Chengjin Ye, Ph.D. is a molecular virologist who studies Arenavirus, SARS-CoV-2, Influenza and other RNA viruses, and vaccine development.
Dr. Ye researches how RNA viruses replicate, what makes them harmful to humans and how they interact with the host immune system. He specializes in using a state-of-the-art reverse genetics approach to establish these viruses in order to study them. He also has a strong interest in developing live attenuated vaccines using reverse genetic approaches.
Dr. Ye earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from Zhejiang University in 2014. He joined Texas Biomed in 2020.
Inside the Lab
Working with Dr. Luis Martine-Sobrido, Dr. Ye researches the molecular virology of RNA viruses (Arenavirus, Influenza, and Coronavirus) and the development of live-attenuated vaccines using reverse genetic approaches. Currently, he is mainly working on the causative agent of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2.
He established a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) plasmid-based reverse genetic system for SARS-CoV-2, which has been shared with more than 100 laboratories all over the world. By using this system, he also developed reporter-expressing recombinant SARS-CoV-2, which allows researchers to track the infection process and identify antiviral activity in vivo. Furthermore, it will facilitate identification of cells initially being infected and details about how the virus establishes infection.
Dr. Ye also helped clarify how accessory proteins of SARS-CoV-2 contribute to viral pathogenicity by deleting individual proteins from the recombinant virus. The final aim is to obtain a replication-competent recombinant SARS-CoV-2, in which the viral pathogenicity has been removed and viral immunogenicity has been retained, to develop a live attenuated vaccine for COVID-19.
In parallel, Dr. Ye is also working to generate a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2, which can infect and replicate in the wild-type mice (BALB/c and C57BL/6J) to relieve the high demand of K18-hACE2 transgenic mice. It will also allow researchers to investigate the host factors involved in viral pathogenesis when specific genes or proteins are knocked out.
Main Technologies and Methods Used
- DNA manipulation
- Viral minigenome assay
- Virus rescue
- Reporter-expressing virus based high throughput antiviral screening
- Plaque assay
- Immunofluorescent assay