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Photo of Zhou, Xiaofeng (Charles)

Xiaofeng (Charles) Zhou, PhD, MS

Associate Professor



Building & Room:



801 S. Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60612


Dr. Zhou received his PhD in Biochemistry from Boston University, and a M.S. degree in Software Engineering from Brandeis University. He did his Post-Doctoral training in human genetics and second Post-Doctoral training in cancer genomics at Boston Medical Center and University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), respectively. He has published over 100 journal articles, reviews, and book chapters. His research interests include cellular behavior such as cell migration.

Selected Publications

L. Chen, Z. Chen, A. Simões, X. Wu, Y. Dai, L.A. DiPietro, X. Zhou. Site-specific expression pattern of PIWI-interacting RNA in skin and oral mucosal wound healing. Int J Mol Sci (2020) 21(2): 521.

L. Chen, A. Simões, Z. Chen, Y. Zhao, X. Wu, Y. Dai, L.A. DiPietro, X. Zhou. Over-expression of the oral mucosa-specific microRNA-31 promotes skin wound closure. Int J Mol Sci (2019) 20(15): 3679.

A. Simoes, L. Chen, Z. Chen, Y. Zhao, S. Gao, P.T. Marucha, Y. Dai, L.A. DiPietro, X. Zhou. Differential microRNA profile underlies the divergent healing responses in skin and oral mucosal wounds. Sci Rep (2019) 9:7160.

Z. Lu, Q. He, J. Liang, W. Li, Z. Chen, Q. Wan, X. Zhou, L. Cao, J. Sun, Y. Wu, L. Liu, J. Hou, K. Lian, A. Wang. MiR-31-5p as a circulating biomarker and therapeutic target for oral cancer. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids (2019) 16(7):471-480.

W. Wang, Q. He, J. Sun, Z. Liu, L. Zhao, Z. Lu, X. Zhou, A. Wang. Pyruvate kinase M2 deregulation enhances the metastatic potential of tongue squamous cell carcinoma. Oncotarget (2017) 8(40):68252-68262.

W. Wang, Q. He, W. Yan, J. Sun, Z. Chen, Z. Liu, Z. Lu, J. Hou, Y. Shao, X. Zhou, A. Wang. High glucose enhances the metastatic potential of tongue squamous cell carcinoma via the PKM2 pathway. Oncotarget (2017) 8(67):111770-111779.

Z. Chen, T. Yu, R.J. Cabay, Y. Jin, I. Mahjabeen, X. Luan, L. Huang, Y. Dai, X. Zhou. miR-486-3p, miR-139-5p and miR-21 as biomarkers for the detection of oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma. Biomarkers in Cancer (2017) 9:1-8.

Q. He, Z. Chen, Q. Dong, L. Zhang, D. Chen, A. Patel, A. Koya, X. Luan, R.J. Cabay, Y. Dai, A. Wang, X. Zhou. MicroRNA-21 regulates Prostaglandin E2 signaling pathway by targeting 15-Hydroxyprostaglandin Dehydrogenase in tongue squamous cell carcinoma. BMC Cancer (2016) 16(1):685.

Q. He, Z. Chen, R.J. Cabay, L. Zhang, X. Luan, D. Chen, T. Yu, A. Wang, X. Zhou. MicroRNA-21 and microRNA-375 from oral cytology as biomarkers for oral tongue cancer detection. Oral Oncol (2016) 57:15-20.

X. Zhou, X. Luan, Z. Chen, M. Francis, G. Gopinathan, W. Li, X. Lu, S. Li, C. Wu, TGH Diekwisch. MicroRNA-138 inhibits periodontal progenitor differentiation through osteocalcin. J Dent Res (2016) 95(2):230-7.


  • Boston University PhD (Biochemistry), 2000
  • Brandeis University MS (Software Engineering), 2002

Professional Memberships

American Association for Cancer Research
American Society of Human Genetics

Research Currently in Progress

I am a biochemist turned molecular geneticist who has been fascinated by differential regulation of cellular behaviors (e.g., cell migration). My laboratory has been using oral cancer metastasis as our model system to study the genomic regulation (e.g., microRNA) of epithelial cell migration for over 15 years. During the past 5 years, we are expanding our study by using wound healing as a new model for our investigation of cell migration.