Dr. Zan Gao obtained his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 2007. He is a faculty at the Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Science in Texas Tech University. Dr. Gao's research has primarily focused on fighting childhood obesity through school-based/community-based physical activity intervention. He has published 20 first-authored and two other co-authored research papers in peer-reviewed journals such as Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (RQES), the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education (JTPE), the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, International Journal of Sport Psychology, and Quest. He has been the recipient of several international and national awards, including the 2006 American Education Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group-Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education Graduate Student Research Award, the 2007 American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship Award, the 2008 National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education (NAKPEHE) Hally Beth Poindexter Young Scholar Award, and the 2009 AAHPERD Mabel Lee Award.
Dr. Gao has been the principal investigator of AAHPERD Seed Grant and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Salud America! Grant. He also serves as a reviewer for many journals including, but not limited to, RQES, JTPE, the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Tourism Management, and Journal of School Health, as a review board member for the Middle Grades Research Journal. Before moving to Texas, he held a faculty position in the University of Utah.