Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou
University of Pennsylvania

Zhaolan (Joe) Zhou, PhD, is a Professor of Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Director of the Preclinical Models Core at the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After receiving a BS degree from Nankai University and a PhD from Harvard University, he carried out postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston. Since joining the faculty at University of Pennsylvania, his research program focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders with known genetic causes and the pathophysiology of major depressive disorders with environmental insults. In the past few years, he has led a research team that developed the first lines of mouse models recapitulating human genetic mutations found in Rett Syndrome and CDKL5 deficiency disorder, and engineered genetically modified mice to interrogate stress-related neuroepigenetics in the brain. Through a combined genetic, genomic, physiological, and behavioral approaches, the Zhou laboratory has uncovered novel insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of Rett Syndrome and CDKL5 deficiency disorder, identified robust and quantitative biomarkers, and has been aiming to develop innovative strategies to treat autism spectrum and major depressive disorders.