Jun (Jay) Zhu, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Department: Microbiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
211B Johnson Pavilion
Department of Microbiology
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-573-4104
Fax: 215-898-9557
Education:
BS (Biology)
Wuhan University, China, 1991.
Ph.D. (Microbiology)
Cornell University, 1999.
Permanent link
 

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Bacterial pathogenesis, Quorum Sensing, Biofilms, Vibrio cholerae, Clostridium difficile


Research Details
My laboratory is interested in how pathogenic bacteria sense and respond to their surroundings. We study Vibrio cholerae, which causes the acute diarrheal illness cholera, to determine the various chemical signals that bacteria receive when infecting the human intestinal tract, and how these signals are converted into changes in gene expression. We have identified multiple small molecules produced by the host that V. cholerae interprets as a signal that it has entered the human intestines, and to activate its virulence program. We have also identified the role of quorum sensing, the use of small molecules by bacteria as a marker of population growth, in regulating virulence and biofilm production by V. cholerae. We are currently also focused on how V. cholerae senses and responds to oxidative and nitrosative stresses during infection. We employ a variety of innovative genetic screens, biochemical techniques, animal models, and deep sequencing to probe these hypotheses. Last, we have begun applying our expertise with V. cholerae to the study of Clostridium difficile, an increasingly important cause of hospital-associated and community-acquired diarrhea. We believe that our work will shed light on importance of bacterial pathogen’s genetic controls in the "hide-and-seek" game of host-pathogen interactions, with the goal of better understanding V. cholerae and C. difficile pathogenesis and, potentially, discovering novel treatment options for the diarrheal diseases.

Selected Publications

Yang M, Liu Z, Hughes C, Stern AM, Wang H, Zhong Z, Kan B, Fenical W, Zhu J: Bile salt-induced intermolecular disulfide bond formation activates Vibrio cholerae virulence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110(6): 2348-2353, 2013.

Stern, A.M., A.J. Hay, Z. Liu, F.A.Desland, J.Zhang, Z. Zhong, and Zhu, J. : The NorR Regulon Is Critical for Vibrio cholerae Resistance to Nitric Oxide and Sustained Colonization of the Intestines. mBio 3: e00013-12, 2012.

Liu, Z., M. Yang, G. Peterfreund, A. M. Tsou, N. Selamoglu, F. Daldal, Z. Zhong, B. Kan, and J. Zhu.: Vibrio cholerae anaerobic induction of virulence gene expression is controlled by thiol-based redox sensing of virulence regulator AphB. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 108: 810-815, 2011.

Liu, Z., T. Miyashiro, A. Tsou, A. Hsiao, M. Goulian, and J. Zhu: Mucosal penetration primes Vibrio cholerae for host colonization by repressing quorum sensing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105: 9769 - 9774, 2008 Notes: Commented in PNAS 2008 105:9449-9450; Sci. Signal.(Science STKE) 2008 1, ec260

Hsiao, A, K. Toscano, and J.Zhu: Post-transcriptional cross-talk between pro- and anti-colonization pili biosynthesis systems in V. cholerae. Mol. Microbiol. 67: 849 - 860, 2008.

Hsiao, A., Z. Liu, A. Joelsson, and J. Zhu: Vibrio cholerae virulence regulator-coordinated evasion of host immunity. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci 103: 14542 - 14547, 2006.

back to top
Last updated: 01/27/2014
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania