My laboratory has focused on several areas of human immunology and virology, particularly in studying human immuno-pathology of chronic virus infections. My group was one of the first to use humanized mouse models to study HIV-1 or HBV/HCV infection and pathogenesis. My lab has identified novel virological and immunological mechanisms of HIV-1 and HBV pathogenesis. In recent years, my group has discovered and focused on the Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC)-interferon-macrophage axis in the immuno-pathogenesis and therapy of chronic HIV & HBV infections. The group has also started investigation of the pDC-IFN-M2 axis in tumor microenvironments (TME) and in cancer immune therapy. After joining The Institute of Human Virology at UMSOM in Oct. 2020, we continue the research programs to use HIV and HBV viruses as probes to dissect human immunity and inflammatory diseases, and to develop antibody and cell-based drugs targeting novel immune cells and signaling pathways. The laboratory thus studies HIV-1 and HBV (Virology) and how their interactions with human innate immune cells cause inflammatory diseases (Immunology) using various cell and organoid cultures, as well as humanized mouse models. In addition, we are developing novel drugs including antibodies, CAR-T and therapeutic vaccines (Immunotherapy) to treat human inflammatory diseases including virus infection and cancer.
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