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Dr Haiyan Zhou
ICH main building - office 120-121
30 Guilford Street
London
WC1N 1EH
Tel: 020 7905 2868
Appointment
  • Lecturer
  • ICH Genetics & Genomic Medicine Prog
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences
Biography

Dr Haiyan Zhou is a principal investigator and lecturer in genetics and genomic medicine.  Her research focuses on RNA-targeted therapy in genetic conditions and translational biomedical research in muscular dystrophies. Previously Dr Zhou worked with Professor Francesco Muntoni on developing antisense oligonucleotide therapy in neuromuscular disorders, and was involved in the preclinical development of antisense therapy in spinal muscular atrophy and muscular dystrophies. 

Dr Zhou is a member of the World Muscle Society, the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy and the Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society. She holds a medical degree in clinical medicine and Ph.D. in skin pharmacology from Peking Union Medical College.  



Research Summary

Starting with the project of exploring genetic defects in congenital myopathies, I reported for the first time that a variety of genetic defects in RYR1 gene were responsible for the wide clinical spectrum of congenital myopathies, and expanded the complex genotype-phenotype correlations. This study was followed by project on exploring the molecular basis of core myopathy awarded by Muscular Dystrophy Association (US). Further investigations on functional consequences of genetic defects in RYR1 gene, additional RYR1-related clinical features and novel molecular pathogenesis have since been reported.
  My research also focuses on developing novel molecular therapies for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The initial project was supported by Wellcome Trust on correcting pre-mRNA splicing in SMA by using antisense oligonucleotides (AON). Continual supports include Wellcome Trust Value in People grant and UCL Therapeutic Innovation Fund. A MRC collaborative project was awarded to develop the advanced peptide-conjugated AO therapy for SMA. Research grants were also awarded from SMA-Europe and GOSH charity to explore additional pathogenesis in SMA and identify novel therapeutic targets. 
  We are now developing AON therapies for Collagen VI-related muscular dystrophies supported by Muscular Dystrophy UK. Further support also comes from UCL/GOSH BRC to expand the application of AON technology into more genetic conditions and biomarker studies in SMA.     

Teaching Summary

Dr Haiyan Zhou is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Lectures:
a.   
MSc course (ICH): Molecule and Genetic Basis of Paediatrics. Lecture: DMD and disease therapy/ Therapies for neuromuscular disorders.
b.    Neuromuscular Master Programme (MRC Neuromuscular Centre and UCL): Advanced Genetic Technologies and their Clinical Applications Module lead. Lecture: Gene Therapy I- antisense oligonucleotides as therapeutic tools.

Research projects Supervision:
a. MRC PhD studentship rotation projects.
b. UCL Biomedicine MSc programme.
c. UCL GOSICH Molecule and genetic basis of Paediatrics MSc programme.
d. The integrated BSc degree in Neurosciences (UCL Medical students only).
e. UCL GOSICH Cell and Gene Therapy MSc programme.
f. Human Molecular Genetics MSc programme (Imperial College London).

 

Academic Background
2016 AFHEA ATQ02 - Recognised by the HEA as an Associate Fellow – Academic studies in Higher Education University College London
2002 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Physiology Chinese Academy of Medical Science
1999 MMed Master of Medicine – Medical Research Qingdao medical College
1994 MBBS Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine Qingdao medical College
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