Non-coding RNAs, exemplified by small interfering RNAs and microRNAs, play a critical role in myriad physiological and pathological processes, including innate immunity, homeostasis, cell proliferation and differentiation. Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the production of these RNAs and elucidating their function in tumor formation, development and innate immunity.
Molecular mechanisms governing the production of non-coding RNAs and their function in tumor formation, development and innate immunity.
Dr. Zhou received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University.
Rui Zhou's Research Focus
Non-coding RNAs and Tumor Formation
The Zhou laboratory is employing a combination of biochemical, genetic and functional genomic approaches to study the molecular mechanism governing the biogenesis of regulatory non-coding RNAs, and to elucidate the function of these RNAs in tumor formation, development and innate immunity.
Rui Zhou's Research Report
Non-coding RNAs are widely expressed in diverse organisms, including humans. They have been implicated in myriad physiological and pathological processes, including innate immunity, homeostasis, and cell proliferation. For example, by fine-tuning target gene expression, select microRNAs control various aspects of cell proliferation and differentiation, and defects in microRNA biogenesis and function can lead to the development of cancer. In addition, select non-coding RNAs (small interfering RNAs, microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs) are key components of innate immunity, which is the first line of defense against invading pathogens. Dysregulation of innate immunity signaling also contributes to tumor formation. Our laboratory is employing biochemical, genetic and functional genomic approaches to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the production of these non-coding RNAs and to elucidate their function in tumor formation, development and innate immunity.
We have recently shown that the core splicing factor SmD1 and the adaptor protein dCRIF play an important role in the biogenesis and function of small interfering RNAs and microRNAs (Xiong
et al, PNAS, 2013; Lim et al, RNA Biology, 2014; Xiong et al, PLoS Genetics, 2015). We are currently determining the molecular context in which they operate to modulate these processes. In addition, we have identified a collection of microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs relevant to innate immunity, and are currently in the process of elucidating their role in modulating innate immunity signaling. These studies will further advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism governing non-coding RNA biogenesis, and provide insights into their function in oncogenesis, development and innate immunity.
About Rui Zhou
Rui Zhou earned his B.Sc. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Peking University and M.S. in Biochemistry from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry. He then trained with Dr. Tom Maniatis at Harvard University for doctoral studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology. After postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Dr. Norbert Perrimon, Dr. Zhou was recruited to the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in 2011.
Harvard University, Ph.D. in Biochemistry, 2003
Harvard University, M.A. in Biology, 2000
Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, M.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1997
Peking University, B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1994