Jian Zuo, Ph.D.

Jian Zuo, Ph.D.

Department of Developmental Neurobiology
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Affiliated Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Tel: (901) 495-3891
Fax: (901) 495-2270
Email: Jian Zuo


  • Ph.D. Institution: University of California, San Francisco, CA (1993)
  • Postdoctoral: Rockefeller University


Research Interests

The work in Dr. Zuo's laboratory is focused on the identification and characterization of genes important for the development and degeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells and inner ear hair cells. They are taking two complimentary approaches. The first, positional cloning of mouse mutant genes, takes advantage of recent advances in the mouse genome project. Mouse cerebellar mutants, such as lurcher (Lc), Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) and nervous (nr), are of particular interest. They have identified and characterized the Lc gene and established genetic and physical maps of pcd and nr loci. As the mutant pcd gene induces Bcl-2 dependent apoptosis, they are searching for downstream genes involved in the degenerative process in pcd mutant mice. The second approach takes advantage of a new technique that allows modification of endogenous genes in bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene and further introduction of modified BACS into pronuclei to generate trans-genic mice with labeled neurons in the developing brain. They have chosen to modify three genes that have been shown to be expressed specifically in hair cells of the inner ear: alpha-9 AchR, Brn3.1 and delta-1 GluR. These transgenic mice will provide a resource for the construction of hair cell specific cDNA libraries at different developmental stages, as well as a tool for the introduction of exogenous genes into hair cells in vivo and for making hair cell specific knockout mice.

Representative Publications

  • Yamashita T, Zheng F, Finkelstein D, Kellard Z, Carter R, Rosencrance CD, Sugino K, Easton J, Gawad C, Zuo J. High-resolution transcriptional dissection of in vivo Atoh1-mediated hair cell conversion in mature cochleae identifies Isl1 as a co-reprogramming factor. PLoS Genet. 2018 Jul 31;14(7):e1007552. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007552. eCollection 2018 Jul. PubMed PMID: 30063705; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6086484.
  • Steyger PS, Cunningham LL, Esquivel CR, Watts KL, Zuo J. Editorial: Cellular Mechanisms of Ototoxicity. Front Cell Neurosci. 2018 Mar 27;12:75. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00075. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29636663; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5881100.
  • Teitz T, Fang J, Goktug AN, Bonga JD, Diao S, Hazlitt RA, Iconaru L, Morfouace M, Currier D, Zhou Y, Umans RA, Taylor MR, Cheng C, Min J, Freeman B, Peng J, Roussel MF, Kriwacki R, Guy RK, Chen T, Zuo J. CDK2 inhibitors as candidate therapeutics for cisplatin- and noise-induced hearing loss. J Exp Med. 2018 Apr 2;215(4):1187-1203. doi: 10.1084/jem.20172246. Epub 2018 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 29514916; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5881471.
  • Ban D, Iconaru LI, Ramanathan A, Zuo J, Kriwacki RW. A Small Molecule Causes a Population Shift in the Conformational Landscape of an Intrinsically Disordered Protein. J Am Chem Soc. 2017 Oct 4;139(39):13692-13700. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b01380. Epub 2017 Sep 21. PubMed PMID: 28885015; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5962290.
  • Lukashkina VA, Yamashita T, Zuo J, Lukashkin AN, Russell IJ. Amplification mode differs along the length of the mouse cochlea as revealed by connexin 26 deletion from specific gap junctions. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 12;7(1):5185. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04279-3. PubMed PMID: 28701711; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5507891.
  • Walters BJ, Coak E, Dearman J, Bailey G, Yamashita T, Kuo B, Zuo J. In Vivo Interplay between p27(Kip1), GATA3, ATOH1, and POU4F3 Converts Non-sensory Cells to Hair Cells in Adult Mice. Cell Rep. 2017 Apr 11;19(2):307-320. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.03.044. PubMed PMID: 28402854; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5423718.

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