Liang Zhou

Liang Zhou, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Department: Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology
Business Phone: (352) 294-8293
Business Email: liangzhou497@ufl.edu

About Liang Zhou

Liang Zhou, MD, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology (ID&I), College of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Florida. Dr. Zhou received his MD from Nanjing Medical University (NMU), China, in 1996 and his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in 2004.

Dr. Zhou is a molecular immunologist with specialization in two major areas: mucosal immunity and lymphocyte development/differentiation. His research focuses on environmental impact (e.g., microbes and dietary components) on host immunity, especially in mucosal tissues. The majority of his research utilizes mouse genetic models, molecular and cellular immunological approaches, and genome-based technologies. 

In 2015, Dr. Zhou moved to the University of Florida from Northwestern University as part of UF’s Preeminence Initiative in Mucosal Immunology.

Accomplishments

Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Shanthi Sitaraman Lecture Series, Lecture speaker
2016 · Georgia State University
Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
2013 · Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Early Career Reviewer (ECR) program at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
2012 · National Institute of Health, NIH
Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award
2011 · Cancer Research Institute
Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences
2011 · Pew Charitable Trusts
ICS Young Investigator Award
2010 · International Cytokine Society
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship
2008 · Howard Hughes Medical Institute
International Cytokine Society Travel Award
2007 · Arthritis National Research Foundation
Postdoctoral Investigator Award
2007 · International Cytokine Society
Ariad Research Fellow–Cancer Research Institute-Irvington Institute Fellowship
2005 · CRI-Irvington Institute

Research Profile

Dr. Zhou is actively involved in mucosal immunology research. Over the years, he has published work in various high impact journals, including Cell, Nature, Immunity, Nature Immunology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Science Translational Medicine, and Mucosal Immunology. During the past four years, Dr. Zhou has published four papers as a corresponding author in Immunity elucidating the molecular regulation of a type of innate lymphoid cells (group 3 innate lymphoid cells—ILC3s). His papers are highly cited and have been considered landmark discoveries in the field of immunology.

As a result of his successful research, Dr. Zhou has received various prestigious awards, including being named an International Cytokine Society Young Investigator, a Cancer Research Institute Investigator, a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences, and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. He has also been invited to give talks at numerous meetings and institutions nationally and internationally, and his work has been continuously funded by NIH and other private funding agencies since 2005.

Dr. Zhou’s research on the crosstalk between environmental factors and the host immune system in order to control bacterial infections while maintaining immune homeostasis may represent a novel target for immunologic intervention in preventing and treating infectious diseases. His research may also reveal novel therapies through modulation of Ahr activity for autoimmunity and cancer.

Areas of Interest
  • Cancer
  • Gene expression
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolism
  • Microbiome
  • Mucosal immunology

