Wei Zhou, PhD
Professor, Hematology & Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Co-Leader, Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Research Program
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Office: Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Phone: (404) 778-2134
Fax: (404) 778-5530
Dr. Zhou obtained his PhD from Emory University in 1995 and did his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. He joined the faculty of Emory in 2001. He is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Research Scholar and American Cancer Society Research Scholar. His research focuses on molecular genetics of human cancer.
Dr. Zhou's laboratory studies the functions of novel tumor suppressor genes in the context of specific human cancers. His group recently discovered a tumor suppressor gene called Sox7 that is inactivated in both colon and prostate tumors, thus allowing the aberrant activation of WNT signaling. However, the gene's protein product, Sox7, acts as a regulator of a subset of genes that are specifically expressed in prostate tumors, including the androgen-responsive genes. Dr. Zhou's team is currently investigating the specific effect of Sox7 inactivation in prostate cancers.
In a related area of interest, Dr. Zhou is also intrigued by the molecular basis for the tumor-type specific inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. A recent area of focus is the LKB1 tumor suppressor, which is preferentially inactivated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The group discovered a potential mechanism that could explain the lack of LKB1 mutations in other major tumor types. In addition, as each mechanism is studied, the opportunities for developing new and better targeted cancer therapies increase, ultimately providing benefits to cancer patients. For example, Dr. Zhou is currently developing a unique therapeutic approach for NSCLC tumors that lack the LKB1 function.