Huaijun Zhou

Huaijun Zhou

Position Title

Animal Science


Zhou, a professor in the Department of Animal Science, specializes in immunology and genetics. Zhou completed his Ph.D. in immunogenetics and molecular genetics at Iowa State University and joined the UC Davis faculty in 2011 from Texas A&M University.

Research interests:

Animal disease, genetic resistance, poultry (chicken), genomics, bioinformatics, bacterial and viral pathogens , understanding pathogen virulence in poultry, identifying host and pathogen genes that are involved in the interaction between animals and pathogens.

Brief overview:

My group is focused on discovering the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the interaction between poultry and pathogens. The pathogens we investigate include foodborne bacteria such as Campylobacter (associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry) and Salmonella (associated with foods contaminated with animal feces), as well as Newcastle disease virus and avian influenza virus. The overall goals are to understand the animal’s response to a pathogen at the genetic level, the virulence of pathogens, as well as disease resistance and immune response in animals.

Current projects:

  • USAID Project: Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry (GIP). Improving food security in Africa by enhancing resistance to Newcastle disease and heat stress in chickens
  • USDA NIFA National Need Fellowship Project: Genomics for Improving Animal Production (GIAP)
  • USDA NIFA Bioinformatics Project: The Animal Systems Biology Analysis and Modeling Center (ASBAMC)
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction in poultry including Salmonella, Campylobacter, and avian influenza virus using next generation sequencing
  • Genetic resistance to pathogen infection in poultry using high-throughput technology