Tenzin Zhou is a physician assigned to the Starfleet Division on Betazed. He was previously the chief medical officer aboard the USS Independence-A.
Born in 2351 to a human father and a Trill mother, Tenzin Zhou grew up as a Starfleet brat. Originally interested in the sciences like his parents, Zhou found a passion for engineering through his father's friendship with the chief engineer of the USS Venture, Mora Lestig. With her guidance, Zhou applied to the University of New Berlin, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in biomedical engineering in 2373 and 2375.
Upon finishing his studies, Zhou worked in the private sector for three years before becoming disillusioned with where he was in life. His engineering work in the clinical setting, however, inspired him to investigate a career in medicine. He took premedical courses from St. Ursuline University and subsequently earned a medical degree from the College of Medical Sciences of the Tri-Planetary Academy in 2383.
Although he had planned to practice as a civilian with his wife and start a family after medical school, Zhou and Ibrahim had separated in 2382. After he completed his residency training in 2386 at the University of Betazed, Zhou decided to return to the stars of his childhood while he was still eligible. He joined Starfleet in 2386 after finishing Officer Candidate School training at the academy's Starbase 19 branch campus.
||Human/Trill (incapable of being a host)
|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
||Starfleet Academy Officer Candidate School, Starbase 19 Annex, 2386-2387
||Medical Officer, Starfleet Division, Betazed
|USS Independence-A, 2387 - 2388
- Medical Officer, 238705.27 - 238708.25
- Chief Medical Officer, 238708.26 - 238803.28
- Lieutenant JG, promoted 238708.26
- Lieutenant, promoted 238712.04
|Starfleet Division, Betazed, 2388 - Present
- Medical Officer, 238803.29 - Present
- Purple Star, 2387
- Vaadwaur Invasion Campaign Ribbon, 2389
- Starfleet Academy Graduate Ribbon, 2392
- Prantares Ribbon, 2387
- B-Plot Award, 2387
- Height: 175 cm (5'9")
- Weight: 68 kilos (150 lbs)
- Hair Color: Black
- Eye Color: Brown
- Spouse: Yasmin Ibrahim (born 2349, age 45), a research professor at the University of Betazed.
- While studying at the University of New Berlin, Zhou met Ibrahim, a spirited graduate student studying biology, through their mutual participation in the extracurricular orchestra. They were wed in 2375, but seven years later, Zhou and Ibrahim's differing career paths and life choices took a toll on their marriage. They subsequently separated in 2382. They tried to make things work again a few years later when Ibrahim, having earned her doctorate, took a position at the University of Betazed to be close to Zhou. By 2387, however, they were in the midst of lengthy divorce proceedings. This latest development was abruptly halted at their final divorce hearing, and the two ultimately reunited at Deep Space 17 in March 2388.
- Children: Zahra (daughter, born 2389, age 5)
- Father: Zhou Shen-Ling
- Mother: Razina Liran
- Siblings: Niyesh Zhou (sister, born 2357, age 37)
- Other: Zhou Tai-Sheng (cousin, born 2355, age 39)
Friends and Notable Colleagues
- Zhou met Ivanova in 2384 while she was stationed on Betazed as an ensign. The two formed a close friendship, with her playful personality being a nice foil to Zhou's tendency to overthink and take things too seriously, especially in the wake of the separation with his wife. Ivanova is one of the few people with whom Zhou—or "Spot" as she likes to call him—feels able to truly relax and show his sillier side, and it was her enthusiasm that partly inspired Zhou to then join Starfleet himself after he completed his post-graduate training. The two kept in touch after Zhou left Betazed, and by 2387, Ivanova also returned to space upon her reassignment to the USS Pioneer. She was promoted to lieutenant junior grade later that year, and then lieutenant by 2388. She then served as chief of security for the Pioneer before transferring as a security officer to the USS Tiger-A.
See also: Independence-A Medical Department
- Zhou did not know Jessop well until the day she died. A medic assigned to the bridge, Jessop helped escort Zhou to sickbay for treatment of his injuries received during his first away mission. Along the way, a cascading decompression occurred near the traveling party, and Jessop sacrificed her life to save that of Zhou and the others.
- Fiona Shelley: A human physician who transferred from the USS Achilles.
- Zhou had initially reacted with contempt upon Shelley's arrival, feeling that one of the patients she had beamed aboard was taking resources away from the overwhelmed Independence medical staff. The two soon realized, however, that they were more alike than not, with similar views on Starfleet and medical priorities, especially after Zhou expressed his frustration at being told to attend a staff meeting when so many injured crewmen still needed medical attention. Later during Operation Bright Star, Shelley, who had suffered her own tragedies, helped Zhou confront his doubts about his abilities to serve his shipmates, especially in the wake of Jessop's death.
- Karynn Ehlanii: A Haliian woman and first officer of the USS Independence.
- Greeting him with a smile after he stepped onto the bridge, Ehlanii was the first member of the senior staff to welcome Zhou when he reported for duty. She was also the first person to speak with him in a more casual setting in the ship's lounge. Ehlanii stands out to Zhou as not only a genuinely warm and caring person but also as a command officer who remains upbeat and encouraging to the rest of the crew as they continually face new challenges. When he began to have doubts about his choice to join Starfleet, Zhou turned to Ehlanii first for her thoughts before he made a final decision on whether to resign. He ultimately chose to retain his commission.
