Chengji Zhou, Ph.D.

 Chengji  Zhou, Ph.D.


  • Associate Professor
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine


Developmental Disorders and Regeneration

Research Summary

We study morphogenetic signaling regulation in mammalian neural development and regeneration. We are primarily interested in tissue/organ morphogenesis that is regulated by several inductive factors such as Wnts. Incorrect activity and timing of morphogenetic signaling during development frequently result in embryonic death or severe birth defects. Currently we are investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of several developmental disorders and their prevention strategies using Wnt signaling mutants as the research model. We are also investigating the role of Wnt signaling in neural stem cells and related regeneration processes to enhance their therapeutic potential.

Select Publications

2013. Zhao T*, Gan Q*, Stokes A, Lassiter RN, Wang YP, Chan J, Han J, Pleasure DE, Epstein JA, Zhou CJ. Beta-catenin regulates Pax3 and Cdx2 for caudal neural tube closure and elongation. Development (accepted) *equal contribution

2013. Gan Q*, Lee A*, Suzuki R*, Yamagami T, Stokes A, Nguyen B, Pleasure D, Wang J, Chen HW, Zhou CJ. Pax6 mediates ß-catenin signaling for self-renewal and neurogenesis by neocortical radial glial stem cells. Stem Cells (in press) * equal contribution

2011. Wang YZ, Plane JM, Jiang P, Zhou CJ, Deng W. Concise Review: Quiescent and active states of endogenous adult neural stem cells: identification and characterization. Stem Cells (DOI:10.1002/stem.644)

2011. Wang YZ, Yamagami T, Gan Q, Wang Y, Zhao T, Hamad S, Lott P, Schnittke N, Schwob JE, Zhou CJ. Canonical Wnt signaling promotes proliferation and neurogenesis of peripheral olfactory stem cells during postnatal development and adult regeneration. Journal of Cell Science 124:1553-1563. (Journal Cover)

2011. Wang Y, Song L, Zhou CJ. The canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway regulates Fgf signaling for early facial development. Developmental Biology 349:250-260.

2010. Zhou CJ, Wang YZ, Yamagami T, Zhao T, Song L, Wang K. Generation of Lrp6 conditional gene-targeting mouse line for modeling and dissecting multiple birth defects/congenital anomalies. Developmental Dynamics 239:318-326.

2010. Song L, Li Y, Wang K, Zhou CJ. Cardiac neural crest and outflow tract defects in Lrp6 mutant mice. Developmental Dynamics 239:200-210.

2009. Song L, Li Y, Wang K, Wang YZ, Molotkov A, Gao L, Zhao T, Yamagami T, Wang Y, Gan Q, Pleasure DE, Zhou CJ. Lrp6-mediated canonical Wnt signaling is required for lip formation and fusion. Development 136:3161-3171. (Editorial Featured)

2008. Wang YZ, Molotkov A, Song L, Li Y, Pleasure DE, Zhou CJ. Activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling reporter in developing mouse olfactory nerve layer marks a specialized subgroup of olfactory ensheathing cells. Developmental Dynamics 237:3157-3168.

2008. Zhou CJ, Molotkov A, Song L, Li Y, Pleasure DE, Pleasure SJ, Wang YZ. Ocular coloboma and dorsoventral neuroretinal patterning defects in Lrp6 mutant eyes. Developmental Dynamics 237:3681-3689.


Graduate Program of Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Genetics Graduate Group

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Center for Neuroscience

Cancer Center

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California