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Wei-Shau Hu, Ph.D.

Wei-Shau Hu, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute

RESEARCH SUMMARY

Dr. Hu is widely recognized as a key authority on retroviral recombination, RNA packaging, and virus assembly.  Her innovations in combining molecular biology and biochemical approaches with state-of-the-art microscopy techniques for single-virion particle analysis have led to significant advancements in HIV molecular virology research.  Under Dr. Hu’s direction, the Viral Recombination Section investigates multiple aspects of the retroviral life cycle that affect the transfer of viral genetic information.  These studies have profound implications for questions that are fundamentally important to HIV replication, which can be used to generate new strategies to block the spread of HIV.  Dr. Hu was appointed as HIV DRP Deputy Director of Basic Research in 2021.

Areas of Expertise

1) HIV pathogenesis, 2) retroviral replication, 3) RNA packaging and virus assembly, 4) virology, 5) molecular biology, 6) infectious diseases

Publications

Selected Key Publications

Visualizing the translation and packaging of HIV-1 full-length RNA

Chen J, Liu Y, Wu B, Nikolaitchik OA, Mohan PR, Chen J, Pathak VK, Hu W-S
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 117: 6145-6155, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Recombination is required for efficient HIV-1 replication and the maintenance of viral genome integrity

Rawson JMO, Nikolaitchik OA, Keele BF, Pathak VK, Hu W.-S.
Nucleic Acids Res. 46: 10535-10545, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

HIV-1 RNA genome dimerizes on the plasma membrane in the presence of Gag protein

Chen J, Rahman SA, Nikolaitchik OA, Grunwald D, Sardo L, Burdick RC, Plisov S, Liang E, Tai S, Pathak VK, Hu W-S
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 113: E201-E208, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Cytoplasmic HIV-1 RNA is mainly transported by diffusion in the presence or absence of Gag protein

Chen J, Grunwald D, Sardo L, Galli A, Plisov S, Nikolaitchik OA, Chen D, Lockett S, Larson DR, Pathak VK, Hu W-S
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111: E5205-E5213, 2014. [ Journal Article ]

Dimeric RNA recognition regulates HIV-1 genome packaging

Nikolaitchik O, Dilley K, Fu W, Gorelick R, Tai S, Soheilian F, Ptak R, Nagashima K, Pathak V, Hu W.
PLoS Pathog. 9(3): e1003249, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

There are no open positions at this time. Check back again later, or take a look at CCR's Careers page.

