Dr. Zhou is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School. He earned his Ph.D. degree in biophysics from Zhejiang University in China in 2007, working with Prof. Yuejin Hua to investigate the molecular mechanism of DNA damage repair in an extremely radioresistant bacterium. After that, he moved to Singapore and joined Dr. Cynthia He’s lab at National University of Singapore as a research fellow to study the molecular mechanism of organelle duplication in the early branching eukaryote Trypanosoma brucei. In 2012, he joined UTHealth and worked in Dr. Ziyin Li’s lab as a research fellow to investigate the molecular mechanism of cell cycle regulation in Trypanosoma brucei. His research interest focuses on the molecular mechanism of chromosome segregation in Trypanosoma brucei.


Research Fellow
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Research Fellow
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, 2007

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Molecular mechanism of chromosome segregation in Trypanosoma brucei

Faithful segregation of chromosomes during cell division cycle is highly orchestrated, and is one of the most fundamental processes in biology. Errors in chromosome segregation cause aneuploidy and are cancer-related. Faithful chromosome segregation depends on the establishment of bipolar orientation of duplicated chromosomes (the attachment of spindle microtubules to the kinetochores of chromosomes). Using Trypanosoma brucei as the model organism, we seek to understand how T. brucei accurately segregates its chromosomes during mitosis. T. brucei undergoes a closed mitosis, which is totally different from its human hosts, and the molecular mechanism of mitosis remains elusive. T. brucei appears to use both evolutionarily conserved and trypanosome-specific factors to regulate mitosis. We use a combination of molecular, genetic, cellular and biochemical approaches to address: 1) The complete composition of spindle pole body and their functions; 2) The spindle-associated proteins and their roles in spindle assembly and spindle microtubule dynamics; 3) the surveillance mechanism of spindle microtubule-kinetochore attachment (error correcting mechanism).


Huiqing Hu, Qing Zhou, Xianxian Han, Ziyin Li. 2017. CRL4WDR1 controls polo-like kinase protein abundance to promote bilobe duplication, basal body segregation and flagellum attachment in Trypanosoma brucei. PLoS Pathogens, 13: e1006146. (Cover article)

Hung Duang Dang, Qing Zhou, Veronica W. Rowlett, Huiqing Hu, Kyu Joon Lee, William Margolin, Ziyin Li. 2017. Proximity interactions among basal body components in Trypanosoma brucei identify novel regulators of basal body biogenesis and inheritance. MBio, 8: e02120-16.

Qing Zhou, Huiqing Hu, Ziyin Li. 2016. An EF-hand-containing protein in Trypanosoma brucei regulates cytokinesis initiation by maintaining the stability of the cytokinesis initiation factor CIF1. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291: 14395-14409.

Qing Zhou, Jianhua Gu, Zhao-Rong Lun, Francisco J. Ayala, Ziyin Li. 2016. Two distinct cytokinesis pathways drive trypanosome cell division initiation from opposite cell ends. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113: 3287-3292. (Cover article)

Qing Zhou, Ziyin Li. 2015. g-tubulin complex in Trypanosoma brucei: molecular composition, subunit interdependence and requirement for axonemal central pair protein assembly. Molecular Microbiology, 98: 667-680.