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

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


Spinal Cord Injury Medicine

Medical Acupuncture

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


  • Clinical 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

Clinic Fax: 916-734-7838
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

Center/Program Affiliation

Spine Center


M.D., Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China 1983

Internship: University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 2000-2001


Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 2002-2004

Board Certifications

American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,

American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine,

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

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, 1997, 1998, 1999

Graduate Student Scholarship, the American Society of Virology, 1994, 1995

Select Recent Publications

Wilsey B, Marcotte TD, Deutsch R, Zhao H, Prasad H, Phan A. An Exploratory Human Laboratory Experiment Evaluating Vaporized Cannabis in the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain From Spinal Cord Injury and Disease. J Pain. 2016 Sep;17(9):982-1000. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 Jun 7. PMID:27286745.

Yao E, Gerritz PK, Henricson E, Abresch T, Kim J, Han J, Wang K, Zhao H. Randomized controlled trial comparing acupuncture with placebo acupuncture for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. PM R. 2012 May;4(5):367-73. doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.01.008. Epub 2012 Mar 7. PMID:22405683.

Joshi TN, Yamazaki MK, Zhao H, Becker D. Spinal schistosomiasis: differential diagnosis for acute paraparesis in a U.S. resident. J Spinal Cord Med. 2010;33(3):256-60. doi:10.1080/10790268.2010.11689703. PMID:20737799.

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

Yamazaki MK, Zhao H. Poster 345: Spinal neuroschistosomiasis: a case report. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2008;89 (11):E133. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2008.09.350.

Hoffman MD, Lee J, Zhao H, Tsodikov A. Pain perception after running a 100-mile ultramarathon. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Aug;88(8):1042-8. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2007.05.004. PMID:17678668.

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):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.