- Alleran Tan: A joined Trill pilot who transferred to the USS Independence on SD 238708.28.
- Though the Tan symbiont already had the lifetime memories of a previous host, its current host Alleran was a young man in his late 20s. Tan quickly fell in love with his new commanding officer Sidney Riley. Though they had met briefly at Zhou's promotion ceremony in sickbay, Tan did not interact with Zhou again until Riley suffered severe injuries from Operation Bright Star. Tan and Zhou clashed over Tan's insistence on being with Riley while she underwent surgery. Ironically, Tan, unaware of Zhou's physiological limitations, had initially wanted to designate Zhou as the next host for the Tan symbiont before their confrontation. Still, the two eventually began to form a friendship, with Zhou seeing much of his younger self in the spirited pilot. Unfortunately, when Tan and Riley's intense relationship ran aground during her recovery, Tan felt he could no longer remain onboard. Before he left the Independence he wrote letters to his fellow officers, including Zhou:
- Dear Zhou,
- You were my first choice for alternate host and I feel that it is a crime that you cannot experience what I have experienced. I will add one amendment to our conversation last night- I will be assisting with the Vaadwaur reconstruction on their newly settled planet and... I hope, in time, the physical rebuilding that I do on that place will help my mental rebuilding within myself.
- Since we discussed our plan, I feel as though I have been in grave error by not seeking you out earlier. I feel that we are more alike than we know, except... and I hope that I am not being presumptuous here... you are more like an older brother to me than a comrade on this ship. I will remember your advice, knowing that it will not lead me astray.
- You are wise beyond your years, Tenzin, and it would have been a great honour to call you Tenzin Tan... but you are destined for much greater things.
- Never forget to follow your heart in all of your dealings.
- -- Lt (jg) Alleran Tan
- Sasak: A Vulcan physician who had attempted to save Veralise Jessop's life after the Thetis AI had beamed the crewman onto the USS Achilles.
- Mitul Shah: A veteran human nurse in his late 40s.
- Faryul Nishal: A young Bajoran nurse in her late 20s.
In 2387, Zhou completed his cadet cruise and was assigned to the USS Independence-A as a medical officer. He was greatly affected early on in his Starfleet career by the death of Crewman Veralise Jessop, a medic who had sacrificed herself to save the lives of Zhou and several other crewmembers. Shortly thereafter, Zhou was promoted on SD 238708.26 to Lieutenant Junior Grade and assigned as the Independence's chief medical officer.
Operation Bright Star
The Independence was quickly called into action for Operation Bright Star, the effort to recapture Deep Space 17 from the Vaadwaur. Still coming to terms with Jessop's sacrifice and his (self-perceived as unwarranted) promotion to higher responsibilities, Zhou had a moment of doubt during the battle, but recent arrival Dr. Fiona Shelley helped Zhou focus on doing his job to serve the injured among his crew, which ultimately included Captain Sidney Riley herself. Though Zhou managed to stabilize the captain, she suffered severe traumatic injuries that would prevent her from returning to active starship duty.
With the onslaught of death and sorrow experienced so relentlessly in the first few months of his Starfleet career, coupled with being caught in a lengthy divorce, Zhou began serious thought into resigning his commission while the damaged Independence remained stationed at the recently-recaptured Deep Space 17. In the mean time, he worked with Ayelet Kadosh, a survivor of the Vaadwaur occupation and DS17's acting chief medical officer, to provide medical services to the station, particularly during a riot that erupted on the station's promenade.
Zhou later performed a second operation on Captain Riley, with the cooperation of her identical twin Shannon Riley, which successfully restored the captain's full mobility. He was recognized at the 2387 awards ceremony, where he was presented with the Prantares Ribbon, B-Plot Award, and the Purple Star for his performance on the Independence.
The Scenic Route to Wheeler
Kadosh subsequently requested a temporary transfer to Zhou's department on the Independence, and the ship was soon called again into action to investigate the activities of the Free Trade Union. Following a run in with spatial distortions that stalled the vessel and resulted in the abduction of several members of a medical team, Zhou was sent to the Wheeler Colony as part of an away team to investigate hallucinogenic drugs.
A New Chapter on Betazed
IBRAHIM: Are you just going to keep lying there and smiling like an idiot?
ZHOU: Sorry. I was just thinking.
IBRAHIM: Uh-oh. Should I call your staff back in?
ZHOU: I was thinking maybe you could stay onboard.
IBRAHIM: Yes, because the academic research opportunities for a biologist are endless on a warship.
ZHOU: It's not purely a warship...maybe most of it. But not all. Not this part.
Zhou asks his wife to stay with him as they lie next to one another in sickbay."A Simple Question"
- SD 238803.08
Upon completion of their mission at Wheeler, the crew of the Independence was recalled back to DS17, where Zhou's wife Yasmin Ibrahim was waiting to meet him. The reunion pushed Zhou to request a transfer to the Starfleet Division on Betazed to be with his wife and help in the rebuilding of the Betazoid city of Ohmallera. Fleet Captain Riley subsequently approved Zhou's request.
In 2389, Zhou and his wife welcomed their first child, a daughter named Zahra. A few months later, Zhou was awarded the Vaadwaur Invasion Campaign Ribbon in recognition of his service during the Vaadwaur invasion two years earlier aboard the Independence.