Katherine Zhou, MD, PhD

Start Year


Chicago, Illinois

Where did you attend college/university?

Where did you attend medical school?
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

What other degrees do you hold and from what institutions?
PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Chicago

What are your career goals?
I plan to pursue a career in academic medicine as a physician-scientist, most likely in hematology-oncology.

Living in Durham is very affordable and convenient. It's a big enough city that it has everything that I need, and a small enough city that I can get anywhere I need to go in less than 15 minutes.
-Katherine Zhou

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a program that provided breadth and depth of exposure to a variety of fields in medicine, that gave trainees a high degree of clinical autonomy, and that had a strong sense of community. As an aspiring physician-scientist, I was also looking for an institution with excellent research opportunities in the fields that I was most interested in

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
The Duke Program does a great job of striking a balance between clinical autonomy and supervision, and the culture is one of support and camaraderie.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
Duke is a place where hierarchy is de-emphasized. The faculty treat us with respect and give us a lot of autonomy, which also gives us the opportunity to develop our skills as independent thinkers.

Tell us about your co-interns. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
Everyone has been so supportive and eager to help each other! Just going through the same steep learning curve and having similar experiences as we begin intern year has helped us connect with each other. Knowing that your friends have your back makes it that much easier to face the challenges of intern year.

About Duke University and Durham

What has surprised you most about Duke?
Everyone in the program really does genuinely want to help. I'm given plenty of autonomy, but I also know that there are always multiple people around who would be happy to help or support me in any way.

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Living in Durham is very affordable and convenient. It's a big enough city that it has everything that I need, and a small enough city that I can get anywhere I need to go in less than 15 minutes.

 How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
The academic institutions and tech companies in the area attract people of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, and Durham is an affordable and convenient place to live.

Where did you choose to live and why?
We live in Alden Place at South Square. We chose this location because it's a close drive to Duke Hospitals, and because it's right next to all the places we would need to go for grocery shopping.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
There are many good quality and affordable housing options in Durham. Ask anyone from Durham (e.g. future co-interns who went to Duke for medical school) for their advice on specific apartments or neighborhoods. It's a small city, so everything is actually very close, even if it's on the other side of the city.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
I like to play the carillon. I haven't made it to the Duke Chapel carillon yet, but I hope to sometime. I also like traveling with family, and watching shows with my fiancé in our free time.


Zhou, Katherine I., Bryan Peterson, Anthony Serritella, Joseph Thomas, Natalie Reizine, Stephanie Moya, Carol Tan, Yan Wang, and Daniel V. T. Catenacci. “Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity of PD-L1 Expression and Tumor Mutational Burden in Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma at Baseline Diagnosis and after Chemotherapy.” Clinical Cancer Research : An Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 26, no. 24 (December 2020): 6453–63. https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-20-2085.

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Zhou, Katherine I., Hailing Shi, Ruitu Lyu, Adam C. Wylder, Żaneta Matuszek, Jessica N. Pan, Chuan He, Marc Parisien, and Tao Pan. “Regulation of Co-transcriptional Pre-mRNA Splicing by m6A through the Low-Complexity Protein hnRNPG.” Molecular Cell 76, no. 1 (October 2019): 70-81.e9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2019.07.005.

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Zhang, Wen, Matthew J. Eckwahl, Katherine I. Zhou, and Tao Pan. “Sensitive and quantitative probing of pseudouridine modification in mRNA and long noncoding RNA.” Rna (New York, N.Y.) 25, no. 9 (September 2019): 1218–25. https://doi.org/10.1261/rna.072124.119.

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Zhou, Katherine I., Wesley C. Clark, David W. Pan, Matthew J. Eckwahl, Qing Dai, and Tao Pan. “Pseudouridines have context-dependent mutation and stop rates in high-throughput sequencing.” Rna Biology 15, no. 7 (January 2018): 892–900. https://doi.org/10.1080/15476286.2018.1462654.

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Liu, Nian, Katherine I. Zhou, Marc Parisien, Qing Dai, Luda Diatchenko, and Tao Pan. “N6-methyladenosine alters RNA structure to regulate binding of a low-complexity protein.” Nucleic Acids Res 45, no. 10 (June 2, 2017): 6051–63. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkx141.

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Zhou, Katherine I., Marc Parisien, Qing Dai, Nian Liu, Luda Diatchenko, Joseph R. Sachleben, and Tao Pan. “N(6)-Methyladenosine Modification in a Long Noncoding RNA Hairpin Predisposes Its Conformation to Protein Binding.” J Mol Biol 428, no. 5 Pt A (February 27, 2016): 822–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2015.08.021.

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Nagy, Vivien, Nathan Pirakitikulr, Katherine Ismei Zhou, Isabel Chillón, Jerome Luo, and Anna Marie Pyle. “Predicted group II intron lineages E and F comprise catalytically active ribozymes.” Rna (New York, N.Y.) 19, no. 9 (September 2013): 1266–78. https://doi.org/10.1261/rna.039123.113.

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