Publications

2021
BCL11B is positioned upstream of PLZF and RORγt to control thymic development of mucosal-associated invariant T cells and MAIT17 program.
iScience. 24(4) [DOI] 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102307. [PMID] 33870128.
2021
Mitochondrial transcription factor A in RORγt+ lymphocytes regulate small intestine homeostasis and metabolism.
Nature communications. 12(1) [DOI] 10.1038/s41467-021-24755-9. [PMID] 34294718.
2020
Ahr-Foxp3-RORγt axis controls gut homing of CD4+ T cells by regulating GPR15.
Science immunology. 5(48) [DOI] 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaz7277. [PMID] 32532834.
2019
Activation of DR3 signaling causes loss of ILC3s and exacerbates intestinal inflammation.
Nature communications. 10(1) [DOI] 10.1038/s41467-019-11304-8. [PMID] 31358760.
2019
Bcl11b prevents fatal autoimmunity by promoting Treg cell program and constraining innate lineages in Treg cells.
Science advances. 5(8) [DOI] 10.1126/sciadv.aaw0480. [PMID] 31457080.
2019
Dichotomous regulation of group 3 innate lymphoid cells by nongastric Helicobacter species.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116(49):24760-24769 [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.1908128116. [PMID] 31740609.
2019
Hectd3 promotes pathogenic Th17 lineage through Stat3 activation and Malt1 signaling in neuroinflammation.
Nature communications. 10(1) [DOI] 10.1038/s41467-019-08605-3. [PMID] 30741923.
2019
IL-17-producing ST2+ group 2 innate lymphoid cells play a pathogenic role in lung inflammation.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 143(1):229-244.e9 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.03.007. [PMID] 29625134.
2019
Requirement of Mitochondrial Transcription Factor A in Tissue-Resident Regulatory T Cell Maintenance and Function.
Cell reports. 28(1):159-171.e4 [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.024. [PMID] 31269437.
2019
Yeats4 drives ILC lineage commitment via activation of Lmo4 transcription.
The Journal of experimental medicine. 216(11):2653-2668 [DOI] 10.1084/jem.20182363. [PMID] 31434684.
2018
Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Signaling Cell Intrinsically Inhibits Intestinal Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell Function.
Immunity. 49(5):915-928.e5 [DOI] 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.09.015. [PMID] 30446384.
2018
Bcl11b is essential for licensing Th2 differentiation during helminth infection and allergic asthma.
Nature communications. 9(1) [DOI] 10.1038/s41467-018-04111-0. [PMID] 29700302.
2018
Publisher Correction: Bcl11b is essential for licensing Th2 differentiation during helminth infection and allergic asthma.
Nature communications. 9(1) [DOI] 10.1038/s41467-018-05360-9. [PMID] 30026604.
2018
SjHSP60 induces CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ Tregs via TLR4-Mal-drived production of TGF-β in macrophages.
Immunology and cell biology. 96(9):958-968 [DOI] 10.1111/imcb.12160. [PMID] 29697865.
2017
Perfluorooctane sulfonate affects intestinal immunity against bacterial infection.
Scientific reports. 7(1) [DOI] 10.1038/s41598-017-04091-z. [PMID] 28701769.
2017
Regulation of Innate Lymphoid Cells by Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor.
Frontiers in immunology. 8 [DOI] 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01909. [PMID] 29354125.
2017
The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Preferentially Marks and Promotes Gut Regulatory T Cells.
Cell reports. 21(8):2277-2290 [DOI] 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.114. [PMID] 29166616.
2016
AHR Function in Lymphocytes: Emerging Concepts.
Trends in immunology. 37(1):17-31 [DOI] 10.1016/j.it.2015.11.007. [PMID] 26700314.
2016
Ikaros Inhibits Group 3 Innate Lymphoid Cell Development and Function by Suppressing the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Pathway.
Immunity. 45(1):185-97 [DOI] 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.06.027. [PMID] 27438771.
2016
Innate lymphoid cells in intestinal immunity and inflammation
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 73(2):237-252
2014
Induction of innate lymphoid cell-derived interleukin-22 by the transcription factor STAT3 mediates protection against intestinal infection.
Immunity. 40(1):25-39 [DOI] 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.10.021. [PMID] 24412612.
2014
Restriction of IL-22-producing T cell responses and differential regulation of regulatory T cell compartments by zinc finger transcription factor Ikaros.
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 193(8):3934-46 [DOI] 10.4049/jimmunol.1401234. [PMID] 25194055.
2013
Aryl hydrocarbon receptor promotes RORγt⁺ group 3 ILCs and controls intestinal immunity and inflammation.
Seminars in immunopathology. 35(6):657-70 [DOI] 10.1007/s00281-013-0393-5. [PMID] 23975386.
2013
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 [DOI] 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.08.002. [PMID] 23954130.
2012
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor regulates gut immunity through modulation of innate lymphoid cells.
Immunity. 36(1):92-104 [DOI] 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.11.011. [PMID] 22177117.
2008
TGF-beta-induced Foxp3 inhibits T(H)17 cell differentiation by antagonizing RORgammat function.
Nature. 453(7192):236-40 [DOI] 10.1038/nature06878. [PMID] 18368049.
2007
IL-6 programs T(H)-17 cell differentiation by promoting sequential engagement of the IL-21 and IL-23 pathways.
Nature immunology. 8(9):967-74 [PMID] 17581537.
View on: PubMed
2006
The orphan nuclear receptor RORgammat directs the differentiation program of proinflammatory IL-17+ T helper cells.
Cell. 126(6):1121-33 [PMID] 16990136.
View on: PubMed

Grants

Aug 2021 ACTIVE
Role of RORgt+ (note: g: is gamma symbol) lymphocytes in Gut Tissue Homeostasis
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIAID
Jul 2019 – Aug 2020
Role of Bcl11b in CD4+ T cells and innate lymphoid cells
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIAID
Jul 2017 ACTIVE
Regulation of Gut Innate Lymphoid Cells by Ahr
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIAID
Jul 2016 – Aug 2021
ROLE OF AHR IN T LYMPHOCYTE DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NIDDK
Dec 2015 ACTIVE
Environmental impact on host-pathogen interaction
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: BURROUGHS WELLCOME FUND
Dec 2015 – Nov 2018
a global view of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS SCHO PRG
Feb 2015 ACTIVE
UF Health Cancer Center Pilot Project Grants funded through the Florida Consortium of National Cancer Institute Centers Program
Role: Project Manager
Funding: UF HEALTH SHANDS HOSPITAL

Education

Ph.D – Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
2004 · University of California, Los Angeles
Medical Degree
1996 · Nanjing Medical University

Teaching Profile

Courses Taught
2019,2021
GMS5905 Special Topics in Biomedical Sciences
2018
GMS7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation
2018
GMS7979 Advanced Research
2018
VME7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation
2017-2018
VME4906 Problems in Veterinary Science
2016-2018
VME6934 Topics in Veterinary Medical Sciences
2021
GMS6140 Principles of Immunology

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(352) 294-8293
Emails: