Haitao Hu, PhD

Haitao Hu, PhD
Associate 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
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, Emerging viruses, Host-virus interactions, Antiviral Immunity, Epigenetics

Research Interests

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

The laboratory currently has three major research areas: 

  1. 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 for HIV cure. The laboratory also examines the effects of these host cell epigenetic and transcriptional machineries on regulating other viral infections.  
  2. The second project aims to elucidate mechanisms for susceptibility of antigen- or vaccine-induced T cells to HIV/SIV infection and their implications in HIV pathogenesis (e.g., co-infections) and immunization.
  3. The third project focuses on development of novel vaccines and immune therapeutics for emerging viral infections. We employ various antigen delivery platforms, including mRNA and viral vectors, to understand vaccine-induced innate and adaptive immunity as well as immune correlates of protection. Through collaboration with the biocontainment laboratories here in campus (BSL-3/BSL-4), we are interested in developing new vaccine and therapeutic approaches for important emerging viruses.

Multiple positions, including postdoctoral fellow and PhD student, are available in the lab. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Hu at haihu@UTMB.edu

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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