Cheng Huang, PhD


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Strategic Pillar

Dr. Randall Urban, VP and Chief Research Officer, has determined that UTMB research should be prioritized into six health communities. This researcher has received the following badge(s):

Research interests

One of my main research interests is to investigate the virus-host interaction and the pathogenesis of highly pathogenic arenavirus viruses. Experiments with highly pathogenic arenaviruses are required to be performed in BSL4 facilities. Many important aspects regarding the host response to pathogenic arenavirus infection are not understood. Currently I study the innate immune response to human pathogenic arenavirus Junin virus, Machupo virus and Lassa fever virus in infected cells in BSL2 and BSL4 facilities. Our studies reveal distinct host immune responses to pathogenic NW and OW arenaviruses. The NW arenavirus Junin virus and Machupo virus infection stimulates strong type I interferon response, while the OW arenavirus Lassa fever virus infection generally suppresses type I interferon response. Our goal is to determine the mechanistic basis for differential innate immune response to these arenaviruses, enhance our understanding of viral pathogenesis, and facilitate vaccine and therapeutics development. I am also interested in the development of vaccines and therapeutics against pathogenic arenaviruses. Based on our knowledge of the virulence determinants of arenaviruses, we aim to rationally design and develop vaccine candidates by utilizing the reverse genetics systems for arenaviruses.

Research Strategic Pillar Keywords

  • Brain Health
  • Life Span Health
  • Infectious/ Immunological Health
  • Specialized Health


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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