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Ruobo Zhou

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Ruobo Zhou

Professional Appointments and Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Eberly College of Science

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering

Molecular Cellular and Integrative Bio-Sciences graduate program, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences

Integrative and Biomedical Physiology graduate program, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences


305 Chemistry Building


Post doc, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

Ph.D., Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

B.S., Applied Physics, University of Science and Technology of China

Honors and Awards

Life Sciences Research Foundation (LSRF) Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014-2017 ($180,000 in total; Awarded nationally to ~25 from over 1000 candidates across a spectrum of fields in life sciences)

NSF Center for the Physics of Living Cells (CPLC) Fellowship, 2012

Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Studying Abroad, 2012

Yee Memorial Fellowship, College of Engineering, UIUC, 2010

I2CAM-FAPERJ Biological Physics Spring School Travel Award, 2008

Samsung Award, 2005

Outstanding Student Award (First Prize), USTC, 2002-2005

Selected Publications

R Zhou, B Han, C Xia, X Zhuang. “Membrane-associated periodic skeleton is a signaling platform for RTK transactivation in neurons.” Science 365, 929-934 (2019)

R Zhou (co-corresponding author), O Yang, AC Déclais et al. “Junction resolving enzymes use multivalency to keep the Holliday junction dynamic.” Nature Chemical Biology 15, 269-275 (2019)

Y Sigal, R Zhou, X Zhuang. “Visualizing and discovering cellular structures with super-resolution microscopy.” Science 361, 880-887 (2018)

B Han, R Zhou (co-first author, co-corresponding author), C Xia, X Zhuang, “Structural organization of the actin-spectrin–based membrane skeleton in dendrites and soma of neurons” PNAS 114,6678-6685 (2017)

J He, R Zhou (co-first author), Z Wu et al., “Prevalent presence of periodic actin–spectrin-based membrane skeleton in a broad range of neuronal cell types and animal species.” PNAS 113, 6029-6034 (2016)

C Wang, B Han, R Zhou, X Zhuang. “Real-time imaging of translation on single mRNA transcripts in live cells.” Cell 165, 990-1001 (2016)

TTM Ngo, Q Zhang, R Zhou, JG Yodh and T Ha. “Asymmetric unwrapping of nucleosomes under tension directed by DNA local flexibility.” Cell 160, 1135-1144 (2015)

R Zhou, J Zhang, ML Bochman, VA Zakian and T Ha. “Periodic DNA patrolling underlies diverse functions of Pif1 on R-loops and G-rich DNA.” eLife 3, e02190 (2014)

R Zhou, AG Kozlov, R Roy, J Zhang, S Korolev, TM Lohman and T Ha. “SSB functions as a sliding platform that migrates on DNA via reptation.” Cell 146, 222-232 (2011), selected as the Cell PaperFlick (video) of the issue (youtube)

R Zhou, S Kunzelmann, M Webb, T Ha. “Detecting intramolecular conformational dynamics of single molecules in short distance range with sub-nanometer sensitivity.” Nano Letters 11, 5482-5488 (2011)

C Grashoff , BD Hoffman, MD Brenner, R Zhou, M Parsons, MT Yang, M A. McLean, SG Sligar, CS Chen, T Ha and MA Schwartz. “Measuring mechanical tension across vinculin reveals regulation of focal adhesion dynamics.” Nature 466, 263–266 (2010)

S Hohng, R Zhou, MK Nahas, J Yu, K Schulten, DMJ Lilley and T Ha. “Fluorescence-force spectroscopy maps two-dimensional reaction landscape of the Holliday junction.” Science 318, 279-283 (2007)