Liang Zhou

Professorphotograph of Dr. Liang Zhou

Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology
PO Box 110880
2015 SW 16th Ave
Gainesville, FL  32611-0880
352-294-8293 (office)
352-294-8289, 294-8290 or 294-8291 (labs)
FAX 352-392-9704

Zhou Lab page


  • MD, Nanjing Medical University, China; Department of Clinical Medicine, 1996
  • PhD, University of California, Los Angeles; Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, 2004

Honors and Awards

  • 2013: Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award
  • 2011: Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences
  • 2011:  Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award
  • 2010:  ICS Young Investigator Award – International Cytokine Society
  • 2005:  Ariad Research Fellow – Cancer Research Institute-Irvington Institute Fellowship

Research Interests

The goal of my laboratory is to determine the transcriptional regulation of intestinal immune responses. We have characterized the interactions between various transcription factors (e.g., RORγt and Foxp3) involved in specifying development of Th17 cells and the related iTreg lineage and how they eventually determine whether the T cell adopts the Th17 or Treg cell fate. Recently, we have been focusing on the molecular regulation of RORγt+ innate lymphoid cells by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr), a ligand-dependent transcription factor under steady-state physiological conditions, during inflammation or autoimmunity. This work has implications for understanding how to modulate intestinal immune responses in different disease settings, may ultimately lead to identification of new therapeutic targets for human IBD or colon cancer.

Selected Publications

  • Li, S., Heller, J. J, Bostick, J. W., Lee, A., Schjerven, H., Kastner, P., Chan, S., Chen, Z. E., Zhou, L.  Ikaros inhibits Group 3 innate lymphoid cell development and function by suppressing the aryl hydrocarbon receptor pathway. Immunity, 45 (1) 185-197 (2016).
  • Zhou, L. Ahr function in lymphocytes: emerging concepts.  Trends Immunol. 37(1):17-31 (2016).
  • Bostick, J., Zhou, L. Innate lymphoid cells in intestinal immunity and inflammation. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 73(2):237-52 (2016).
  • Heller, J. J., Schjerven, H., Li, S., Lee, A., Qiu, J., Chen Z. E., Smale, S. T., Zhou, L. Restriction of IL-22-producing T Cell Responses and Differential Regulation of Treg compartments by Zinc finger transcription factor Ikaros.  J. Immunol. 193(8): 3934-46 (2014).
  • Guo, X., Qiu, J., Tu, T., Deng, L., Anders, R. A., Zhou, L. *, Fu, Y-X *. Induction of innate lymphoid cell-derived interleukin-22 by the transcription factor STAT3 mediates protection against intestinal infection. Immunity. 40(1): 25-39 (2014). * Co-corresponding authors
  • Qiu, J., Zhou, L. Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Promotes RORγt+ ILCs and Controls Intestinal Immunity and Inflammation. SeminImmunopathology 35(6):657-70 (2013).
  • Qiu, J., Guo, X., Chen Z. E., He, L., Sonnenberg, G. F., Artis D., Fu, Y-X., Zhou, L. Group 3 innate lymphoid cells inhibit T cell-mediated intestinal inflammation through aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling and regulation of microflora. Immunity. 39(2): 386-99 (2013).
  • Qiu, J., Heller J. J., Guo, X, Chen Z. E., Fish, K., Fu Y-X, and Zhou, L. The Aryl hydrocarbon receptor regulates gut immunity through modulation of innate lymphoid cells. Immunity 36, 92-104 (2012).
  • Zhou, L., Lopes, J., Chong, M. M. W., Ivanov, I. I., Min, R., Victora, G. D., Shen, Y., Du, J., Rubtsov, Y. P., Rudensky, A. Y., Ziegler, S. F., Littman, D. R. TGF-β-induced Foxp3 inhibits Th17 cell differentiation by antagonizing RORγt function. Nature  453 (7192), 236-40 (2008).
  • Zhou, L., Ivanov, I. I., Spolski, R., Min, R., Shenderov, K., Egawa, T., Levy, D. E., Leonard, W. J., Littman, D. R. IL-6 programs Th17 cell differentiation by promoting sequential engagement of the IL-21 and IL-23 pathways. Nature  Immunol.  8 (9), 967-74 (2007).
  • Ivanov, I. I.*, McKenzie, B. S.*, Zhou, L *, Tadokoro, C. E., Lepelley, A., Lafaille, J. J., Cua, D. J., Littman, D. R. The orphan nuclear receptor RORγt directs the differentiation program of proinflammatory IL-17+ T helper cells.  Cell.  126 (6) 1121-33 (2006). *equal contributions

Additional publications here

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