Interests

Dr. Zhao has clinical interests in various neurological disorders, such as spinal cord injury, brain injury and stroke, as well as acupuncture treatment for various sports injuries and pain syndromes. Her research interests focus on medical conditions related to physical disabilities such as metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis in spinal cord injury, as well as efficacy of acupuncture in pain management.


Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


M.D., Third Military Medical University, Chong Qing, 1983


University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2004

Board Certifications

American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2005

American Board of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, 2007

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Honors and Awards

Elan Pharmaceutical Awards for Outstanding Paper Presentations, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2003

Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2003

Burroughs-Wellcome Award, the American Endocrine Society, 1999

Research Day Award Winner, University of Texas HSC, 1999

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship Award, 1996

Graduate Student Scholarship, the American Society of Virology, 1994

Select Recent Publications

Joshi T, Yamazaki M, Zhao H, Becker D. Spinal Schistosomiasis: A differential diagnosis for acute paraparesis in US resident. J Spinal Cord Med 2010; 33(3):256-60.

Vandenakker-Albanese C, Zhao H. Brown-Sequard syndrome: multimedia. eMediciine. 2008.

Yamazaki MK, Zhao H. Spinal neuroschistosomiasis: a case report. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2008; 89 (11): E133.

Hoffman MD, Lee J, Zhao H, Tsodikov A. Pain perception after running a 100-Mile Ultramarathon. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2007; 88(8): 1042-8.

Skalsky AJ, Zhao HH, Bourgeois JA. Post-stroke psychosis in the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting: a case report. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2006; 85(3): 265.

Fraix MP, Zhao HH, Kilmer DD. Rehabilitation of a patient with locked-in syndrome secondary to neuromyelitis optica: a case report. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2006; 87(11): E48.

Kilmer DD, Zhao HH: Obesity, physical activity, and the metabolic syndrome in adult neuromuscular disease. Gregory T. Carter, MD, Guest Editor; George H. Kraft, MD, MS, Consulting Editor, (eds), Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2005; 16:(4), WB Saunders, Philadelphia, pp. 1053-62.

Zhao H, Horton JA, Munin MC, Penrod L. An unusual case of Brown-Sequard syndrome caused by a hypotensive event during cervical laminoplasty: a case report. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2003, 82(3): 241.

Zhao H, Liu BY, Boninger M, Zafonte R. Healthcare trends in women with disability in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2003, 82(3): 231-2.

Zhao H, Yee D, Barr FG, Brown PH, Fuqua S, Osborne CK. FKHR, a bifunctional nuclear receptor interacting protein with both co-activator and corepressor functions. J Biol Chem 2001, 276(30): 27907-12.

Fuqua S, Zhao H, Osborne CK. Structure and function of selective estrogen receptor modulators (Review). J Clin Oncol 2000, 18(17); 3172-86.

De B, Gupta S, Zhao H, Banerjee AK. Specific interaction in vitro and in vivo of G3PD and La protein with Cis-acting RNAs of human parainfluenza virus-3. J Biol Chem 1996, 271(40): 24728-35.

Zhao H, De B, Das T, Banerjee AK. Inhibition of human parainfluenza virus-3 by interferon and human MxA. Virology 1996, 220: 330-8.

Zhao H, Banerjee AK. Interaction between the nucleocapsid protein and the phosphoprotein of human parainfluenza virus-3: mapping of the interacting domains using a two-hybrid system. J Biol Chem 1995, 270(21): 12485-90.

Zhao H, Sun BY. Roles of oxygen free radicals and antiperoxidation enzyme in acute lung injury induced by ZAP. Chinese J Pathophysiol 1990, 6(2): 95-99.