Dr. Zhou is an experienced stem cell biologist with great passion to work on the stem cell field, especially on the application of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) technologies.
Dr. Zhou has been performing research with hPSCs through her whole career. As a Ph.D. student in Dr. Miguel Esteban’s laboratory at GIBH, she innovated a minimally invasive approach to generate iPSCs from different individuals, and used this technique to develop a panel of iPSC models for studying premature aging and cardiovascular diseases. In Dr. Shuibing Chen’s laboratory at Weill Cornell, Dr. Zhou worked on hPSC-derived pancreatic beta cells. Taking the full advantage of large-scale chemical screening with the hPSC-derived cells, she has explored the potential environmental triggers for diabetes, and investigated the gene-environment interactions that may underlie the etiopathology of diabetes. In addition, she has established an imaging based screening system using hPSC-derived neural progenitor cells to discover anti-Zika virus drug candidates. Besides the hPSC technologies, Dr. Zhou is also an enthusiast for the new genome editing technology, and has experienced the rapid evolution from Zinc finger nuclease mediated, TALEN mediated to CRSIRP/Cas9 mediated genome editing, and has used it extensively in her own research.
Looking forward, Dr. Zhou will continue to use her expertise to contribute to the development of the stem cell field, and she welcomes collaboration with investigators of all levels from SKI, the Tri-institutes and other institutions.