• Rui Zhao is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Zhao received his B.S. degree from Peking University in China (1998) and Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa (2004). He received his postdoctoral training at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, and joined the UAB faculty in 2012.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2022 Generation of chromosome 1p/19q co-deletion by CRISPR/Cas9-guided genomic editingNOA.  4. 2022
    2021 Generation of inducible pluripotent stem cell lines from Alzheimer's disease patients with APOE e3/e3 genotypeStem Cell Research.  55. 2021
    2020 Role of succinate dehydrogenase deficiency and oncometabolites in gastrointestinal stromal tumorsWorld Journal of Gastroenterology.  26:5074-5089. 2020
    2020 Neuronal Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein regulates Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced lung vascular permeability through the modulation of actin cytoskeletal dynamics 2020
    2020 Reprogramming of Pluripotency-Specific microRNA Signatures Is Not Essential to Generate Inducible Pluripotent Stem CellsCellular Reprogramming.  22:1-2. 2020
    2019 Characterization of iPSCs derived from low grade gliomas revealed early regional chromosomal amplifications during gliomagenesisJournal of Neuro-Oncology.  141:289-301. 2019
    2017 Biological Significance of the Suppression of Oxidative Phosphorylation in Induced Pluripotent Stem CellsCell Reports.  21:2058-2065. 2017
    2017 Elevated p53 Activities Restrict Differentiation Potential of MicroRNA-Deficient Pluripotent Stem CellsStem Cell Reports.  9:1604-1617. 2017
    2017 RNA Exosome Complex-Mediated Control of Redox Status in Pluripotent Stem CellsStem Cell Reports.  9:1053-1061. 2017
    2017 ZSCAN10 expression corrects the genomic instability of iPSCs from aged donorsNature Cell Biology.  19:1037-1048. 2017
    2017 Small regulators making big impacts: Regulation of neural stem cells by small non-coding RNAsNeural Regeneration Research.  12:397-398. 2017
    2017 Canonical microRNAs Enable Differentiation, Protect Against DNA Damage, and Promote Cholesterol Biosynthesis in Neural Stem CellsStem Cells and Development.  26:177-188. 2017
    2016 Generation of HEXA-deficient hiPSCs from fibroblasts of a Tay-Sachs disease patientStem Cell Research.  17:289-291. 2016
    2016 The regulation of rRNA gene transcription during directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cellsPLoS One.  11. 2016
    2015 Canonical MicroRNA Activity Facilitates but May Be Dispensable for Transcription Factor-Mediated ReprogrammingStem Cell Reports.  5:1119-1127. 2015
    2014 A nontranscriptional role for Oct4 in the regulation of mitotic entry. 2014
    2014 The epithelial-mesenchymal transition factor SNAIL paradoxically enhances reprogrammingStem Cell Reports.  3:691-698. 2014
    2011 Donor cell type can influence the epigenome and differentiation potential of human induced pluripotent stem cellsNature Biotechnology.  29:1117-1119. 2011
    2011 Cell cycle adaptations of embryonic stem cells 2011
    2010 Epigenetic memory in induced pluripotent stem cellsNature.  467:285-290. 2010
    2008 Generation of human-induced pluripotent stem cellsNature Protocols.  3:1180-1186. 2008
    2008 From fibroblasts to iPS cells: Induced pluripotency by defined factorsJournal of Cellular Biochemistry.  105:949-955. 2008
    2008 Reprogramming of human somatic cells to pluripotency with defined factorsNature.  451:141-146. 2008
    2005 Phenotypic switching in Candida glabrata accompanied by changes in expression of genes with deduced functions in copper detoxification and stress.Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.  4:1434-1445. 2005
    2005 Unique aspects of gene expression during Candida albicans mating and possible G(1) dependency.Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.  4:1175-1190. 2005
    2005 Increased virulence and competitive advantage of a/alpha over a/a or alpha/alpha offspring conserves the mating system of Candida albicans. 2005
    2003 Alpha-pheromone-induced "shmooing" and gene regulation require white-opaque switching during Candida albicans mating.Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.  2:847-855. 2003
    2003 Relationship between switching and mating in Candida albicans.Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.  2:390-397. 2003
    2003 Mating and virulence of Candida albicansMycologist.  17:64-69. 2003
    2003 Cell biology of mating in Candida albicans.Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.  2:49-61. 2003
    2002 Roles of TUP1 in switching, phase maintenance, and phase-specific gene expression in Candida albicans.Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.  1:353-365. 2002

    Research Overview

  • The overall goal of the Zhao laboratory is to model and treat human genetic diseases using stem cells. Stem cells have the capacity to generate identical daughter stem cells (self-renewal) and to differentiate into terminally differentiated cell types (pluripotency or multipotency), therefore serving as a powerful in vitro tool to study normal and diseased human embryo development and a potential donor tissue source for cell therapy. The current research of the Zhao Laboratory is focusing on the following areas:

    1.The basic biology of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs)
    We are interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and differentiation of human and mouse and PSCs.This knowledge is critical to design novel methods to generate disease-relevant cell types for disease modeling and stem cell therapy. We are interested in the roles of microRNAs, the small non-coding RNAs critical for post-transcriptional regulation, in self-renewal, lineage differentiation, and somatic cell reprogramming of human and mouse PSCs.

    2. Model human congenital diseases using pluripotent stem cells
    The defects of congenital diseases usually occur during human embryo development, which is inaccessible for experimentation. Although animal models have played indispensable roles in understanding human diseases, they often fail to mimic features unique to humans. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) generated from patient cells (e.g., skin fibroblasts, peripheral blood), which carry all genetic abnormalities of the disease, serve as a novel in vitro model to recapitulate the diseased embryo development. Currently, we are modeling monogenic congenital diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Tay-Sachs disease (TSD) and diseases with chromosomal fragment deletions such as DiGeorge Syndrome (DGS). We also evaluate the efficacy of potential gene therapy methods using hiPSC disease models.

    3. Model human cancer using pluripotent stem cells
    Brain tumors (gliomas) are incurable and are among the most fatal tumors in adults. We have established hiPSCs from primary glioma cells. We are in the process of establishing an in vitro model of gliomagenesis using the glioma cell-derived hiPSCs. We expect that this model will facilitate the identification of novel drug targets and the development of new therapies to treat gliomas.
  • Education And Training

  • Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School/Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Biology and Embryology, University of Iowa 2004
  • Bachelor of Science or Mathematics in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Peking University 1998
  • Full Name

  • Rui Zhao