Jo Huiqing Zhou assistant professor
My research program aims at elucidating genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, with an emphasis on gene regulation in ectodermal and neuronal developmental disorders. Several patient-derived cellular models (e.g. iPSC, epithelial keratinocytes) are used in the lab as model systems.read more
Jo Huiqing Zhou assistant professorMy research program aims at elucidating genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, with an emphasis on gene regulation in ectodermal and neuronal developmental disorders. Several patient-derived cellular models (e.g. iPSC, epithelial keratinocytes) are used in the lab as model systems. One of my research lines is the identification and functional studies of the gene network regulated by the transcription factor p63 in embryonic development. To this end, the primary keratinocytes from the skin of patients are used, as epidermis is one of the often affected structures in disorders caused p63 mutations. Other model systems include mouse embryonic tissues and recently developed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that can be differentiated to different lineage. Taking the state-of-the-art functional genomics approach, my group has identified a catalogue of potential p63-responsive non-coding cis-regulatory elements and genes regulated by these elements. We are continuing our effort in understanding the role of these regulatory elements in epidermal differentiation and development. In parallel, the catalogue of potential cis-regulatory elements and genes are applied to study the genetic basis of disorder that share common phenotypes with those caused by p63 mutations, such as Cleft Lip/Palate, Split Hand/Foot Malformation and Ectodermal Dysplasia. Another line of my research is genetics and epigenetics in neuronal-related diseases. Within this research line, several epigenetic and chromatin regulators, such as EHMT1 that is the cause of Kleefstra Syndrome, are investigated by functional genomics profiling approaches such as RNA-seq and histone modification ChIP-seq in the mouse model as well as iPS-derived neurons.
Field of studyHuman genetics
Research group Developmental epigenomics
Jo Zhou's group aims to establish disease models using patient material and model organisms to identify regulatory networks and disease mechanisms in developmental disorders. Using genomics technology, we map the genome-wide atlas of disease-associated regulatory elements beyond the coding regions.read more