Rui Zhou, Ph.D.

Rui Zhou headshot

Rui Zhou, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Fax: (858) 795-5387

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 (Xiong et al, PLoS Pathogens, 2016). 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.

Rui Zhou's Bio

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 SBP 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

TIM Accessory


Inducing RNAi in Drosophila cells by soaking with dsRNA.

Zhou R, Mohr S, Hannon GJ, Perrimon N

Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2014 May 1 ;2014(5)

Gene regulation by non-coding RNAs.

Patil VS, Zhou R, Rana TM

Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 2014 Jan-Feb ;49(1):16-32

Requirement for CRIF1 in RNA interference and Dicer-2 stability.

Lim SJ, Scott A, Xiong XP, Vahidpour S, Karijolich J, Guo D, Pei S, Yu YT, Zhou R, Li WX

RNA Biol 2014 ;11(9):1171-9

Show All Select Publications

The therapeutic and diagnostic potential of regulatory noncoding RNAs in medulloblastoma.

Joshi P, Katsushima K, Zhou R, Meoded A, Stapleton S, Jallo G, Raabe E, Eberhart CG, Perera RJ

Neurooncol Adv 2019 May-Dec ;1(1):vdz023

miR-34 Modulates Innate Immunity and Ecdysone Signaling in Drosophila.

Xiong XP, Kurthkoti K, Chang KY, Li JL, Ren X, Ni JQ, Rana TM, Zhou R

PLoS Pathog 2016 Nov ;12(11):e1006034

A conserved virus-induced cytoplasmic TRAMP-like complex recruits the exosome to target viral RNA for degradation.

Molleston JM, Sabin LR, Moy RH, Menghani SV, Rausch K, Gordesky-Gold B, Hopkins KC, Zhou R, Jensen TH, Wilusz JE, Cherry S

Genes Dev 2016 Jul 15 ;30(14):1658-70

SmD1 Modulates the miRNA Pathway Independently of Its Pre-mRNA Splicing Function.

Xiong XP, Vogler G, Kurthkoti K, Samsonova A, Zhou R

PLoS Genet 2015 Aug ;11(8):e1005475

Gene regulation by non-coding RNAs.

Patil VS, Zhou R, Rana TM

Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 2014 Jan-Feb ;49(1):16-32

Core small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle splicing factor SmD1 modulates RNA interference in Drosophila.

Xiong XP, Kurthkoti K, Chang KY, Lichinchi G, De N, Schneemann A, MacRae IJ, Rana TM, Perrimon N, Zhou R

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Oct 8 ;110(41):16520-5

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