Dr. Juhua Zhou
Research Assistant Professor
Postdoctoral Fellowships: 1999-2002, Baylor College of Medicine
Research Fellow: 2002-2006,
National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD
B.S., 1983, Zhejiang University, China
M.S., 1988, Zhejiang University, China
Ph. D., 1999, University of Louisiana

Contact Information:
Fax: 803-216-3428

Research Focus

Tumor immunology research is based on the theory of immune surveillance, which is involved in the generation of anti-tumor lymphocytes, the identification of antigens involved in tumor recognition by lymphocytes, the elucidation of mechanisms by which tumor cells escape immune elimination, and the development of cancer vaccines and immunotherapical strategies for cancer treatment. Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that adoptive immunotherapy with autologous antitumor tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) following nonmyeloablative chemotherapy mediates tumor regression in approximately 50% of treated patients with metastatic melanoma. Thus, we are trying to identify anti-tumor immunity in the other cancer diseases such as breast cancer and renal cancer in order to extend adoptive immunotherapy to other cancer patients.

Our lab is specifically interested in the studies on the role of CD44 in anti-tumor immunity. CD44 is a cell surface transmembrane glycoprotein, encoded by a single gene. Transcripts for CD44 gene undergo complex alternative splicing that results in many functionally distinct isoforms. CD44s (the standard form) is known to be important in T-cell signaling and a variety of immune cell functions such as T cell migration, activation and proliferation. Specific CD44 isoforms have a well documented role in tumor metastasis. We are particularly interested in understanding the role of CD44 polymorphisms in cancer disease development, detecting the expression of different CD44 isoform in human lymphocytes, comparing the differential functions of CD44 isoforms in T cell recognition on tumor cells, exploring the effects of tumor cells on CD44 expression in human lymphocytes and determining the functions of CD44 in the generation and maintenance of memory T cells for adoptive cell transfer. We are also trying to generate CD44 conditional knockout mice to understand the role of CD44 in anti-tumor immunity.

Our lab is also interested in understanding the role of CD44 and alternative medicine in autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Autoimmune diseases refers to any disease that results from the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as "self", which results in an immune response against its own cells and tissues. It has been shown that CD44 is an important modulator of inflammatory autoimmune responses. We are specifically interested in understanding the functions of different CD44 isoforms in autoimmune diseases and the role of CD44 molecules and alternative medicine in controlling the migration of immune cells to the inflammatory sites. These studies will provide a substantive mechanistic rationale for clinical trials in treating autoimmune diseases.

Recent publications:

  Search PubMed for publications by Dr Juhua Zhou

  • Khoi Q. Tran, Juhua Zhou, Katherine H. Durflinger, Michelle M. Langhan, Thomas E. Shelton, John R. Wunderlich, Paul F. Robbins, Steven A. Rosenberg, and Mark E. Dudley, "Minimally cultured tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes display optimal characteristics for adoptive cell therapy", Journal of Immunotherapy, 2008, in press.
  • Juhua Zhou (co-first author), Xinglei Shen, Karen S. Hathcock, Paul F. Robbins, Daniel J. Powell, Jr., Steven A. Rosenberg and Richard J. Hodes, "Persistence of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Adoptive Immunotherapy Correlates with Telomere Length", Journal of Immunotherapy, 30(1): 123-129, 2007.
  • Cary Hsu, Stephanie A. Jones, Cyrille J. Cohen, Zhili Zheng, Keith Kerstann, Juhua Zhou, et al., "Cytokine independent growth and clonal expansion of a primary human CD8+ T cell clone following retroviral transduction with the IL-15 gene", Blood, 109(12): 5168-77, 2007.
  • Kui Shin Voo, Gang Zeng, Jian-Bing Mu, Juhua Zhou, Xin-Zhuan Su, and Rong-Fu Wang, "CD4+ T cell response to mitochondrial cytochrome b in human melanoma", Cancer Research, 66(11): 5919-5926, 2006.
  • Juhua Zhou, Xinglei Shen, Richard J. Hodes, Steven A. Rosenberg and Paul F. Robbins, "Telomere length of transferred lymphocytes correlates with in vivo persistence and tumor regression in melanoma patients receiving cell transfer therapy", Journal of Immunol., 175(10): 7046-7052, 2005.
  • Juhua Zhou, Mark Dudley, Steven A. Rosenberg and Paul F. Robbins, "Persistence of multiple tumor-specific T cell clones is associated with complete tumor regression in a melanoma patient receiving adoptive cell transfer therapy", J Immunother., 28(1): 53-62, 2005.
  • Paul F. Robbins, Mark Dudley, John Wunderlich, Mona El-Gamil, Yong F. Li, Juhua Zhou, et al., "Cutting edge: persistence of transferred lymphocyte clonotypes correlates with cancer regression in patients receiving cell transfer therapy", J Immunol., 173(12): 7125-7130, 2004.
  • Juhua Zhou, Mark E. Dudley, Steven A. Rosenberg and Paul F. Robbins, "Selective growth, in vitro and in vivo, of individual T cell clones from tumor infiltrating lymphocytes obtained from patients with melanoma", J Immunol., 173(12): 7622-7629, 2004.
  • Hushan Yang, Juhua Zhou, et al., "Down-regulation of RNA helicase II/Gu results in the depletion of 18S and 28S rRNAs in Xenopus oocyte", J. Biol. Chem., 278: 38847-38859, 2003.
  • Juhua Zhou (co-first author), et al., "Identification of a mutated fibronectin as a tumor antigen recognized by CD4+ T-cells: Its role in extracellular matrix formation and tumor metastasis", Journal of Experimental Medicine, 195: 1397-1406, 2002.
  • Liyun Li, Juhua Zhou et al., 2001, "Maize Myosins: Diversity, Localization and Function", Cell Motility and Cytoskeleton, 48:130-148, 2001.
  • Garcia M.C., Zhou J.H., et al., "Unique epitopes in RNA helicase II/Gu protein recognized by serum from a watermelon stomach patient", Molecular Immunology, 37:351-359, 2000.