Jia Zhu, PhD

Faculty Member

Jia Zhu, PhD

Associate Professor
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch

Mail Stop: E5-110

Dr. Jia Zhu studies the human immune response to reactivation of human herpes simplex virus type 2, the virus responsible for genital herpes. She has developed novel laboratory tools to detect how immune cells behave in genital tissues during the latent and active phases of herpes infection. Those studies show that infection-fighting immune cells, known at CD8+ T cells, persist at the site of healed sores and accumulate near sensory nerve endings, where reactivating viruses are released. Her research found that these T cells, which reside in tissues, are involved in detecting and rapidly containing the virus. Her studies also show that HSV induces skin cells to produce a protein, interleukin 17c, that stimulates the growth and repair of peripheral nerves, which serve as highways for the herpesvirus to spread to other regions.

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Research Associated Professor
University of Washington School of Medicine


Harvard Medical School, Boston, 2003, Research Fellow

Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, 1998, Post-doc

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, 1996, Post-doc

Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai, 1994, PhD

East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 1989 BE

Research Interests

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) pathogenesis in humans

Immune correlates of HSV disease outcome

Tissue-resident-memory CD8+ T-cell function and regulation in human skin

Mechanisms driving peripheral nerve regeneration in human skin

Skin-on-chip platform for modeling pathophysiology of skin diseases In vitro

Find a Clinical Trial

Dr. Zhu in the News

A new take on having skin in the game

Science Spotlight - October 17, 2022

Distinct yet complementary T cell subsets in the human cervix

Science Spotlight - September 20, 2021

B cell kinetics during HSV-2 infection

Science Spotlight - May 17, 2021

When scientific hypotheses don’t pan out

Hutch News - February 16, 2018

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email media@fredhutch.org or call 206.667.2210