I grew up in Yixing, Jiangsu, China. I attended my undergraduate program at Nanjing University, China. In the fall of 2003, I came to the US to pursue my PhD degree in Biology at the University of Rochester. Under the guidance of Dr. Tom Eickbush, my thesis work focused on the dynamic landscape of rDNA locus, as well as the regulation of site-specific transposable elements in the locus in Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans.
I am broadly interested in molecular, evolutionary genetics and genomics. My current research crosses multiple subjects including transposable elements, repetitive sequences and heterochromatin. I am primarily focusing on the function and evolutionary role of the extremely heterochromatic, gene-poor Y chromosome in D. melanogaster, using genetic and genomic approaches. Copy number variants (CNV) and their effects on gene expression are one of my other primary projects. In addition, with respect to the central question of evolutionary research - how are species formed? - I am trying to map factors that are involved in male sterility in hybrids of D.simulans and D. mauritiana.
Zhou J, Eickbush MT, Eickbush TH. 2011. A population genetic model for the long-term stability of R2 retrotransposable elements in rRNA gene loci. In review.
Zhou J, Lemos B, Dopman EB, Hartl DL. 2011. Copy number variation: the balance between gene dosage and expression in Drosophila melanogaster. Genome Biology and Evolution. In press.
Zhou J, Eickbush TH. 2009. The pattern of R2 retrotransposon activity in natural populations of Drosophila simulans reflects the dynamic nature of the rDNA locus. PLoS Genetics. 5(2):e1000386.
Zhang X, Zhou J, Eickbush TH. 2008. Rapid R2 retrotransposition leads to the loss of previously inserted copies via large deletions of the rDNA locus. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 25(1):229-237.
Fishing, travel, technology, as well as finance and politics