Jian Zuo, PhD
Jian Zuo, PhD

Jian Zuo, PhD

Professor
Chair, Biomedical Sciences
School of Medicine, Omaha Campus

Academic Appointments

Department

  • Biomedical Sciences

Position

  • Professor

Biography

Jian Zuo obtained his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering in Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China in 1985. He then immigrated to US for his PhD in Physiology from UCSF in 1993. After postdoc training in Rockefeller University, he became a faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis since 1998. After 20 years, he recently moved to Creighton University School of Medicine as the Chairman and Professor in the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences in April 2018. He has published >100 research articles and >20 reviews with high impacts. He currently has 2 R01 grants, 2 DoD grants and one MRC grant. He has trained many successful students and postdocs and has interests in commercialization of his discoveries.

Publications and Presentations

Articles

  • Zallocchi M, Hati S, Xu Z, Hausman W, Liu H, He DZ, Zuo J. Characterization of quinoxaline derivatives for protection against iatrogenically induced hearing loss. JCI Insight. 2021 Mar 8;6(5):141561. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.141561. PMID: 33476306., JCI: Insight, 2021
  • Zallocchi M, Hati S, Xu Z, Hausman W, Liu H, He DZ, Zuo J. Characterization of quinoxaline derivatives for protection against iatrogenic-induced hearing loss. JCI: Insight, in press., JCI: Insight, 2021
  • “BRAF inhibition protects against hearing loss in mice” 2020. Ingersoll M, Malloy E, Caster L, Holland E, Xu Z, Zallocchi M, Currier D, Liu H, He D, Min J, Chen T, Zuo J, Teitz T. Sci. Adv. 6(49):eabd0561., Science Advances, 2020
  • Zhu GJ, Gong S, Ma DB, Tao T, He WQ, Zhang L, Wang F, Qian XY, Zhou H, Fan C, Wang P, Chen X, Zhao W, Sun J, Chen HQ, Wang Y, Gao X, Zuo J, Zhu MS, Gao X, Wan G. Aldh inhibitor restores auditory function in a mouse model of human deafness. PLoS Genetics, in press., PLoS Genetics, 2020
  • Rai V, Wood MB, Feng H, Schabla NM, Tu S, Yamashita T, Zuo J. The immune response after noise damage in the cochlea is characterized by a heterogeneous mix of adaptive and innate immune cells. Sci. Reports, in press., Sci Rep, 2020
  • Takahashi S, Yamashita T, Homma K, Zhou Y, Zuo J, Zheng J, Cheatham MA. Deletion of exons 17 and 18 in prestin’s STAS domain results in loss of function. Sci. Reports, In Press.
     , Scientific Reports, 2019
  • Rai V, Wood MB, Feng H, Schabla NM, Tu S, Yamashita T, Zuo J. The immune response after noise damage in the cochlea is characterized by a heterogeneous mix of adaptive and innate immune cells. Hearing Research, Revision.
     , Hearing Research, 2019
  • Zhu GJ, Gong S, Ma DB, Tao T, He WQ, Zhang L, Wang F, Qian XY, Zhou H, Fan C, Wang P, Chen X, Zhao W, Sun J, Chen HQ, Wang Y, Gao X, Zuo J, Zhu MS, Gao X, Wan G. Aldh inhibitor restores auditory function in a mouse model of human deafness. Submitted.
     , 2019
  • Iconaru L, Das S, Nourse A, Shelat AA, Zuo J*, Kriwacki RW*. Small molecule sequestration of the intrinsically disordered protein, p27Kip1, within soluble oligomers. Submitted.(* Co-corresponding authors)
     , 2019
  • Zhu GJ, Ma DB, Tao T, Wei-Qi He WQ, Wang F, Qian XY, Zhou H, Fan C, Wang P, Chen X, Zhao W, Sun J, Chen HQ, Wang Y, Gao X, Zuo J, Wan G, Gao X, Zhu MS. Aberrant Espin expression mediates the auditory pathology in a mouse model of the human DFNA15 deafness. Submitted., 2019
  • DiGuiseppi J, Zuo J. The awesome power of optogenetics in hearing research. Neuroscience Letters, 2019 May 14: 701:175-9.

