Lan Zhou, MD, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
School of Medicine
GI Cancer Genetics Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Lan Zhou earned her M.D. from Shanghai Medical University in 1991. She then spent two years at the Graduate School of Shanghai Medical University, Department of Biochemistry. The next six years were spent at State University of New York at Buffalo, NY, where she received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology. While a graduate student, she studied gap junction protein regulation by Src oncogene. She then joined the lab of Dr. John Lowe in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Michigan. While in Dr John Lowe’s lab, she worked on Notch fucosylation modification in hematopoiesis. She then started her Clinical Pathology Residency training in 2001 followed by Transfusion Medicine Fellowship training at University of Michigan Hospitals.

In 2005, Dr. Zhou joined Case Western Research University School of Medicine in the Department of Pathology as an Assistant Professor, and she has clinical services in Transfusion Medicine since. She became the Director of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) in 2007. She is currently an Associate Professor with tenure. Dr. Zhou is board certified in American Board of Clinical Pathology/Transfusion Medicine and American Board of Molecular Genetic Pathology. 

Research Information

Research Projects

The research in Dr Zhou’s laboratory focuses on Notch in hematopoiesis and in cancer biology. Since 2005, her research is devoted to understanding how fucosylation affects Notch-dependent regulation of hematopoietic stem cell proliferation, early myeloid lineage specification and hematopoietic stem cell niche maintenance.

Dr. Zhou’s long term research goals include:

  1. Explore the role of Notch/Hes1 in colon epithelial homeostasis, immunity, and colon carcinogenesis in the serrated pathway.
  2. Define mechanism(s) by which Notch functions as a signaling molecule and an adhesion molecule in HSC niche lodgement, maintenance, and in stem cell mobilization.
  3. Explore molecular and cellular regulations of leukemia microenvironment and the role of Notch in leukemia and tumor micro-environment.
  4. Develop a deeper understanding of several pancreatic cancer biomarkers, including PrP, Notch1, and CRABP-II, and their physiological significance in pancreatic cancer progression and metastasis.

Her research utilizes a combination of animal models and human tissue and cancer specimens. Dr Zhou’s clinical research focuses on the application of cutting-edge molecular diagnostic tools in infectious diseases, transfusion medicine, solid tumors and hematologic neoplasms. 

External Appointments

Interim Director, Genetics Lab
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center


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Doctor of Medicine
Shanghai Medical University
Doctor of Philosophy
Molecular and Cell Biology
State University of New York

Residencies, Internships and Fellowships

Residency, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology
University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers
Fellowship, Hematology - Pathology
University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers

Additional Information