Zhou Research Lab

The goal of the Zhou laboratory is to determine the transcriptional regulation of mucosal immune responses and host-microbiome interactions. We have characterized the interactions between various transcription factors (e.g., RORγt and Foxp3) involved in specifying the development of Th17 cells and the related iTreg lineage as well as how these interactions eventually determine whether the T cell adopts the Th17 or Treg cell fate. Recently, we have been focusing on the molecular regulation of innate lymphoid cells (especially RORγt+ innate lymphoid cells) by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr). Ahr is a ligand-dependent transcription factor under steady-state physiological conditions, during inflammation or autoimmunity. Our work has implications for understanding how to modulate mucosal immune responses in different disease settings, and it may ultimately lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for human diseases such as IBD or colon cancer.

The Zhou lab was established in October 2009 at Northwestern University in Chicago. The lab moved to Gainesville in December 2015.

Lab personnel

Liang Zhou, MD, PhD

Professor, Principal Investigator


Kristen Oliff,
Lab Manager
Shiyang Li,
Research Assistant Prof.
Zheng Fu,
Postdoctoral Fellow
Lifeng Xiong,
Postdoctoral Fellow
Jian Ye,
Postdoctoral Fellow
John Bostick,
PhD Student
Joseph Dean,
PhD Student

Lab alumni

Postdoctoral fellows

  • Ju Qiu (2009 – 2014)
  • Olga Malykhina (2011)
  • Lei He (2011 – 2014)
  • Jianlei Hao (2012 – 2013)
  • Aki Ueda (2012 – 2014)
  • Yetao Wang (2013 – 2015)

Graduate students

  • Jennifer Heller (2010 – 2014)
  • Aki Ueda (2010 – 2012)

Undergraduate students

  • Kyoo Seok Shim (UIC) (2010)
  • Ari Lederman (2011 – 2012)
  • Aileen Lee (2011 – 2014)
  • Jacob Weiderman (UF) (2016 – 2018)

Technicians/lab managers

  • Priscilla Shamulailatpam (2014 – 2015)
  • Hui Li (2015 – 2018)