Photo of Yanjiao  Zhou, M.D., Ph.D.

Yanjiao Zhou, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-L3080
Phone: 860-679-6379

Immunology Graduate Program

M.D.Zhangjiakou Medical CollegeMedicine
M.S.Tianjin Medical UniversityImmunology
Ph.D.Tianjin Medical UniversityMicrobiology

Post-Graduate Training
PostdoctoralThe Rockefeller UniversityImmunology
PostdoctoralThe Genome Institute of Washington University School of MedicineMicrobiome and Bioinformatics

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Award for Institute of Clinical and Translational SciencesWashington University School of Medicine
3rd class scholarship for honored student.Zhangjiakou Medical College
1st Place Scholarship for Honored StudentZhangjiakou Medical School
3rd class scholarship for honored student.Zhangjiakou Medical College

Dr. Zhou is a computational biologist. She was one of the lead analysts in the first and second phase of Human Microbiome Project. She has been involved in over 30 microbiome-related projects that study the role of microbiome in health and disease.

The major research interest of her laboratory is to develop microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics for multiple sclerosis as well as other diseases, with a focus on how nutrition and microbial metabolites influence the gut-brain axis. By taking a multidisciplinary approach that includes bioinformatics and molecular biology, we are researching the following areas: 

(1) Determine how intermittent fasting affects the gut microbiome and MS pathogenesis in mouse models and patients in collaboration with Washington University School of Medicine. We also work on different strategies to identify microbes, microbial genes and metabolites that modulate peripheral inflammation and neuroinflammation, which potentially permits the development of probiotic-based therapeutics for MS.

(2) Study nutritional induced alteration of the lung and gut microbiome and its influence on airway inflammation. We are testing how Boswellia, an herbal extract with anti-inflammatory properties ameliorate asthma through reconfiguration of the gut and lung microbiome.

(3) Develop a novel host-microbiome ontology resource. We are building a clustered and integrated host-microbiome interaction database that allows for effective microbial information retrieval and data modeling.

Postdoctoral Fellow position in microbiome and alcohol research

A position is available to conduct studies and receive training in alcohol research with a focus on the gut-brain axis and the gut microbiome. This collaborative effort involving the UConn Alcohol Research Center, the Laboratory of Microbiome Science in Department of Medicine, and Jackson Laboratory will investigate the role of the gut microbiome in excessive alcohol consumption in mice and humans, and its contribution to varying treatment response. The research will integrate multi-OMICS, experimental and clinical approaches.
The position is supported by the NRSA-funded T32 Institutional Research Training Program at UConn Health. It offers the NRSA stipend, health insurance, and funds for conferences and mini-courses. The fellow will have the opportunity to be trained on next generation sequencing technology, bioinformatics, microbiome, animal behavior biology and clinical trials. He/she will also attend seminars in alcohol research offered by the Program.

Basic requirements:
- Less than 1 yr since Ph.D in Psychology, Microbiology or Molecular Biology or related disciplines
- Interest in an alcohol research career 
- US citizen or permanent resident

Other requirements:
- Knowledge and familiarity of approaches in either microbiome/microbiology or alcohol research 
- Have a good publication record
- Ability to design experiments and effectively perform experiments and trouble shooting
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to effectively interact with researchers from a diverse research background

Special instructions to applicants:
Interested persons should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a list of 3 references to Dr. Yanjiao Zhou:

UConn Health is an affirmative action employer in addition to an EEO and M/F/V/PwD employer.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Acquisition of the Human Gut Microbiota
    Zhou Y, Warner B, Tarr PI WGO Handbook on Gut Microbes. 2014 May;18-22
  • Hypothesis testing of metagenomic data
    La Rosa PS, Zhou Y, Sodergren E, Weinstock G, Shannon WD. Metagenomics for Microbiology 2014 Jan;

Case Reports

  • Transferable vancomycin resistance in a community-associated MRSA lineage.
    Rossi, Flávia; Diaz, Lorena; Wollam, Aye; Panesso, Diana; Zhou, Yanjiao; Rincon, Sandra; Narechania, Apurva; Xing, Galen; Di Gioia, Thais S R; Doi, André; Tran, Truc T; Reyes, Jinnethe; Munita, Jose M; Carvajal, Lina P; Hernandez-Roldan, Alejandra; Brandão, Denise; van der Heijden, Inneke Marie; Murray, Barbara E; Planet, Paul J; Weinstock, George M; Arias, Cesar A The New England journal of medicine 2014 Apr;370(16):1524-31