Chenji Zhou, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
602B Shriners Hospital, Sacramento Campus
Ph: 916-453-2268

The Zhou lab studies morphogenetic signaling in neural development and regeneration. They 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 the Zhou lab is investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of several common developmental disorders and their prevention strategies using Wnt signaling mutants as the research model. They are also investigating the role of Wnt signaling in neural stem cells and related regeneration process to enhance their therapeutic potential for patients with related genetic diseases, brain tumors, and injured nerve tissues.

For more information, please visit the Zhou lab homepage at

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. PMID: 18816448.

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. PMID: 18985738.

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. PMID: 19700620. (Editorial Featured)

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. PMID: 19705442.

2010 Zhou CJ*, Wang YZ, Yamagami T, Zhao T, Song L, Wang K. Generation of the Lrp6 conditional mutant mouse line for modeling and dissecting multiple birth defects/congenital diseases. Developmental Dynamics 239:318-326. PMID: 19653321.

2011 Wang YP, Song L, Zhou CJ*. The canonical Wnt/ß-catenin signaling pathway regulates Fgf signaling for early facial development. Developmental Biology 349:250-260. PMID: 21070765.

2011 He F, Xiong W, Wang Y, Li L, Liu C, Yamagami T, Taketo MM, Zhou CJ, Chen Y. Epithelial Wnt/ß-catenin signaling regulates palatal shelf fusion through regulation of Tgfß3 expression. Developmental Biology 350:511-519. PMID: 21185284.

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. PMID: 21486944. (Journal Cover)

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 29:907-912. PMID: 21557389.  

2011 Guo F, Maeda Y, Ma J, Delgado M, Sohn J, Miers L, Mills Ko E, Bannerman P, Xu J, Wang YZ, Zhou CJ, Takebayashi H, Pleasure D. Macroglial plasticity and the origins of reactive astroglia in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Journal of Neuroscience 31:11914-11928. PMID: 21849552.

  • CHA403, Neuroscience

Teaching and Research Awards

  • UC Davis Health System Research Award
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • UC Davis Children’s Miracle Network
  • American Cancer Society
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • National Institutes of Health