Z. Hong ZhouPrincipal Investigator
Contact Prof. Zhou    
310.983.1033 (work)         310.694.7527 (cell)
CNSI 5511C

UCLA Mail code: 736422, BSRB 237
Courier delivery: 570 Westwood Plaza, UCLA Building 114, CNSI 5511C, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Prof. Zhou’s Google Scholar
Prof. Zhou’s MIMG web page

Staff Scientists
Kang Zhou, Ph.D. Project Scientist
Kang is from China and earned Ph.D degree in natural science at University of Science and Technology of China. Now he investigates the structure of various proteins using cryo-EM and cryo-ET. He has an interest in helical structures, membrane proteins, transporters and membrane channels.

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Shiheng (Bruce) Liu, Ph.D. Project Scientist
Shiheng earned his PhD in Microbiology/Structural Biology from Shandong University, China. In 2016, he embarked on his postdoctoral training in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) by joining our lab at UCLA. He now focuses on solving atomic-resolution structures of protein-RNA complex using cryo-electron microscopy and understand their functions in eukaryotic transcription.

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Yao He, Ph.D. Project Scientist
Yao joined UCLA in 2017 as a postdoctoral researcher shared by Prof. Hong Zhou and Prof. Juli Feigon groups. Yao got his PhD degree at University of Science and Technology of China, where he studied cation selectivity mechanism of potassium channels in native-like membrane environment using solid-state NMR. In our lab, he currently studies the structure and function of macromolecular complexes involved in the maintenance of telomere length at linear chromosome ends and in situ transcription and assembly of dsRNA viruses.

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Xiaoyu Liu, Ph.D. Project Scientist
Xiaoyu received her B.S. in biology at Nankai University and earned a Ph.D. in Tsinghua University. Prior to joining the Zhou lab, Xiaoyu was studying structure and assembly of nuclear pore complex in the Hoelz Lab at Caltech. In our lab, she is pursuing high-resolution structures of macromolecules related to human pathogenic diseases using cryoEM and cryoET.

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Fumiaki Ito, Ph.D.Project Scientist
Fumiaki is originally from Tokyo and earned BS/MS in the Univ of Tokyo. He then moved to the US and pursued his PhD at USC where he studied virus restriction factor and DNA mutator APOBEC proteins. During his PhD, he started to collaborate with Zhou lab, and later joined the lab as a post-doc. He likes to read (Russian literature, Chinese history, etc), watch baseball, and dance with his wife. He currently studies viral proteins from HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and herpesviruses, and their interactions with host factors by using cryo-EM and biochemical approaches.

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Post-doctoral fellows
Yuntao Liu, Ph.D.Postdoc
Liu Yuntao, currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He obtained his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2018. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2013 at the University of Science and Technology of China. He is the developer of IsoNet, a self-supervised deep learning methods for missing information recovery (https://isonetcryoet.com/). His research also delves deeply into the molecular architectures and functions of neurons, viruses, and large protein complexes.

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Xiaoying Cai, Ph.D.Postdoc
Xiaoying got her bachelor degree in Animal Science at Qingdao Agriculture University, and then earned her PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Science and Technology of China. She currently studies phage tail-like bacteriocins using cryoEM to explore their working mechanisms and develop precision medical applications of engineered bacteriocin. The sunset of Malibu Beach is her favorite in LA.

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Guodong Xie, Ph.D.Postdoc
Guodong is from China, got PhD degree from USTC University of Science and Technology of China. In 2020 June. Major is biochemistry and molecular biology. He studies HCMV tegument structure and function using cryoEM.

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Laixing Zhang, Ph.D.Postdoc
Laixing is from Beijing, China and received his Ph.D. in biology from Tsinghua University. During his PhD, he first determined the structure of the ATP synthase tetramer and the largest structure of the respiratory chain super-complex in mitochondria. Now Laixing focuses on the processing of viral infection in cells using cryo-ET and cryo-EM.

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Xian Xia, Ph.D.Postdoc
Xian Xia is from China and obtained his PhD on structral biology in Tsinghua University. Since joining our lab in 2018, he has been focused on studying the structures and functions of pathogen-related protein complexes by cryoEM and cryoET.

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Hongcheng Fan, Ph.D.Postdoc
Hongcheng Fan comes from China and graduated from the institute of Biophysics. He shows a keen interest in the development of cryo-EM methodology and the structural determination of biomacromolecules. In our lab, he focuses on the development of cryo-EM methodology and the structure determination of biomacromolecules. In his spare time, Hongcheng Fan enjoys tasting delicous food and reading.

