Stem Cell Program Leadership

Yi Zhou, PhD

Yi Zhou, PhD
Director, Genomics Core
Instructor in Pediatrics

Dr. Yi Zhou has expertise in Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Genomics and Development Biology of Vertebrates. He holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Miami School of Medicine and an MS in Biochemistry from the Graduate School of the Chinese University of Sciences and Technology. After completing transient training on DNA replication studies as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Marietta Lee’s lab at University of Miami School of Medicine, he joined Dr. Leonard Zon’s lab at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital and worked on projects to isolate new factors that control blood formation in vertebrates by expression cloning.

At the beginning of the Trans-NIH Zebrafish Genome Project Initiatives, Dr. Zhou was called to direct the Zebrafish Genome Project Initiative at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has directed this group for the past 12 years. His group has placed over 7,000 markers on a zebrafish genome map, the T51 RH panel map, and participated in integrating the zebrafish genome maps and assembling the zebrafish genomic sequences. This map has played a very critical role in zebrafish genetic and genomic research.

His team is now focusing on helping completion of the zebrafish genome sequence assembly and annotation of the zebrafish genome. They are applying genomic research tools and resources to study complex biological processes such as blood formation and tumorgenesis in zebrafish. His team continues to provide support in mapping and cloning of zebrafish mutants to the research community. Currently, this team has started to explore epigenetic regulation during early vertebrate development
and in adult organs. These epigenetic and genetic efforts will establish a foundation for comparative studies and improve zebrafish as a vertebrate model for studying human disease and developing novel therapies.

For more information on the work currently underway, see the Zebrafish Genome Project page of this website.



  • The Zebrafish Genome Project

    A complex control network of signals in stem cells and their environment regulates the cells’ unique characteristic of “stemness.” With the help of fast-breeding, easy-to-study zebrafish and genomics techniques, researchers in the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital Boston are comprehensively combing the chromosomes to tease out this network. Understanding it in greater detail could give stem cell biologists a new set of tools to coax the maturation of cells. Read more.