Not found

Jin Wang, PhD

Professor of Transplant Immunology in Surgery, Academic Institute
Full Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College
Description of Research

The goal of our laboratory is to develop novel strategies to combat pathogens that cause epidemic and pandemic infections. Research projects in the laboratory are focused on two areas: 1) To study the molecular mechanisms for immunological memory against infections; and 2) To develop a cure for HIV infection by the SECH approach through selective elimination of host cells harboring replication-competent HIV.


The generation of immunological memory by forming immune memory cells against pathogens is essential for the success of vaccines. We are studying the molecular mechanisms governing the formation and maintenance of immune memory cells. To this end, we have discovered an essential role for autophagy in the long-term maintenance of memory B cells against influenza. Our study suggests that autophagy is required for the success of vaccines by protecting the long-term survival of immune memory cells. Our work will facilitate the development of more effective vaccines to protect against epidemic and pandemic infections.


We have developed an approach to eradicate HIV infection by selective elimination of host cells harboring replication-competent HIV (SECH). The RNA genome of HIV is reverse-transcribed into DNA and integrated into the genome of host cells, resulting in persistent infections that are difficult to clear. The SECH approach combines viral reactivation with induction of cell death and inhibition of autophagy to specifically delete host cells capable of producing HIV. SECH can clear HIV-1 infection in humanized mice, and in PBMCs from HIV-1 patients. Our work demonstrates SECH as a cure strategy to eradicate HIV infection that is applicable to the general population. We will continue to study the mechanisms for SECH in the clearance of HIV-infected cells. We will determine the efficacy of SECH for HIV eradication in pre-clinical studies, and develop SECH as a therapeutic approach for treating people living with HIV.  

Areas Of Expertise

Autophagy Immunological memory Apoptosis Memory T cells Memory B cells SECH HIV cure
Education & Training

Postdoctoral Associate, NIH
PhD, University of Southern California

Clearance of HIV infection by selective elimination of host cells capable of producing HIV
Li, M, Liu, W, Bauch, T, Graviss, EA, Arduino, RC, Kimata, JT, Chen, M & Wang, J 2020, , Nature Communications, vol. 11, no. 1, 4051.

Maintenance of Germinal Center B cells by Caspase-9 through Promotion of Apoptosis and Inhibition of Necroptosis.
Zhang, J, Kodali, S, Chen, M & Wang, J 2020, , Journal of Immunology, vol. 205, no. 1, pp. 113-120.

Metabolic Reprogramming in CD8+ T Cells During Acute Viral Infections
Gupta, SS, Wang, J & Chen, M 2020, , Frontiers in immunology, vol. 11, pp. 1013.

An autophagy-inducing and TLR-2 activating BCG vaccine induces a robust protection against tuberculosis in mice
Khan, A, Bakhru, P, Saikolappan, S, Das, K, Soudani, E, Singh, CR, Estrella, JL, Zhang, D, Pasare, C, Ma, Y, Sun, J, Wang, J, Hunter, RL, Tony Eissa, N, Dhandayuthapani, S & Jagannath, C 2019, , npj Vaccines, vol. 4, no. 1, 34, pp. 34.

NIX-Mediated Mitophagy Promotes Effector Memory Formation in Antigen-Specific CD8+ T Cells
Gupta, SS, Sharp, R, Hofferek, C, Kuai, L, Dorn, GW, Wang, J & Chen, M 2019, , Cell Reports, vol. 29, no. 7, pp. 1862-1877.e7.

Role of c-Jun terminal kinase (JNK) activation in influenza A virus-induced autophagy and replication
Zhang, J, Ruan, T, Sheng, T, Wang, J, Sun, J, Wang, J, Prinz, RA, Peng, D, Liu, X & Xu, X 2019, , Virology, vol. 526, pp. 1-12.

Atg5 Supports R. australis Infection in Macrophages in vitro and in vivo
Bechelli, J, Vergara, L, Smalley, C, Buzhdygan, TP, Bender, S, Zhang, W, Liu, Y, Popov, VL, Wang, J, Garg, N, Hwang, S, Walker, DH & Fang, R 2018, , Infection and Immunity, pp. IAI.00651-18.

Increased Immunogenicity Through Autophagy
Jagannath, C, Khan, A & Wang, J 2018, . in MA Hayat (ed.), Immunology. vol. 1, Academic Press, pp. 35-54.

TRIM29 promotes DNA virus infections by inhibiting innate immune response
Xing, J, Zhang, A, Zhang, H, Wang, J, Li, XC, Zeng, M-S & Zhang, Z 2017, , Nature Communications, vol. 8, no. 1, 945.

TRIM29 promotes DNA virus infections by inhibiting innate immune response
Xing, J, Zhang, A, Zhang, H, Wang, J, Li, XC, Zeng, M-S & Zhang, Z 2017, , Nature Communications, vol. 8, no. 1, 945.

Ablation of Transcription Factor IRF4 Promotes Transplant Acceptance by Driving Allogenic CD4+ T Cell Dysfunction
Wu, J, Zhang, H, Shi, X, Xiao, X, Fan, Y, Minze, LJ, Wang, J, Ghobrial, RM, Xia, J, Sciammas, R, Li, XC & Chen, W 2017, , Immunity.

Regulation of B cell fate, survival, and function by mitochondria and autophagy
Sandoval, H, Kodali, S & Wang, J 2017, , Mitochondrion.

Supramolecular Peptide Nanofibers Engage Mechanisms of Autophagy in Antigen-Presenting Cells
Rudra, JS, Khan, A, Clover, TM, Endsley, JJ, Zloza, A, Wang, J & Jagannath, C 2017, , ACS Omega, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 9136-9143.,

Challenges and strategies for the eradication of the HIV reservoir
Kimata, JT, Rice, AP & Wang, J 2016, , Current Opinion in Immunology, vol. 42, pp. 65-70.

Autophagy in Host Defense Against Viruses
Wang, J & Chen, M 2016, . in Autophagy Networks in Inflammation. Springer, Cham, pp. 185-199.

Requirement for autophagy in the long-term persistence but not initial formation of memory B cells
Chen, M, Kodali, S, Jang, A, Kuai, L & Wang, J 2015, , Journal of Immunology, vol. 194, no. 6, pp. 2607-15.

Role of Nix in the Maturation of Erythroid Cells through Mitochondrial Autophagy
Sun, H, Wang, L, Wang, J & Chen, M 2014, . in Mitophagy. vol. 4, Elsevier, pp. 127-137.

Essential role for autophagy in the maintenance of immunological memory against influenza infection.
Chen, M, Hong, MJ, Sun, H, Wang, L, Shi, X, Gilbert, BE, Corry, DB, Kheradmand, F & Wang, J 2014, , Nature Medicine, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 503-510.

Analyses of programmed cell death in dendritic cells
Chen, M, Huang, L & Wang, J 2013, , Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), vol. 979, pp. 51-63.

Cleavage of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members after TCR stimulation contributes to the decision between T cell activation and apoptosis
Guerrero, AD, Welschhans, RL, Chen, M & Wang, J 2013, , Journal of Immunology, vol. 190, no. 1, pp. 168-73.