Jia Zhu, PhD

Research Associate Professor

Jia Zhu, PhD


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Office Location:

Mailing Address:

Box 358080
1100 Fairview Avenue North, E5-110
Seattle, WA 98109-1024

Clinical and Research Background

Dr. Jia Zhu studies the human immune response to reactivation of human herpes simplex virus type 2, the virus responsible for genital herpes. She has developed novel laboratory tools to detect how immune cells behave in genital tissues during the latent and active phases of herpes infection. Those studies show that infection-fighting immune cells, known at CD8+ T cells, persist at the site of healed sores and accumulate near sensory nerve endings, where reactivating viruses are released. Her research found that these T cells, which reside in tissues, are involved in detecting and rapidly containing the virus. Her studies also show that HSV induces skin cells to produce a protein, interleukin 17c, that stimulates the growth and repair of peripheral nerves, which serve as highways for the herpesvirus to spread to other regions.

Dr. Jia Zhu in the News




Research Interests

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) pathogenesis in humans

Immune correlates of HSV disease outcome

Tissue-resident-memory CD8+ T-cell function and regulation in human skin

Mechanisms driving peripheral nerve regeneration in human skin

Skin-on-chip platform for modeling pathophysiology of skin diseases In vitro

Education and Training

Harvard Medical School, Boston, 2003, Research Fellow

Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, 1998, Post-doc

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, 1996, Post-doc

Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai, 1994, PhD

East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 1989, BE


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