Dr. Zai has been conducting a number of pharmacogenetics studies in schizophrenia patients since 2004, with particular focus on the antipsychotic-induced side effect of tardive dyskinesia. He is continuing with pharmacogenetic studies as a project scientist in a federally funded randomized controlled three-arm pharmacogenetic clinical trial. More recently, his research portfolio has expanded to include genetic studies of suicidal behaviour.
His main research goal is to elucidate the mechanism of psychiatric disorders and suicidal behaviour. His multidisciplinary research strategies (from high-throughput genetic analyses, animal behavioral models, to interactions with social and environmental factors) will yield findings that can potentially be translated to suicide prevention and better outcome for psychiatric patients.