Jian Zhu, PhD
College of Medicine
Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics
Jian Zhu, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology at The Ohio State University and a member of the Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program at the OSUCCC – James, where his research focuses primarily on HIV-persistent infections, HIV-associated malignancies and oncoviruses that cause cancers.
Although HIV itself is generally thought of as non-oncogenic, it profoundly damages the immune system despite potent antiretroviral therapies. Due to immune deficiency, people living with HIV have a higher incidence of certain cancers, such as lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma. One major risk factor is that the infection of certain oncoviruses, such as gamma-herpesviruses, promotes tumor development, especially at the condition of immunodeficiency.
Dr. Zhu's research includes investigating gamma-herpesviruses in the development of lymphoma, head and neck cancer and gastric cancer, as well as the impact of co-infection of HIV and gamma-herpesviruses on oncogenesis. Dr. Zhu's lab is also interested in identifying the novel epigenetic regulators that control viral persistence, viral oncogenesis and antiviral immune responses by using modern functional genomic (RNAi, CRISPR/Cas9) and quantitative proteomic (MS, PLATO) approaches. The group further dissects the mechanistic functions of these key epigenetic regulators using classic cell and/or animal models of viral infections. Newly developed small molecule compounds targeting epigenetic regulators are investigated as the next-generation antiviral and antitumor reagents as well as potent immune modulators.
Dr. Zhu has co-authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed publications such as Nucleic Acids Research, Cell Reports, Cell Host Microbe, Nature, Molecular Cancer and Journal of Biological Chemistry.