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Jian Zhu, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Administrative: (585) 275-3402

Office: (585) 275-6916

Fax: (585) 473-9573

Research Labs

Lab: (585) 275-0013

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Faculty Appointments



Virus and host are equivalent opponents and have been playing a dynamic and "never-ending" match for a long time. Virus highly depends on host cellular machineries to replicate, while host cells develop multi-layered antiviral mechanisms to control or prevent viral invasion. Short-term acute or long-term chronic viral infection might yield different yet complicated consequences in host cells. Our lab studies the host-virus interactions, particularly for HIV and herpesviruses, by using recently developed, "state-of-the-art", multidisciplinary systematic approaches. We work at the interface of virology, immunology, cellular and molecular biology, proteomics, and functional genomics.
The goal is to not only pinpoint key genes that play a role in viral replication or mediate the consequences of viral infection for further dissection of their mechanistic functions using classic cell and/or animal models, but also construct a global landscape of gene network modulating viral infection from the massive data generated by integrative multiple systematic approaches at a higher resolution with the aid of powerful bioinformatic analyses. Currently, one of our major directions is to identify key host factors that regulate viral latency and reactivation for HIV and herpesviruses, by combining the genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screening together with various modern proteomic approaches including our recently developed PLATO (ParalleL Analysis of Translated ORFs) synthetic display method. Meanwhile, we're also interested in improving current systematic approaches or developing new ones to facilitate the study of host-virus interactions at various (genetic, biochemical and serological) levels, as well as to improve such study at a more quantitative, dynamic, and in vivo setting. Continuing to improve systematic approaches will increase their reliability and accuracy for better applications reaching a greater scope and depth of current host-virus studies. With more advanced systematic tools we will be led towards a complete understanding of viral pathogenesis, antiviral defense mechanisms, and their consequences in critical diseases such as cancer and autoimmunity.



BS (summa cum laude) | Health Science Center, Peking University

PhD | The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Postdoc (with Stephen Elledge) | Harvard Medical School (HHMI)

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

2009 - 2013
Research Fellow, Laboratory of Dr. Stephen Elledge, The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) & Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States


the 18th Annual Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) National Meeting Junior Faculty Award
Sponsor: NIH/CFAR
Location: Providence, RI, United States

2012 - 2013
National Research Service Award (NRSA) F32 Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
Sponsor: NIH/NIAID

The 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) Young Investigator Award
Location: Boston, MA, United States

2007 - 2009
American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship Award
Sponsor: American Heart Association
Location: Dallas, TX, United States

Undergraduate Thesis Presentation Award
Sponsor: Peking University
Location: Beijing, P.R. China

1997 - 2000
Annual University Fellowship Award for Excellent Undergraduates
Sponsor: Peking University
Location: Beijing, P.R. China

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Journal Articles

Kong W, Zhu J. "Zika virus: The transboundary pathogen from mosquito and updates." Microbial pathogenesis.. 2018 Jan 0; 114:476-482. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Jiang M, Li H, Zhang Y, Yang Y, Lu R, Liu K, Lin S, Lan X, Wang H, Wu H, Zhu J, Zhou Z, Xu J, Lee DK, Zhang L, Lee YC, Yuan J, Abrams JA, Wang TC, Sepulveda AR, Wu Q, Chen H, Sun X, She J, Chen X, Que J. "Transitional basal cells at the squamous-columnar junction generate Barrett's oesophagus." Nature.. 2017 Oct 26; 550(7677):529-533. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Hayashi T, Jean M, Huang H, Simpson S, Santoso NG, Zhu J. "Screening of an FDA-approved compound library identifies levosimendan as a novel anti-HIV-1 agent that inhibits viral transcription." Antiviral research.. 2017 Oct 0; 146:76-85. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Pluronic Block Copolymers for Drug and Gene Delivery
Book Title: Polymeric Drug Delivery Systems
Author List: Kabanov AV and Zhu J.
Edited By: G. Kwon
Published By: Informa Healthcare2005 in London, United Kingdom

Chapter Title: Pluronic Block Copolymers for Gene Delivery
Book Title: Adv Genet
Author List: 1. Kabanov A, Zhu J, Alakhov V.
Published By: Elsevier Inc.2005