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Zhou Lab Research | Overview

Research in the Zhou Lab focuses on elucidating mechanisms regulating tissue homeostasis and inflammation. Mammalian tissues are ecological communities of diverse cell types, including immune cells, stromal cells, neurons, endothelial cells, and tissue parenchymal cells. It's becoming clear that immune cells are integral members of the tissue ecosystem. We are interested in studying how immune cells communicate with their tissue neighbors and surrounding environment to maintain homeostatic states of tissues, and how dysregulation of cell-cell and cell-environment interactions may lead to inflammatory disorders.

We use a bottom-up systems approach combined with computational modeling, chemical genetic engineering, high-throughout technologies, and in vivo mouse models for an in-depth, quantitative, and mechanistic understanding of immunity and tissue ecology.

Our current interests include:

  1. identifying mechanisms of controlling the composition and organization of immune cells
  2. understanding how tissue microenvironment modulates immune functions as a potential strategy to control inflammation
  3. programming genetic and cellular circuits to control immune functions for treating inflammatory disorders and cancer.