Wen Yuan, PhD

Wen Yuan, PhD

Wen  Yuan
Degree(s): PhD
Graduate School: Cornell University
Primary Appointment: Assistant Professor, Medicine, Infectious Diseases and International Health
Research Interests:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Website: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/thaler/home.cfm
Email Address: wy5e@virginia.edu

Research Description

The HIV-1 infection is initiated by the sequential binding of the viral envelope glycoproteins (Envs) to the two cellular receptors, CD4 and a chemokine co-receptor, typically either CCR5 or CXCR4. Receptor binding triggers conformational changes in HIV-1 Envs that result in the fusion of the viral and target cell membranes. The ability of HIV-1 Envs to undergo conformational rearrangement is essential for their function in promoting virus entry, and also contributes to escaping from neutralizing antibodies. As the sole viral component on the virion surface, HIV-1 Envs serve as attractive targets in the development of prophylactic approach, including vaccine. An understanding of the structure and the conformational states of HIV-1 Envs is critical to rational attempts to design inhibitors and vaccines. The research in our laboratory is currently focused on:

  • HIV-1 entry into target cells.
  • The nature and biological relevance of the conformational states sampled by HIV-1 Envs.
  • The interactions of gp120 and gp41 that contribute to exposure of CCR5 chemokine co-receptor binding site on HIV-1 Envs.
  • HIV/AIDS subunit vaccine development.
  • HIV-1 subtypes in relation to pathogenesis,transmission, and disease progression.
  • HIV-1 coreceptor tropism in association to disease progression in Sepsis patients in Uganda.

Selected Publications

Doka NI, Jacob ST, Banura P, Moore CC, Meya D, Mayanja-Kizza H, Reynolds SJ, Scheld WM, Yuan W.  Enrichment of HIV-1 subtype AD recombinants in a Ugandan cohort of severely septic patients. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48356. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048356. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

Yuan W, Li X, Kasterka M, Gorny MK, Zolla-Pazner S, Sodroski J.  Oligomer-specific conformations of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) gp41 envelope glycoprotein ectodomain recognized by human monoclonal antibodies. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2009 Mar;25(3):319-28. doi: 10.1089/aid.2008.0213.

Lobo PI, Schlegel KH, Yuan W, Townsend GC, White JA.  Inhibition of HIV-1 infectivity through an innate mechanism involving naturally occurring IgM anti-leukocyte autoantibodies. J Immunol. 2008 Feb 1;180(3):1769-79.

PubMed Listings for this Faculty Member

Contact Information
Office Address: PO Box 801340, Carter-Harrison Bldg 1710,
Office Phone: 434-243-2705
Fax Phone: 434-924-0075