Research Interest: virology, oncogenesis, host-pathogen interactions
Kevin Zhu was born in Canada and completed his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley in Microbiology while performing research with Dr. Patricia Pesavento at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In the Pesavento lab, Kevin applied molecular biology and pathology to discover and characterize a diverse array of viral pathogens affecting household pets, farm animals, and wildlife. After graduation Kevin joined Radiant Genomics (now a part of Zymergen), a metagenomics driven natural product discovery startup, where he carried out the high-throughput construction of a genome-wide, gene-specific knockout library for the pathogenic yeast, Cryptococcus neoformans. After joining Duke’s department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in 2015, Kevin rotated with Dr. Lawrence David to port and optimize microbiome meta-transcriptomics on the HARDAC HPC cluster before joining the lab of Dr. Hiroaki Matsunami. Currently Kevin is a Ruth L. Kirschstein predoctoral fellow and in the Matsunami Lab his thesis work combines targeted transcriptomics with spatial samples to determine the target sites of olfactory neuron projections in wild-type mice, a long-standing and fundamental problem in olfaction.
When not in lab, you can find Kevin cycling, lifting at Wilson, hiking, playing around with new R packages or enjoying the pace of North Carolina with a good book and a better single malt.