Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch
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.
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, Ph.D.
East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 1989 B.E.
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
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