Welcome to Dr. Jiang Zhu’s Lab

Founded in 2013, Dr. Zhu’s Lab is dedicated to advancing biomedical research, educating students, and fostering career opportunities for young scholars. We are a multidisciplinary team working together to address important scientific questions and innovate key platform technologies.

Research Focus

Antibody
Research

Combine single-cell microfluidics and library display with deep sequencing to discover functional antibodies.

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Rational
Vaccine Design

Combine structure-based computational design with nanoparticle engineering to develop effective vaccines.

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Neuroscience & Optogenetics

Reengineer endogenous ion channels and receptors to exert non-invasive optical control of neural functions.

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Molecular
Complexes

Develop powerful, versatile computational tools to facilitate structural study of macromolecular assemblies.

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HIV Nanoparticle Vaccine

Self-assembling nanoparticle + Stabilized envelope trimer = Prophylactic HIV vaccine

This animation depicts how one of our leading HIV-1 vaccine candidates is designed. Dihydrolipoyl acetyltransferase (E2p) from Bacillus stearothermophilus is a protein that can automatically assemble into a 60-meric nanoparticle with a diameter of 23.2 nm. After an HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) has been stabilized by our “uncleaved, prefusion-optimized (UFO)” design, it can be displayed on the E2p surface through gene fusion. The outcome is a nanoparticle vaccine of 40-60 nm in size with 20 native-like viral spikes on the surface poised for immune recognition.