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 Scholars and Research Scientists

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



Graduate Students

Zihan Lin

Ph.D. Candidate

Research: The structure and mechanism of the Hepatitis B polymerase and surface antigen; and C. camelliae filamentous virus 1 polymerase and methyltransferase.

B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Kansas, 2014



Matthew Ykema

Ph.D. Candidate

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



Xiaotong Lu

Ph.D. Candidate

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


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


Yu Ouyang

Ph.D. Candidate

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, 2016


Undergraduate Students

Jim Zhang

BS-MS-PhD Candidate

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, Expected 2022
M.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology,

Rice University, Expected 2022