     , Neuroscience Letters, 701, 175-9, 2019
  • Yamashita T, Zheng F, Finkelstein D, Kellard Z, Robert C, Rosencrance CD, Sugino K, Easton J, Gawad C, Zuo J. High-resolution transcriptional dissection of in vivo Atoh1-mediated cochlear hair cell conversion identifies Isl1 as a co-reprogramming factor. Published: July 31, 2018 PLOS Genetics https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007552, PLoS Genetics, 2018
  • Teitz T, Fang J, Goktug AN, Bonga JD, Diao S, Hazlitt RA, Iconaru L, Morfouace M, Currier D, Zhou Y, Umans RA, Taylor MR, Cheng C, Min J, Freeman B, Peng J, Roussel MR, Kriwacki R, Guy RK, Chen T, Zuo J. CDK2 inhibitors as candidate therapeutics for cisplatin- and noise-induced hearing loss. J. Experimental Medicine, 2018 April 2; 215(4): 1187-1203. doi: 10.1084/jem.20172246. Epub 2018 Mar 7. PMID: 29514916, J Exp Med, 215(4), 1187-1203, 2018
  • Steyger PS, Cunningham LL, Esquivel CR, Watts KL, Zuo J. Editorial: Cellular Mechanisms of Ototoxicity. Front Cell Neurosci. 2018 Mar 27;12:75. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00075. eCollection 2018., Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 12:75, 2018
  • Hazlitt RA, Min J, Zuo J. Progress in the development of preventative drugs for cisplatin-induced hearing loss, Invited Mini-perspective, J. Med Chem. J Med Chem. 2018 Feb 1. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b01653. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29361217, journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2018
  • Zhang XD, Thai PN, Ren L, Flores MCP, Ledford HA, Park S, Lee JH, Sihn CR, Chang CW, Chen WC, Timofeyev V, Zuo J, Chan JW, Yamoah EN, Chiamvimonvat N. Prestin amplifies cardiac motor functions. Cell Reports. In press., Cell Reports, 0000

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, cisplatin toxicity, or other insults affects 360 million people worldwide, but there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved drugs to prevent or treat it. We first performed high-throughput screens for small molecules that prevent cisplatin induced hearing loss in a cochlear derived cell line. The hit compounds were further validated in cochlear explants, zebrafish lateral-line neuromasts in vivo, and eventually in mouse and rat cochleae in vivo. We have so far identified and characterized several potent compounds that exhibit protection against not only cisplatin, but also antibiotics and noise induced hearing loss. We further investigated several targets of top compounds in knockout mouse models. To treat hearing loss, we first developed genetic mouse models in which hair cell regeneration occurred at adult ages. We utilized the state-of-the-art approaches such as conditional mouse genetics and 10X Genomics single-cell RNA seq analyses. Based on the mouse genetic results, we performed high-throughput screens of small molecules that mimic the genetics models. We further tested these top compounds in adult mice for hair cell regeneration. Combinatory applications of these top compounds could provide therapeutic intervention of hearing loss in clinics.

Current Research Projects


  • 1.    Walters Bradley J, Coak E, Dearman J, Bailey G, Yamashita T, Kuo B, Zuo J, In vivo interplay of p27Kip1, GATA3, ATOH1, and POU4F3 converts nonsensory cells to hair cells in adult mice. Cell Reports, 2017 Apr 11;19(2):307-320. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.03.044. NIHMS861746.
    2.    Teitz T, Fang J, Goktug AN, Bonga JD, Diao S, Hazlitt RA, Iconaru L, Morfouace M, Currier D, Zhou Y, Umans RA, Taylor MR, Cheng C, Min J, Freeman B, Peng J, Roussel MR, Kriwacki R, Guy RK, Chen T, Zuo J. CDK2 inhibitors as candidate therapeutics for cisplatin- and noise-induced hearing loss. J. Experimental Medicine, 2018 April 2; 215(4): 1187-1203. doi: 10.1084/jem.20172246. Epub 2018 Mar 7. PMC 5881471
    3.    Yamashita T, Zheng F, Finkelstein D, Kellard Z, Robert C, Rosencrance CD, Sugino K, Easton J, Gawad C, Zuo J. High-resolution transcriptional dissection of in vivo Atoh1-mediated hair cell conversion in mature cochleae identifies Isl1 as a co-reprogramming factor. PLoS Genetics, 14(7):e1007552, 2018. PMC6086484.
    4.    Hazlitt RA, Teitz T, Bonga J, Fang J, Diao S, Iconaru L, Yang L, Goktug AN, Currier D, Chen T, Rankovic Z, Min J, Zuo J. Development of Second-Generation CDK2 Inhibitors for the Prevention of Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss. J. Med Chem., 61(17):7700-7709, 2018.
    5.    DiGuiseppi J, Zuo J. The awesome power of optogenetics in hearing research. Neuroscience Letters, Invited Review, In Press.
     

Grant Funding Received

  • Sponsored Research Program to Zuo Frequency Therapeutics Title: Profile the gene signature of individual cell populations in the cochlea with or without perturbations using single cell RNAseq analysis.
  • Office of Naval Research/University of Montana Subaward (Zuo/Steyger, subcontract PIs) “Trans-Middle Ear Drug Delivery”. Specific aims are to develop an in vitro screening tool to identify therapeutics for non-invasive local delivery to the inner ear via eardrops.
  • W81XWH-20-HRRP ZUO (PI) 9/1/2021-8/31/2023 10% effort DoD/USAMRMC-RH200079 Total Cost: $763,000 (recommended for funding) Pre-clinical and clinical therapeutics for noise-induced hearing loss
  • NE LB606 DHHS Stem Cell Research Grant Award for project titled “Cochlear Stem Cells for Hearing Restoration.”