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Faculty headshot of Jia Zhu, PhD

Jia Zhu PhD

Associate Professor, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutch
Research Associate Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Email: jiazhu@uw.edu | Phone: 206.667.2015

Our lab studies the human immune responses against herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in genital skin and cervical mucosa. We focus on understanding, in situ, the mechanisms of immune surveillance and rapid containment of invading pathogens at the barrier tissue. We have discovered that tissue resident memory CD8+ T cells play a critical role in controlling of HSV reactivation at the peripheral site using human biopsy tissue. However, deciphering multifaceted and collaborative host responses to viral infection in vivo, in humans, remains challenging. We have applied bioengineering approaches to develop a microfluidic devise of human “skin-on-chip” platform that consists of functional vascular network and allows drugs and immune cells perfusion. Our goal is to understand the pathogenesis of HSV infection in humans, to delineate underlying elements for a wide range of disease outcomes in patients, and to establish an in vitro system suitable for preclinical therapeutic evaluation.