Alumni

Benjamin Beasley, M.D., Ph.D.
Benjamin Beasley, M.D., Ph.D.
1999-2001
Predoctoral Fellow, M.D./Ph.D. Student
Douglas Boyle
Douglas Boyle
2003
Summer Student
Mary Buchanan, M.D.
Mary Buchanan, M.D.
2002-2003
Predoctoral Fellow, M.D. Student
Mario P.S. Chin, Ph.D.
Mario P.S. Chin, Ph.D.
2003-2008
Postdoctoral Fellow
Que Dang, Ph.D.
Que Dang, Ph.D.
1999-2003
Predoctoral Fellow
Kari Dilley, Ph.D.
Kari Dilley, Ph.D.
2009-2014
Postdoctoral Fellow
Alyssa Drosdak, M.D.
Alyssa Drosdak, M.D.
2009
Summer Student
William Fu, Ph.D.
William Fu, Ph.D.
2000-2005
Research Fellow
Andrea Galli, Ph.D.
Andrea Galli, Ph.D.
2008-2011
Postdoctoral Fellow
Grant Hansman, Ph.D.
Grant Hansman, Ph.D.
2009
Postdoctoral Fellow
Steven Hatch, Ph.D.
Steven Hatch, Ph.D.
2010-2013
Postdoctoral Fellow
Islam Hussein, Ph.D.
Islam Hussein, Ph.D.
2007-2010
Postdoctoral Fellow
Aviva Joseph, Ph.D.
Aviva Joseph, Ph.D.
2011
Postdoctoral Fellow
Malika Kuzembayeva, Ph.D.
Malika Kuzembayeva, Ph.D.
2013-2015
Postdoctoral Fellow
Maria Leavitt, Ph.D.
Maria Leavitt, Ph.D.
2003-2005
Research Fellow
Sook-Kyung Lee, Ph.D.
Sook-Kyung Lee, Ph.D.
2001-2006
Postdoctoral Fellow
Louis Levine
Louis Levine
2013-2014
Summer Student
Edward Liang, B.S.
Edward Liang, B.S.
2013 and 2014
Summer Student
Yang Liu, Ph.D.
Yang Liu, Ph.D.
2013-2019
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dmitriy Mazurov, M.D., Ph.D.
Dmitriy Mazurov, M.D., Ph.D.
2014
Research Collaborator
Franck Mbuntcha Bogni
Franck Mbuntcha Bogni
2018-2019
Summer Student
Preeti Mohan, B.S.
Preeti Mohan, B.S.
2018-2019
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Michael (Kenny) Moore, Ph.D.
Michael (Kenny) Moore, Ph.D.
2005-2008
Postdoctoral Fellow
Kazushi Motomura, M.D., Ph.D.
Kazushi Motomura, M.D., Ph.D.
2004-2006
Postdoctoral Fellow
Na Ni, Ph.D.
Na Ni, Ph.D.
2007-2012
Postdoctoral Fellow
Erica Nicewarner, B.S.
Erica Nicewarner, B.S.
2010-2011
Summer Student
Eduardo Paredes, Ph.D.
Eduardo Paredes, Ph.D.
2013
Postdoctoral Fellow
Medha Parulekar, M.D.
Medha Parulekar, M.D.
2014
Summer Student
Leah Pierson, B.A.
Leah Pierson, B.A.
2015
Summer Student
Sergey Plisov, B.S.
Sergey Plisov, B.S.
2012-2015
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Dexter Poon, Ph.D.
Dexter Poon, Ph.D.
2000-2003
Research Fellow
V.V.S.P. Prasad, Ph.D.
V.V.S.P. Prasad, Ph.D.
2005-2007
Postdoctoral Fellow
Rhea Puthumana, B.S.
Rhea Puthumana, B.S.
2015-2016
Summer Student
Sheikh Abdul Rahman, Ph.D.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman, Ph.D.
2014-2017
Postdoctoral Fellow
Sara Rasmussen, M.D., Ph.D.
Sara Rasmussen, M.D., Ph.D.
1999-2002
Predoctoral Fellow, M.D./Ph.D. Student
Terence Rhodes, M.D., Ph.D.
Terence Rhodes, M.D., Ph.D.
2009-2004
Predoctoral Fellow, M.D./Ph.D. Student
Steven Santos, Ph.D.
Steven Santos, Ph.D.
2015-2017
Postdoctoral Fellow
Luca Sardo, Ph.D.
Luca Sardo, Ph.D.
2010-2015
Postdoctoral Fellow
Saurabh Shakya, Ph.D.
Saurabh Shakya, Ph.D.
2019-2020
Postdoctoral Fellow
Xayathed Somoulay, B.S.
Xayathed Somoulay, B.S.
2018-2019
Postbaccalaureate Fellow
Qinwei Sun, B.S.
Qinwei Sun, B.S.
2016 and 2018
Summer Student
Sheldon Shih-Han Tai, Ph.D.
Sheldon Shih-Han Tai, Ph.D.
2010-2013
Postdoctoral Fellow
Chijioke Umunnakwe, Ph.D.
Chijioke Umunnakwe, Ph.D.
2015-2020
Postdoctoral Fellow
Stephanie Vece, M.P.A.
Stephanie Vece, M.P.A.
2010-2011
Summer Student
Avanish Yendluri
Avanish Yendluri
2017
Summer Student
Jennifer Yoo, B.A.
Jennifer Yoo, B.A.
2019-2020
Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Covers

Cover graphic of 2020 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Retroviruses Meeting

HIV-1 Uncoats in the Nucleus Near Sites of Integration

Published Date

A recent study published by the research groups of Vinay Pathak and Wei-Shau Hu in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (“HIV-1 uncoats in the nucleus near sites of integration,” PNAS 117:5486-5493, 2020) was featured on the front cover of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 2020 Retroviruses Meeting abstract book.  Pathak lab member Ryan Burdick launched the meeting with his talk on the study and reported that HIV-1 uncoats in the nucleus near sites of integration.  Contrary to the prevailing theory for more than 40 years that retroviral uncoating occurs in the cytoplasm, the study team showed that HIV-1 cores are essentially intact as they enter the nucleus, where they complete reverse transcription before uncoating near their sites of integration into the host genome.  These unexpected results fundamentally alter the current understanding of HIV-1 replication, which could lead to the development of more effective strategies and drugs for the treatment of HIV infections.

In the cover image, the left panel shows an HIV-1 capsid localized in the nucleus and the right panel shows a site of transcription of the viral genome at the site where the capsid localized. 

To read more about the study, see the original research article and the commentary "Entering and breaking for HIV?" in Nature Reviews Microbiology.

This study was also awarded the 2020 PNAS Cozzarelli Prize in Biomedical Sciences and featured on the website of the Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute (“New study overturns conventional understanding of how HIV infection occurs”).

Citation

Burdick RC, Li C, Munshi MH, Rawson, Nagashima K, Hu W-S, Pathak VK.  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Retroviruses Meeting Abstract Book, May 2020.