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Jia Zhu, PhD

photo Dr. Jia Zhu

Research Assistant Professor,
Department of Laboratory Medicine,
University of Washington;
Affiliated Investigator,
Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division,
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Contact Information

1100 Fairview Ave. N, E5-110
Seattle, WA 98109
Tel: 206.667.2015
Fax: 206.667.6179

Personal Biography

Born and raised in Shanghai, Dr. Zhu obtained her doctoral degree from the Chinese Academy of Science and pursued her postdoctoral training in the areas of herpes simplex virus (HSV) pathogenesis and prevention in the United States. Dr. Zhu pioneered the development of technologies for in situ detection and deciphering of type-specific immune cell function in human tissue. Her research on immune responses to human HSV infection helps define the role of tissue resident CD8+ T cells in immune surveillance and early containment. Dr. Zhu is also interested in virus interplay between HIV and HSV in disease severity and transmission in humans. Her work contributed to the plausible explanation on how local inflammation by chronic HSV reactivation increases HIV acquisition. Dr. Zhu is currently in collaboration with local and national investigators to study how infection/vaccination mediated tissue inflammation increases HIV susceptibility. She has published first-authored articles in high-impact journals, namely, Nature, Nature Medicine and Journal of Experimental Medicine. In her spare time, Dr. Zhu enjoys cooking, reading, hiking and traveling.

Education and Training

  • BSc, East China University of Chemical Technology, Shanghai, P.R. China, 1989
  • PhD, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1994
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, 1994-1996
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Virology Division, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, 1996-1998
  • Fellow, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, 1999-2003

Clinical Interests

  • Virology
  • Immunology

Research Interests

  • Host-viral interactions in HSV pathogenesis
  • Tissue resident immunity in skin and mucosa
  • HSV infection on HIV susceptibility
  • HSV-2 vaccine development
  • In situ single cell analysis

Current Research

  • Mechanisms of CD8+ T-cell immune surveillance in human HSV reactivation NIH /NIAID R56 AI 93746-01A1 (J. Zhu, PI), 8/1/2012-7/31/2013
  • Cytotoxic T-cell response to HSV in HIV infected persons NIH/NIAID R01 AI 42528-16 (L. Corey and J. Zhu, MPI), 4/1/2012-3/31/2017
  • Clinical Epidemiology and Pathogenesis of Asymptomatic HSV NIH/NIAID P01 AI 030731-23 (A. Wald, PI), 7/1/2013-3/31/2017 Correlating HSV-2 disease severity with tissue resident CD8+ T cells (J. Zhu, PI)
  • Modeling genital inflammation in HIV transmission NIH/NIAID R01 AI098488-01A1 (C. Miller, PI), 7/1/2013-6/30/2018 UW subcontract from UC Davis (J. Zhu, PI)
  • Mucosal Immunogenicity Study (HVTN 505) NIH/NIAID 5 UM1 AI 068618-07 (J. McElrath, PI), 7/1/2013-12/31/2013 UW subcontract from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (J. Zhu, PI)


Selected Publications

  1. Zhu J, Peng T, Johnston C, Phasouk K, Kask Angela, Klock A, Jin L, Diem K, Koelle DM, Wald A, Robins H and Corey L (2013). Immune Surveillance by CD8αα+ Skin Resident T Cells in Human Herpesvirus Infection. Nature. 497(7450): 494-7. Advance online publication May 8th, 2013, PMC3663925.
  2. Zhu J*, Peng T*, Phasouk K, Koelle DM, Wald A and Corey L (2012) An Effector phenotype of CD8+ T cells at the junction epithelium during clinical quiescence of HSV-2 infection. Journal of Virology 86(19): 10587-96. *Co-first authors. PMC3457322.
  3. Chapuis AG, Casper C, Kuntz S, Zhu J, Tjernlund A, Diem K, Turtle CJ, Cigal ML, Velez R, Riddell SR, Corey L, Greenberg P. (2011) HIV-specific CD8+ T cells from HIV+ individuals receiving HAART can be expanded ex-vivo to augment systemic and mucosal immunity in-vivo. Blood. May 19; 117(20): 5391-402. PMC3109713.
  4. Schiffer JT, Abu-Raddad L, Mark KE, Zhu J, Selke S, Koelle DM, Wald A, Corey L. (2010) Mucosal host immune response predicts the severity and duration of herpes simplex virus-2 genital tract shedding episodes. PNAS. 107(44): 18973-8. PMC2973882.
  5. Schiffer JT, Abu-Raddad L, Mark KE, Zhu J, Selke S, Magaret A, Wald A, Corey L. (2009) Frequent release of low amounts of herpes simplex virus from neurons: results of a mathematical model. Science Translational Medicine. 1(7):7ra16. PMC2818652
  6. Zhu J, Hladik F, Woodward A, Klock A, Peng T, Johnson C, Remington M, Magaret A, Koelle D, Wald A and Corey L (2009) Persistence of HIV-1 receptor-positive cells after HSV-2 reactivation is a potential mechanism for increased HIV-1 acquisition. Nature Medicine. 15(8): 886-92. PMC2723183
  7. Peng T, Zhu J, Klock A, Phasouk K, Huang ML, Koelle DM, Wald A and Corey L (2009) Evasion of mucosal innate immune system by HSV-2. Journal of Virology 83(23): 12559-68. PMC2786730
  8. Zhu J*, Peng T*, Hwangbo Yon, Corey L and Bumgarner RE (2008) Independent and cooperative antiviral actions of beta interferon and gamma interferon against herpes simplex virus replication in primary human fibroblasts. Journal of Virology 82(4): 1934-45. *Co-first authors. PMC2258722
  9. Zhu J, Koelle DM, Cao J, Vazquez J, Huang ML, Hladik F, Wald A, and Corey L (2007) Virus-specific CD8+ T cells accumulate near sensory nerve endings in genital skin during subclinical HSV-2 reactivation. Journal of Experimental Medicine 204(3): 595-603. PMC2137910

Last updated: 10/21/2013

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