Professor - Animal Physiology; Distinguished James McGill Professor
T: 514-398-7975 | xin.zhao [at] mcgill.ca (Email) | Macdonald-Stewart Building, MS1-084
BSc, MSc (Nanjing Agricultural University, China)
Xin Zhao obtained a bachelor degree in Animal Science in 1982 and a Master Degree in Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry in 1985 from Nanjing Agricultural University, China. Then, he went to US for his PhD study. After completing his PhD study in 1989 from Cornell University, he went to Canada for his postdoctoral study first in the University of Guelph and then in the University of Toronto. He started working at McGill University as an Assistant Professor in 1993 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1997 and Full professor in 2006.
Awards and Recognitions
- 2021- Distinguished James McGill Professor
- 2016 West Agro, Inc. Award, American Dairy Science Association
- 2014-2021 James McGill Professor, McGill University
- 2011 Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowship Award
- 2007-2014 James McGill Professor, McGill University
- 2006 Canadian Society of Animal Science's award for Technical Innovation in Enhancing Production of Safe Affordable Food
- 2002-2006 William Dawson Scholar, McGill University
- 2020-2023: Board director for American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)
- 2020-2024 Member of the Research Committee, Dairy Cattle Genetics and Research (DairyGen) Council of Canadian Dairy Network
My research interests pertain to mammary gland health in dairy cows and gut health in poultry. In dairy research, we focus on pathogenesis of mastitis, antibiotic resistance and genetic determination of milk components. In poultry research, we work on prebiotics, probiotics and gut microbiome.
Antimicrobial resistance of staphylococci from mastitic milk
We are working on (a) to reveal organizational and structural characteristics of antibiotic resistant genes in milk staphylococcal isolates; (b) to study the horizontal gene transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among staphylococcal isolates.
Prebiotics and probiotics for poultry production
We are systematically investigating effects of potential prebiotics and probiotics on production parameters, immune responses and gut microbiota in chickens, in order to reduce usage of antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry production.
We are working on (a) to develop new strategies to speed up the mammary gland involution during early dry periods, in order to reduce the incidence of mastitis during the early dry period; (b) to investigate genetic influence of milk components, in order to provide potential targets for animal breeding programs; (c) to study how heat stress affects milk production, in order to develop measures to mitigate the negative effects.