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Qibo Xu, Ph.D.Postdoc
Qibo hails from China and he holds a Bachelor's degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in Meteorology. Presently, his research focus lies in the integration of cryo-electron microscopy techniques with deep learning methodologies to rapidly and extensively determine the atomic structures of protein-RNA complexes. He possesses a penchant for continual learning, particularly in optimizing strategies to address different problems, including but not limited to stock investments, Texas Hold'em poker, and maximizing the capacity of a drawer to accommodate various items. Qibo has been optimizing the software cryoID by introducing deep learning methods to improve user convenience and extends its applicability to encompass the analysis of protein-RNA complexes.

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Tiantian Su, Ph.D.Postdoc
Tiantian is a postdoctoral researcher. She earned her bachelor's degree in Biotechnology and completed her PhD in Microbiology/Structural Biology at Shandong University. Her doctoral research focused on unraveling the molecular mechanisms of important signal transduction proteins in bacterial pathogen, utilizing crystallography and biochemical strategies. In the Zhou lab, Tiantian studies the protein interactions between the human malaria parasites and their invertebrate hosts Anopheles mosquitoes using Cryo-EM. In her free time, Tiantian likes photography and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Los Angeles.

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Weiguang Wang, Ph.D.Postdoc
Weiguang earned his Ph.D. in biology at Tsinghua University in China. Now he is working on structural biology as a postdoctoral fellow here at UCLA. He has an expertised filed in membrane proteins. Through his current research, Weiguang explores the transport mechanism of membrane proteins by cryoEM. In spare time, he likes hiking and running.

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Yujun Liu, M.D.Postdoc

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Hui Wang, Ph.D.Bioengineering PhD
Hui is from Anhui, China and earned his bachelor's degree in Software Engineering at Tianjin U. He also earned a master degree in Computer Science at UTD before entering UCLA as a Bioengineering PhD student. His research interest is method development on resolving in situ structure of large cellular structures or "lattice-like" proteins using cryoET, e.g., flagella, nuclear egress complex, surface layer and sheath protein etc. In his spare time, Hui likes trying new food, hiking, and watching esports.

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Graduate students
Jonathan Jih Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology PhD
Jonathan grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains and earned his B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics at UCLA, where as an undergraduate researcher he solved many of the early atomic structures of herpesviruses with Prof. Hong Zhou. Jonathan went on to serve extensively in youth ministry with his church and had a blast pursuing life goals before the calls of Zhou Lab grew too strong to ignore and drew him back to UCLA, where he now serves heavily in data center operations at the CNSI in addition to his responsibilities as a graduate student.  He studies the herpesvirus portal vertex and its related structures using cryoEM and cryoET. He is particularly interested in how this region affects diverse viral processes ranging from efficient packaging of herpes' exceptionally large dsDNA genome to capsid traversal within a eukaryotic cell. Outside of lab, you might find Jonathan in the Alaskan wilderness or underneath some rustbucket of a car he bought off Craigslist for $500.

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Alex Stevens Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology PhD
Alex utilizes cryoEM and cryoET methods to elucidate the mechanisms of genome management in dsDNA and dsRNA viruses. Alex attended Arizona State University where he received his BS in biochemistry. There he developed an interest in structural biology in the lab of Dr. Wei Liu which led him to pursue graduate study at UCLA. You can find Alex riding his bicycle and irritating motorists in Brentwood most mornings.

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James Zhen Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology PhD
James received his B.S in biochemistry from UCLA, where he worked on structural characterization of amyloid proteins by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy under Dr. Zhefeng Guo. In the Zhou lab, James investigates the structural mechanisms of assembly and fusion for cancer-causing herpesviruses. Outside of the lab, he enjoys cooking and building excessively small computers.

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Qing LouMaterials Science & Engineering PhD
Qing is from China and earned her bachelor's in physics at Southern University of Science and Technology. There she developed an interest in electron microscopy. Qing use cryoET to study the structure of IMC network in Toxoplasma gondii. In her free time, Qing likes to stay alone and do handwork.

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Román Aguirre Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology PhD
Román is from Tijuana, Mexico and earned his bachelors in chemistry at Cal Poly Pomona. As an undergraduate student, he joined Dr. Kathryn McCulloch’s lab, where he studied the structural properties of pathogenic bacterial metabolic enzymes found in the human GI tract. By using protein engineering principles and software, Román aims to develop a nanoparticle that is amenable to displaying small therapeutic proteins of interest for imaging using cryoEM, as well as using said engineered nanoparticle to covalently display antigens to further vaccine development studies. In his spare time, Román enjoys reading and watching movies.  

