Beiyan Zhou, Ph.D.Professor of Immunology
Dr. Beiyan Zhou is a professor of immunology whose interests are in obesity-induced health risks, including and cardiovascular diseases. She holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry/molecular biology from Northwestern University, Master of Science in molecular biology from Peking University, and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Wuhan University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cell and molecular biology at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
|M.Sc.||College of Life Sciences, Peking University||Protein Chemistry and Genetic Engineering|
|Ph.D.||Northwestern University||Biological Sciences|
|Postdoctoral||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Postdoctoral Fellow, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research|
|Name of Award/Honor||Awarding Organization|
|Women of Innovation 2020 (Research Innovation and Leadership category)||Connecticut Technology Council and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technolo|
|Junior Faculty Award||American Diabetes Association|
|Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award||College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University|
|Genzyme Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research||Genzyme|
|Travel award, NIH/NIDDK Workshop on microRNA in cellular development and hematopoiesis, Annapolis, Md.||NIH/NIDDK|
|Travel Award||American Endocrine Society|
|Research Travel Award, the Graduate School and the Office of the Vice President Grant||Northwestern University|
|Research Travel Award, the Graduate School and Office of the Vice President Grant||Northwestern University|
For additional information and human factors---please check out lab website (Zhou Lab).
While compelling evidences have indicated the crucial roles played by epigenetic regulators in both normal developmental control and pathogenesis of diseases, our understanding of the full picture is still in its infancy. The long-term goal of my research is to understand the systemic regulatory networks governed by epigenetic factors in controlling immune cell formation and their functions in various tissue niches. My current research efforts are devoted to unveil the roles of epigenetic regulators, including non-coding RNAs, in modulating immune cell function and their cross-talks with other cells in various metabolic tissue niches in responding to obesity stress.
1) Regulation of microRNAs in inflammation and metabolism regulation
microRNAs are a class of highly conserved small non-coding RNAs that directly exert inhibitory effects on genes through pairing at the 3’UTR region on their targets. Recently, Zhou’s lab proposes a new microRNA-based paradigm for the interactions between leukocytes and metabolism cells, including adipocytes and hepatocytes. In this new paradigm, macrophage activation regulator miR-223, along with several other microRNAs, modulate the inflammatory response of macrophages (Circulation, 2012, 125 (23)). Furthermore, Zhou’s lab first reported that miR-150, a lymphocyte specific regulator (PNAS, 2007), can also regulate obesity-induced chronic inflammation through regulating adipose tissue B cells (ATBs) actions. However, the mechanism of how microRNAs regulate B cells, specifically their response to chronic nutrient excess, is not well defined. We are investigating the role of miR-150 in regulating ATBs response to obesity by characterize the impact of this microRNAs on ATBs and their interaction with other cell types in the adipose tissue niche.
2) Roles of microRNAs in the modulation of immune responses in Cardiovascular Diseases
Innate immune response is mainly mediated by macrophage, neutrophil, and dendritic cells. Upon antigen recognition, these myeloid cells are able to recruit and interact with lymphocytes such as B and T cells to develop adaptive immunity. Compared to the effects of tissue resident/infiltrated immune cells, the role of monocytes and their subsequent response after recruited into the tissue niche are poorly defined. Zhou’s lab has identified a group of microRNAs that are actively regulated during this process. With the collaborations with various laboratories, this lab will be able to investigate the impact of systemic physiological conditions in obesity on monocytes that eventually alters their actions at the recruited loci. This lab has already developed novel microRNA overexpression and knock-out mouse models to determine the role of monocytes during atherosclerosis, as well as novel bioinformatic tools to investigate their functions and CVD risks.
Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023
We are accepting highly motivated rotation students in the area of immunology/cardiovascular/metabolism/obesity. Our research projects incorporate epigenetic and genomic approaches to understand the crosswalks between the immune compartment and host tissue cells under chronic stress conditions, such as obesity.
|Title or Abstract||Type||Sponsor/Event||Date/Year||Location|
|AtheroSpectrum identified novel foaming programs and monocyte predictor genes for residual cardiovascular risk||Talk||American Heart Association/Scientific Sessions 2020||2020||Virtual Conference|
|2020 Multifaceted Macrophage in human diseases, Department of Integrative Biology & Pharmacology||Lecture||University of Texas Health Science Center||2020||Virtual Conference|
|Low disturbed flow induces dynamic immune compartment in atherogenesis revealed by scRNA-seq||Poster||American Heart Association/Scientific Sessions 2020||2020||Virtual Conference|
|Cytosolic LPS sensing triggers the release of a lectin DAMP that promotes inflammation||Poster||American Association of Immunologists/Immunology2020||2020||Virtual Conference|
|Macspectrum Yields Unprecedented Resolution of Full-Spectrum Macrophage Activation States in Atherosclerosis||Poster||From Genes to Medicine 2019 Scientific Sessions /AHA||2019||Boston, MA|
|Induction of TLR2 tolerance Suppresses Foam Cell Formation. Lili Qu, Chuan Li, Danielle Peters, Nicholas Wasko, Anthony T. Vella, Annabelle Rodriguez-Oquendo, Patrick Murphy, Robert B. Clark, Beiyan Zhou||Poster||Vascular Discovery: From Genes to Medicine 2019 Scientific Sessions/AHA||2019||Boston, MA|
|Single Cell transcriptome analysis identifies unique features in Circulating CD8 T cells that can predict immunotherapy response in melanoma patients||Poster||Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer /STIC 2019||2019||National Harbor, Maryland, US|
|MacSpectrum reveals macrophage dynamics in diseases||Talk||School of Pharmacy, University of Texas Health Center at San Antonino,||2019||San Antonino, Texas, USA|
|Macspectrum Yields Unprecedented Resolution of Full-Spectrum Macrophage Activation States in Atherosclerosis||Poster||American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2019||2019||Philadelphia, PA, USA|
|Non-coding RNA regulated macrophage function in obesity. Exercise Physiological Seminar||Talk||Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University||2015||Texas A&M University|
|microRNA and adipose tissue inflammation. EB 2015 APS President’s Symposium Series, Boston, MA, March 2015||Talk||Experimental Biology 2015 / American Physiological Society||2015||Boston, MA|
|Immune cell function in obese adipose tissues||Talk||Gateway to Nitrigenomics (NGN) Retreat||2015||Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Non-coding RNA regulated immune cell function in obesity||Talk||Nutrition Obesity Research Mini-Symposium, Texas A&M University||2014||Texas A&M University|
|Uteroferrin enhances fetal erythropoiesis at terminal stages||Talk||SSR - Society for the Study of Reproduction||2014||Michigan, USA|
|Macrophage polarization and insulin resistance||Talk||19th Annual Dr. Raymond O Berry Mem. Lecture and 7th Annual IFRB Retreat||2013|
|Macrophage management of microRNAs in hematopoiesis and diseases, Immunology Consortium, Texas A&M University, May 2013||Talk||Immunology Consortium, Texas A&M University||2013||Texas A&M University|
|A novel paradigm of microRNA regulated B cell functions on insulin resistance: miR-150 regulates insulin sensitivity through controlling antibody production||Talk||American Diabetes Association Conference||2013||Chicago, IL|
|MicroRNA Regulated Lymphocyte Function in Insulin Resistance||Talk||The 5th Scientific Meeting of Chinese American Diabetes Association (CADA)||2013||Chicago, IL|
|Macromanagement of microRNAs in macrophages||Talk||The Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI)||2013|