Haitao Hu, PhDHaitao Hu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Director, Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core Lab
Member, Institute of Human Infections and Immunity
Member, Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences

Email: haihu@UTMB.edu Office: MRB 4.142A
Lab: MRB 4.134; 4.138
Office Phone: (409) 747-0395
Lab Phone: (409) 772-0926
Fax: (409) 772-5065

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

Overview: HIV/AIDS, RNA virus, Host-virus interactions, Antiviral Immunity, Epigenetics

Research Interests

Dr. Hu’s laboratory is interested in understanding host-virus interactions and antiviral immunity for HIV/AIDS and infections caused by RNA viruses. A long-term goal is to develop countermeasures to combat these life-threatening viral diseases.

The laboratory currently has three major research projects. The first project investigates host epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms regulating HIV proviral transcription and latency, and develops novel strategies to disrupt or enforce HIV latency. The lab also examines the effects of these epigenetic and transcriptional machineries on regulating other viral infections. The second project elucidates how antigen- or viral vector-induced T cells are differentially infected and depleted by HIV/SIV in AIDS pathogenesis (e.g. opportunistic and co-infections) and immunization. The third project focuses on host-viral vector interactions in vaccine development. We employ various model systems (cell culture, animal models, and human clinical specimens) to understand how viral vectors may modulate vaccine-induced innate and adaptive immunity. Through collaboration with other laboratories, we are interested in developing new vaccine approaches for HIV and emerging RNA viruses.

Selected Publications:

Modulation of BRD4 in HIV epigenetic regulation: implications for finding an HIV cure. Alamer E, Zhong C, Hajnik R, Soong L, Hu H. Retrovirology. 2021 Jan 7; 18 (1) :3 . PMCID: PMC7792063.

Epigenetic Suppression of HIV in Myeloid Cells by the BRD4-Selective Small Molecule Modulator ZL0580. Alamer E, Zhong C, Liu Z, Niu Q, Long F, Guo L, Gelman BB, Soong L, Zhou J, Hu H. J Virol. 2020 May 18; 94 (11). PMCID: PMC7269428.

Structure-guided drug design identifies a BRD4-selective small molecule that suppresses HIV. Niu Q, Liu Z, Alamer E, Fan X, Chen H, Endsley J, Gelman BB, Tian B, Kim JH, Michael NL, Robb ML, Ananworanich J, Zhou J, Hu H. J Clin Invest. 2019 Jul 22; 129 (8) :3361-3373. PMCID: PMC6668673.

IL-22 hinders antiviral T cell responses and exacerbates ZIKV encephalitis in immunocompetent neonatal mice. Liang Y, Yi P, Ru W, Jie Z, Wang H, Ghanayem T, Wang X, Alamer E, Liu J, Hu H, Soong L, Cai J, Sun J.  J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Aug 25;17(1):249. PMCID: PMC7448338.

Distinct susceptibility of HIV vaccine vector-induced CD4 T cells to HIV infection. Auclair S, Liu F, Niu Q, Hou W, Churchyard G, Morgan C, Frahm N, Nitayaphan S, Pitisuthithum P, Rerks-Ngarm S, Kimata JT, Soong L, Franchini G, Robb M, Kim J, Michael N, Hu H. PLoS Pathog. 2018 Feb; 14 (2) :e1006888. PMCID: PMC5841825.

Priming and Activation of Inflammasome by Canarypox Virus Vector ALVAC via the cGAS/IFI16-STING-Type I IFN Pathway and AIM2 Sensor. Liu F, Niu Q, Fan X, Liu C, Zhang J, Wei Z, Hou W, Kanneganti TD, Robb ML, Kim JH, Michael NL, Sun J, Soong L, Hu H. J Immunol. 2017 Nov 1; 199 (9) :3293-3305. PMCID: PMC5679316.

Sequential Dysfunction and Progressive Depletion of Candida albicans-Specific CD4 T Cell Response in HIV-1 Infection. Liu F, Fan X, Auclair S, Ferguson M, Sun J, Soong L, Hou W, Redfield RR, Birx DL, Ratto-Kim S, Robb ML, Kim JH, Michael NL, Hu H. PLoS Pathog. 2016 Jun; 12 (6) :e1005663. PMCID: PMC4900544.

Preferential infection of human Ad5-specific CD4 T cells by HIV in Ad5 naturally exposed and recombinant Ad5-HIV vaccinated individuals. Hu H, Eller MA, Zafar S, Zhou Y, Gu M, Wei Z, Currier JR, Marovich MA, Kibuuka HN, Bailer RT, Koup RA, Robb ML, Michael NL, Kim JH, Ratto-Kim S. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2014 Sep 16; 111 (37) :13439-44. PMCID: PMC4169982.

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