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Welcome to the Zou laboratory!

We are an interdisciplinary research group that is broadly interested in understanding how the chemical nature of cellular metabolites support their specific biological functions. Our current focus is to study the role of lipid metabolism in mammalian development and diseases including cancer and organ degeneration. In our group, we integrate molecular, cellular, genetic, system and chemical biology approaches to discover novel lipid molecules and pathways, and identify novel therapeutic targets and drug candidates for treating human diseases associated with lipid dysregulation. Specifically, we are actively pursuing the following research directions:

  1. Understanding and targeting ferroptosis in human diseases

  2. Constructing a Mammalian Lipidome Atlas to understand lineage-specific roles of the lipidome

  3. ​Decoding the contribution of lipid metabolism in tumorigenesis and metastasis

  4. Developing novel tools and technologies for detecting unique lipid species, and identifying new therapeutic modalities for targeting lipid metabolism related human diseases


We are always looking for passionate and talented scientists to join our efforts! We are committed to provide the best training for the next generation of scientists. We endeavor to provide an innovative, rigorous, and collegial research environment for our trainees, and offer continuous support for the career growth of young scientists.

About the Principal Investigator (PI)

Yilong Zou 邹贻龙 照片1_lowres.jpg


Dr. Zou received his Bachelor's degree from the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2009. After a gap year working as a Research Assistant in Dr. Li Yu's group also in Tsinghua University, he joined the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA to pursue his Ph.D. In graduate school, he worked with Dr. Joan Massagué on mechanisms of pluripotent stem cell differentiation and cancer metastasis. In 2016, Dr. Zou obtained his Ph.D. degree and then started his postdoctoral training in the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Science Program at the Broad Institute and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, under the mentorship of Dr. Stuart L. Schreiber. Dr. Zou is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Westlake University, directing the Laboratory of Functional Lipidomics and Metabolic Regulation.   

Yilong Zou 邹贻龙, Ph.D.


2022     MIT Technology Review's "Innovators Under 35 China" for 2022

2020     Harvard HCLS Distinguished Research Award

2020     NIH Pathway-to-Independence K99/R00 award

2019     Broad Institute Shark Tank award

2012     The Grayer Fellowship, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

2009     Undergraduate Research Excellence Award, first prize, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University

2009     international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, MIT, bronze award (team leader of Tsinghua University)

2008     'Star of Science' in undergraduates, Tsinghua University    

Highlighted Publications

1. Wang F, Naowarojna N, Zou Y. Stratifying ferroptosis sensitivity in cells and mouse tissues by photochemical activation of lipid peroxidation and fluorescent imaging. STAR Protocols 2022 doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2022.101189

2. Wang F*, Graham ET*, Naowarojna N*, Shi Z*, Wang Y, Xie G, Zhou L, Salmon W, Jia J, Wang X, Huang Y, Schreiber SL#, Zou Y#. PALP: A rapid imaging technique for stratifying ferroptosis sensitivity in normal and tumor tissues in situ. Cell Chemical Biology 2021 doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2021.11.001 (*co-first author, #co-corresponding author)


3. Zou Y*,#, Henry WS*, Ricq EL*, Graham ET, Maretich P, Paradkar S, Phadnis VV, Boehnke N, Deik AA, Reinhardt F, Eaton JK, Ferguson B, Wang W, Fairman J, Keys H, Dančík V, Clish CB, Clemons PA, Hammond PT, Boyer LA, Weinberg RA#, and Schreiber SL#. Plasticity of ether lipids promotes ferroptosis susceptibility and evasionNature 2020 Sep 16. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2732-8.(*co-first author, #co-corresponding author)

4. Zou Y* & Schreiber SL*. Progress in understanding ferroptosis and challenges in its targeting for therapeutic benefit. Cell Chemical Biology 2020 April; 27(4): 463-471. (Perspective) (*co-corresponding author).   

5. Zou Y*,#, Li H*, Graham ET, Deik AA, Eaton JK, Wang, Sandoval-Gomez G, Clish, Doench JG, & Schreiber SL#. Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase contributes to phospholipid peroxidation in ferroptosis. Nature Chemical Biology 2020 Mar;16(3):302-309.  PMID: 32080622.

(*co-first author, #co-corresponding author)

6. Zou Y, Palte MJ, Deik AA, Li H, Eaton JK, Wang W, Tseng Y-Y, Deasy R, Alimova M, Dančik V, Leshchiner ES, Viswanathan VS, Signoretti S, Choueiri TK, Boehm JS, Wagner BK, Doench J, Clish CB, Clemons PA, and Schreiber SL. A GPX4-dependent cancer cell state underlies the clear-cell morphology and confers sensitivity to ferroptosis. Nature Communications 2019 Apr 8;10(1):1617. PMID: 30962421. doi:

7. Wang Q*, Zou Y*, Nowotschin S, Li Q, Soh C-L, Kim SY, Xi Q, Zhang C, Su J, Shu W, Huangfu D, Hadjantonakis A-K and Massagué J.  The p53 family coordinates Wnt and Nodal Inputs for mesendoderm differentiation of embryonic stem cells. Cell Stem Cell 2017 Jan 5;20(1):70-86. PMID: 27889317. (*Co-first author)

8. Aragón A*, Wang Q*, Zou Y*, Morgani SM, Ruiz L, Kaczmarska Z, Su J, Torner C, Tian L, Hu J, Shu W, Agrawal S, Márquez JA, Hadjantonakis A-K, Macias MJ, and Massagué J. Structural basis for distinct roles of SMAD2 and SMAD3 in FOXH1 pioneer directed TGF-β signaling. Genes&Development 2019 Nov 1;33(21-22):1506-1524. doi:10.1101/gad.330837.119. (*co-first author, listed in alphabetical order.)



(Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification and Sequencing)

 - For gene expression analysis of cells in situ (Doyle et al.; Heiman et al., Cell 2008; Zhang*, Jin* et al., Cell 2013; Obenauf, Zou*, Ji* et al., Nature 2015)

GeLiNEA Pathway Analysis

(Gene-List Network Enrichment Analysis)

 - An advanced strategy for gene signature enrichment analysis and pathway identification

(Zou*, Henry*, Ricq* et al., Nature 2020)

- Serves similar purpose as GSEA (Gene Set Enrichment Analysis, Subramanian et al., PNAS 2005) but with increased sensitivity and statistical power

- Computational code available: 


(Photochemical Activation of Lipid Peroxidation)

 - For detecting polyunsaturated lipids in live cells (Wang et al., Cell Chemical Biology 2021; Wang et al., STAR Protocols 2022)


External Links:

Westlake University:

School of Life Sciences:



NCI Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD²) Network:

Cancer Dependency Map:

Cancer Therapeutics Response Portal:

cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics:


Lipid MAPS:

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