Dr. Zhou is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China in 2012. After that, he joined Prof. Fengxia Qi’s lab at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as a postdoctoral fellow where he studied the role of a keystone species Veillonella in human oral cavity. In 2017, Dr. Zhou moved to the Departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Hui Wu to study the interactions between Veillonella and streptococci species. In 2019, Dr. Zhou joined in the Departments of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health San Antonio as a research scientist to elucidate the pathogenesis of Veillonella in Peri-Implantitis. In 2022, Dr. Zhou joined in the lab of Dr. Chenggang Wu to study the regulations that modulate physical interactions between Fusobacterium nucleatum and oral microbiota. His research interest focuses on the molecular mechanisms of microbial interactions in human oral cavity.

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

The molecular mechanisms of interaction/communication among microbes in human oral cavity.

The mechanisms of antioxidant defense in anaerobic bacteria (Fusobacterium and Veillonella)

The roles of Veillonella in the development of oral diseases, e.g. periodontitis.


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C BG, Zhou P, Wu C. Fusobacterium nucleatum subsp. animalis comes to the spotlight in oral diseases. Cell Host Microbe2024 Apr 10;32(4):443-444doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2024.03.009. 

Zhou P, Bibek GC, Stolte F, Wu C. Use of CRISPR interference for efficient and rapid gene inactivation in Fusobacterium nucleatumAppl Environ Microbiol. 2024 Jan 8;:e0166523. doi: 10.1128/aem.01665-23.

Bibek GC, Zhou P, Naha A, Gu J, Wu C. Development of a xylose-inducible promoter and riboswitch combination system for manipulating gene expression in Fusobacterium nucleatumAppl Environ Microbiol. 2023 Sep 28;89(9):e0066723. doi: 10.1128/aem.00667-23.

Zhou P, Garcia BL, Kotsakis GA. Comparison of antibacterial and antibiofilm activity of bioactive glass compounds S53P4 and 45S5BMC Microbiol. 2022 Sep 2;22(1):212. doi: 10.1186/s12866-022-02617-8.

Zhou P, Manoil D, Belibasakis GN, Kotsakis GA. Veillonellae: Beyond Bridging Species in Oral Biofilm EcologyFront Oral Health. 2021;2:774115. doi: 10.3389/froh.2021.774115.

Zhou P, Chrepa V, Karoussis I, Pikos MA, Kotsakis GA. Cytocompatibility Properties of an Herbal Compound Solution Support In vitro Wound HealingFront Physiol. 2021;12:653661. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.653661.

Zhou P#, Li X, Huang IH, Qi F. Veillonella Catalase Protects the Growth of Fusobacterium nucleatum in Microaerophilic and Streptococcus gordonii-Resident EnvironmentsAppl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Oct 1;83(19). doi: 10.1128/AEM.01079-17. (#Corresponding author)

Zhou P#, Xie G, Li X, Liu J, Qi F. Complete Genome Sequence of Veillonella atypica OK5, the First Transformable Strain in the SpeciesGenome Announc. 2017 Jun 1;5(22). doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00391-17. (#Corresponding author)

Zhou P#, Li X, Qi F. Identification and characterization of a haem biosynthesis locus in VeillonellaMicrobiology-SGM. 2016 Oct;162(10):1735-1743. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000366. (#Corresponding author)

Zhou P, Li X, Qi F. Establishment of a counter-selectable markerless mutagenesis system in Veillonella atypicaJ Microbiol Methods. 2015 May;112:70-2. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2015.03.010.