Titles and Roles
- Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Oncology Genetics
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Research Program
- Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics
Dr. Zhou joined the faculty of Emory in 2001. He is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Research Scholar and American Cancer Society Research Scholar. His research focuses on molecular genetics of human cancer. He is a member of the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Research Program, the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Association for Advancement of Science.
Dr. Zhou obtained his PhD from Emory University in 1995 and did his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow.
Dr. Zhou is the recipient of the following awards:
- Howards Hughes Research Fellowship, 1995-1998
- Georgia Cancer Coalition distinguished Researched Scholar, 2003-present
Dr. Zhou's laboratory studies the functions of novel tumor suppressor genes in the context of specific human cancers. His group recently discovered a tumor suppressor gene called Sox7 that is inactivated in both colon and prostate tumors, thus allowing the aberrant activation of WNT signaling. However, the gene's protein product, Sox7, acts as a regulator of a subset of genes that are specifically expressed in prostate tumors, including the androgen-responsive genes. Dr. Zhou's team is currently investigating the specific effect of Sox7 inactivation in prostate cancers.
In a related area of interest, Dr. Zhou is also intrigued by the molecular basis for the tumor-type specific inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. A recent area of focus is the LKB1 tumor suppressor, which is preferentially inactivated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The group discovered a potential mechanism that could explain the lack of LKB1 mutations in other major tumor types. In addition, as each mechanism is studied, the opportunities for developing new and better targeted cancer therapies increase, ultimately providing benefits to cancer patients. For example, Dr. Zhou is currently developing a unique therapeutic approach for NSCLC tumors that lack the LKB1 function.