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Yizhi Jane Tao, Ph.D.

Principle Investigator

Professor of Biosciences, Rice University

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard University, 2002
Ph.D., Purdue University, 1999
B.Sc., Peking University, 1992
(713) 348-4910


Postdoctoral Researcher

Hanqiao Chen

Research: Infection mechanism of the Orsay virus mediated by delta and CP-delta proteins.

Ph.D., Huazhong Agricultural University


Graduate Students

Kai Ye

Ph.D. Candidate

Research: The structure and function of the influenza D NS1 and NS2 proteins, which may provide insight towards viral strategies for infection, proliferation and host-directed antagonism.

B.Sc. in Biochemistry, Imperial College London, 2017


Clark Hamor

Ph.D. Candidate

Research: Characterization of the capsid structures, non-structural genes and replication cycles of viruses implicated in coral bleaching and Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, University of St. Thomas, Houston, 2019


Jesse Zhang

Ph.D. Candidate

Research:  Structure and function of the influenza virus proteins including HA and M2

B.Sc. in Biochemistry, USC, 2022


Visiting Scholars

Khadija Zahid

Ph.D. Candidate​, University of the Punjab

Research: Production of Recombinant Collagen Type 1 in Serum Free Adapted 293T Cell Line Using Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Element Containing Lentiviral Vector



Undergraduate Researchers

Pranav Mandyam

Class of 2025

Research: Biochemical and structural characterization of a filamentous dsRNA virus.

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Mitchell Han

Class of 2025

Research: Purification and structural analysis of the human astrovirus VP90.


Andrew Kim

Class of 2025

Research: Influenza D virus NS1 nuclear import


Jennifer Yu

Class of 2025

Research: The mechanism of Orsay virus entry mediated by the CP-delta protein


Recent Former Members

Matthew Ykema

Ph.D. (2022)

Research: The structure and protease-dependent maturation process of the human astrovirus, a non-enveloped icosahedral virus that causes severe gastric pathogenesis in infant and elderly populations.

Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, Bosma Lab, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2015-2016

B.S. in Molecular Biology/Biotechnology and Economics, Arizona State University, 2015


Jim Zhang

BS-MS (2022)

Research: The native-condition structure and entry mechanism of the nematode virus Orsay, the first and only known virus to naturally infect the model organism C. elegans.

B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology,

Rice University, 2022
M.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology,

Rice University, 2022

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Allison Wang

BS (2022)

Research: The Purification and Imaging of the Proteins Encoded by CCFV-1, a filamentous shaped dsRNA virus

B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology,

Rice University, 2022


Ying Zhou

Research Scientist

Research: The genetic interactions and pathways within C. elegans that facilitate Orsay viral infection and determine subsequent animal behavior.

Ph.D., Huazhong Agricultural University, 2015

B.Sc., Northeast Agricultural University, 2010


Xiaotong Lu

Ph.D. 2023

Research: The structure and function of the influenza D matrix protein, a promising therapeutic target responsible for facilitating viral entry, genome release, and budding.

B.S., Jilin University, 2016

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Yu Ouyang

Ph.D. 2023

Research: The host and assembly mechanism of picobirnavirus, a small bi-segmented double stranded RNA virus suspected to cause diarrhea in children and immunocompromised patients.

B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,

Boston University, 2017

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