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Zhixun Dou, Ph.D.


Principal Investigator

          Dou joined MGH and Harvard in 2018 fall. He received his B.S. from Nankai University, China, working with Youjia Cao, and his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University, Wei-Xing Zong lab. He trained with Shelley Berger at University of Pennsylvania for postdoc, where he pioneered the study of nuclear degeneration in aging and cancer. He is a recipient of the NIH pathway to independence award. 

          Outside the lab, he is a husband and a father of two daughters (and a cat). He loves classical music, and believes healthy eating and good mental health are key to longevity.

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Tara O'Brien

Lab Manager

            Tara joined the Dou Lab at MGH and Harvard in June 2023. She received her B.A. in biology with a specialization in cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics from Boston University. At Boston University, she worked with Dr. Laura Lowery investigating microtubule dynamics during axon outgrowth. 

      Outside the lab, Tara enjoys spending time outdoors, going to see live music, and crocheting.

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Yanxin Xu, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral research fellow

          Yanxin joined Dou Laboratory at MGH and Harvard in the winter of 2021. He received his Ph.D. training at Tongji University, Shanghai, China, focusing on epigenetic regulation in embryonic stem cell neural and cardiac differentiation. Now Yanxin is working on the molecular biology of cellular senescence in the Dou lab.

          Outside the lab, he enjoys watching Snooker games and listening to classical music. His favorite musician is Mozart, although he prefers The Well-Tempered Clavier from Bach.

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Yu Wang, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral research fellow

          Yu joined Dou Laboratory at MGH and Harvard in the fall of 2018. His Ph.D. was trained in the Junying Yuan lab at Harvard Medical School and Haoran Lin lab at Sun Yat-sen University, focusing on understanding the mechanisms of regulating cell survival and death. Now Yu is working on the roles of selective nuclear autophagy in cell signaling and disease mechanisms in both Dou lab at MGH and Harvard and Terje Johansen lab at the Arctic University of Norway.

          Outside the lab, he enjoys playing basketball and watching NBA games. Kyrie Irving is his favorite basketball player, and he is a big fan of the Boston Celtics. Yu also enjoys listening to pop music and believes a positive mindset is a key to a meaningful life.


Takuya Kumazawa, Ph.D.

Research fellow

         Takuya studied the regulation of energy metabolism controlled by the nucleolus during his Ph.D. program at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. After he moved to Nara Medical University, he investigated the relationship between cellular senescence and the nucleolus. Through these studies, he has become interested in the nucleolus-mediated cellular senescence in vivo. Then he found nucleolus-mediated cellular senescence and SASP trigger heart failure.

         Outside the lab, he loves traveling, beer and good food. He plans to enjoy craft beer in all 50 states. He also enjoys kendo and karaoke and believes happiness is the key to longevity.

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