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Angela Agnew Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology PhD
Angela is from Eugene, OR and earned her bachelors in biochemistry from Purdue University. She spend her undergraduate research under the mentorship of Prof. Wen Jiang seeking the structure of the nonstructural polyprotein of Tulane virus. In fall of 2021, Angela joined the BMSB program at UCLA to further pursue a career in structural biology. In our lab, Angela studies protein complexes central to archaeal metabolism, cell division, and genome organization to elucidate the evolutionary divergence in these complex mechanisms for prokaryotic life. Outside of lab, she enjoys dance, learning instruments, and being outdoors.

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Nicolas CoralBiochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology PhD
Nico is from Houston, TX and earned his bachelor's in biochemistry at Texas State University as a first-generation student. There, he developed a passion for research in Prof. Ryan Peterson’s lab and an interest in structural biology, which led him to pursue graduate school at UCLA. Nico studies VLPs using cryoEM and cryoET to study non-enveloped dsRNA virus assembly mechanisms and develop biomedical therapies. In his spare time, Nico likes going to estate sales and getting to know LA.

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Lenka Milojevic Biophysics PhD
Lenka is Serbian and she earned her BSc from Maastricht University in the Netherlands in 2022. She conducted her undergraduate research under Prof. Raimond Ravelli’s mentorship in Prof. Peter Peters’ group, using cryoEM and cryoET to study the structural bases of M. tuberculosis and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She did her BSc thesis research in Prof. David Eisenberg’s lab at UCLA studying AD tau disaggregation and chose to stay for graduate school. In our lab, she uses cryoET to study viral fusion catalysis and genome organization. In her free time, Lenka also likes drawing and painting.  

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Shervin NiaBiochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology PhD
Shervin was born and raised in Los Angeles, and earned his B.S. in biochemistry in 2021 from UCLA. Prior to joining the Zhou lab for his graduate studies, Shervin worked with Prof. Jose Rodriguez working on large tomogram processing.   He is currently studying the mechanisms behind radiation damage in cryo-EM as well as ways to reduce their effects on precious samples, particularly for the context of cellular tomography.

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Ethan CrofutMolecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology BSc
Ethan is from Cupertino, CA. His interest in life sciences research led him to the Zhou lab in February 2023 where he uses cryoEM to investigate parasite motility. He hopes to pursue a PhD after college.

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Sammy Liu Biochemistry BSc
Sammy is from Manhattan Beach, CA. He is a premed student currently pursuing his bachelor's in biochemistry at UCLA with the intent on continuing his education at a medical school. In the Zhou lab, he uses cryoEM and cryoET density maps to identify, model, and validate proteins within the flagellum of . Sammy is a coffee enthusiast and enjoys trying new types of specialty coffees in his free time.

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Saarang KashyapMicrobiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics BSc
Saarang is a junior at UCLA originally from Cupertino, California, where he graduated from Monta Vista High School. He developed a passion for biomedical research through studying multiple myeloma and B-acute lymphocytic leukemia at a molecular level, leading to his interest in structural biology. In the Zhou lab, Saarang employs cryoEM and cryoET techniques to investigate the motility and structural aspects of Trypanosoma brucei and Trichomonas vaginalis parasites, emphasizing the elucidation of novel protein interactions within these organisms. In his spare time, Saarang likes to play tennis on his school's club tennis team and watches football.

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Star Yu
Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics BSc
Star is from San Diego, CA. In our lab, he assists with developing Tomostudio, a software that consolidates tomography processes. Besides conducting research, Star enjoys exploring LA and visiting new places.

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Anthony ImaniBiochemistry BSc
Anthony is from the San Fernando Valley and is currently a junior undergraduate studying biochemistry. His career interests are focused on intertwining his passion for research and serving military veterans through the lens of medicine. Anthony models protein structures in bacteriophages to better understand their mechanism of injection. In his spare time, Anthony enjoys watching his favorite TV show (Breaking Bad!), trying new foods in Sawtelle, and spending time with family and friends.

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Lab Alumni

Joon Kang, Ph.D.

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology PhD
Joon studied LCMV structure using cryoET to solve the in situ structures of all viral proteins in the virion, revealing the assembly mechanism and the critical contacts among different viral proteins.

Contact Joon

Research & Facilities 

Zhou Lab
California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI)
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
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