Haitao Hu, PhDHaitao Hu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Member, Sealy Center for Vaccine Development

Email: haihu@UTMB.edu
Office: (409) 747-0395
Lab: (409) 772-0926
Fax: (409) 772-5065

Education: PhD, 2010, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Overview: Antiviral immunity and host-virus interactions in HIV infection and vaccination

Research Interests

HIV continues to cause a global epidemic with ~35 million people currently infected. A safe and protective HIV vaccine or effective cure strategy remains unavailable. Using cellular immunology and molecular/genomic approaches, our group studies host-virus interactions (HIV and CD4 T cells) and antiviral immunity in HIV infection and vaccination. With current funding support from NIH and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, we investigate how memory CD4 T cells specific to different pathogens are differentially infected by HIV and how this is related to reactivation of opportunistic infections in AIDS patients.

Other ongoing research includes projects focusing on HIV vaccine immunology. We utilize a range of model systems, including cell culture, animal models (non-human primate and humanized mouse) and clinical specimens from HIV vaccine trials, to understand how recombinant viral vectors (derived from adenovirus, poxvirus or herpes virus) may impact the properties of AIDS vaccine-elicited, vector- and insert-specific immune responses and how this further affects the outcomes of HIV vaccination in terms of protection vs. HIV infection risk.

A third research direction in the laboratory aims to establish long-term cultured, antigen-specific primary CD4 T cells as a physiologically relevant cellular model for HIV latency. The goals of these studies are to better understand the immunobiology of HIV infection and to generate key knowledge that advances development of effective HIV vaccine and/or cure strategy. Research in our group represents collaborative efforts involving UTMB and outside collaborators including MHRP, HVTN and other groups.

Recent Publications

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