Ruobo Zhou, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Office: 305 Chemistry Building, University Park, PA 16802


Phone: (814)865-2897


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


Dr. Ruobo Zhou earned his B.S. in Applied Physics from University of Science and Technology of China and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) under the supervision of Dr. Taekjip Ha. Dr. Zhou then became a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang’s lab in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, where he was also an HHMI fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation. Dr. Zhou’s research seeks to elucidate the compartmentalization and spatiotemporal organization of protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions that drive critical biological processes involved in basic cell functions and diseases, and to understand the origin, structure, and function of these subcellular compartments and organizations and how they collectively respond to changing conditions during growth, development, and disease at the molecular, cellular, and tissue levels. Towards this end, Dr. Zhou aims to develop and apply innovative single-molecule detection techniques, super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, as well as high throughput “omics” approaches such as mass spectrometry-based proteomic analyses and transcriptome-scale imaging methods. As a graduate student at UIUC, he developed a hybrid single-molecule instrument combining optical tweezers with single-molecule fluorescence microscopy and applied this technique to illuminate important protein-DNA interactions in vitro (cell-free systems) involved in DNA repair, replication, and recombination. In his postdoc work at Harvard, he extended his analyses of functional biomolecular interactions from cell-free to in vivo systems, to use mass-spectrometry-based analysis and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to study the protein-protein interactions at the plasma membrane of neurons.

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