Zhu, Huachen Maria

Associate Professor

Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences

  • B.S, PhD

Professor Huachen Zhu is a tenured Associate Professor at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and an Adjunct Professor at the Shantou University (STU). She serves as Associate Director of the Joint Institute of Virology (STU/HKU) and the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases (HKU-Shenzhen Branch). She is also the Co-director of Joint Laboratory for International Collaboration in Virology and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Ministry of Education, China.

Professor Zhu’s research field is focused on mechanisms that lead to the virus emergence at the human and animal interface. In the past few years, she has identified the zoonotic sources, transmission routes, evolutionary pathways and molecular basis leading to the genesis of multiple severe viral threats to human health. Since 2020, she has been dedicated to developing antivirals and other control measures for COVID-19. Her work is widely recognised by leading journals and she has been ranked Top 1% Scholars based on Essential Science Indicators since 2017.

Professor Zhu was awarded Promising Investigator Prize by the International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (ISIRV, 2013) and Grand Prize of the 2017 State Scientific and Technological Progress Award by State Council of the People's Republic of China. She received HKU Research Output Prize or Faculty Outstanding Research Output Award every year from 2011 to 2016, and Outstanding Young Researcher Award of HKU in 2016. She is also one of the First Prize winners of the National Medical Science and Technology Award (CMA 2015) and the National Preventive Medicine Award (CPMA 2015). Recently, she received China’s First "Hero Cup" Award for the Outstanding Young Researchers in Experimental Medicine (2019) and the 16th ‘China Young Women in Science“ Award (2020).

Selected Publications
  1. Wu Y*, Huang X*, Yuan L*, Wang S*, Zhang Y*, Xiong H*, Chen R, Ma J, Qi R, Nie M, Xu J, Zhang Z, Chen L, Wei M, Zhou M, Cai M, Shi Y, Zhang L, Yu H, Jong J, Wang Z, Hong Y, Yue M, Li Z, Chen D, Zheng Q, Li S, Chen Y, Cheng T, Zhang J#, Zhang T#, Zhu H#, Zhao Q#, Yuan Q#, Guan Y#, Xia N#. A recombinant spike protein subunit vaccine confers protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in hamsters. Sci Transl Med. 2021 Aug 11;13(606):eabg1143.
  2. Fu W*, Wang W*, Yuan L*, Lin Y, Huang X, Chen R, Cai M, Liu C, Chen L, Zhou M, Wu K, Zhao H, Pan D, Ma J, Hong J, Zhai B, Zhang Y, Kong Z, Wang Y, Chen Y, Yuan Q, Zhu H#, Cheng T#, Guan Y#, Xia N#. A SCID mouse-human lung xenograft model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Theranostics. 2021; 11(13):6607-6615.
  3. Yuan L*, Zhu H*, Zhou M*, Ma J*, Chen R*, Chen Y, Chen L, Wu K, Cai M, Hong J, Li L, Liu C, Yu H, Zhang Y, Wang J, Zhang T, Ge S, Zhang J, Yuan Q, Chen Y, Tang Q, Chen H, Cheng T#, Guan Y#, Xia N#. Gender associates with both susceptibility to infection and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 in Syrian hamster. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2021 Mar 31;6(1):136.
  4. Lam TT*, Jia N*, Zhang YW*, Shum MH*, Jiang JF*, Zhu HC, Tong YG*, Shi YX, Ni XB, Liao YS, Li WJ, Jiang BG, Wei W, Yuan TT, Zheng K, Cui XM, Li J, Pei GQ, Qiang X, Cheung WY, Li LF, Sun FF, Qin S, Huang JC, Leung GM, Holmes EC, Hu YL#, Guan Y#, Cao WC#. Identifying SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses in Malayan pangolins. Nature. 2020 Jul;583(7815):282-285.
  5. Sabir JSM*, Lam TTY*, Ahmed MMM*, Li L*, Shen Y, Aboaba S, Qureshi MI, Abu-Zaid M, Zhang Y, Khiyami MA, Alharbi NS, Hajrah NH, Sabir MJ, Mutwakil MHZ, Kabli SA, Alsulaimany FAS, Obaid AY, Zhou B, Smith DK, Holmes EC, Zhu H#, Guan Y#. Co-circulation of three camel coronavirus species and recombination of MERS-CoVs in Saudi Arabia. Science. 2016 Jan 1;351(6268):81-4.
  6. Lam TT-Y*, Zhou B*, Wang J*, Chai Y*, Shen Y*, Chen X*, Ma C, Hong W, Chen Y, Zhang Y, Duan L, Chen P, Jiang J, Zhang Y, Li L, Poon LLM, Webby RJ, Smith DK, Leung GM, Peiris JSM, Holmes EC, Guan Y#, Zhu H#. Dissemination, divergence and establishment of H7N9 influenza viruses in China. Nature. 2015 Jun 4;522(7554):102-5.
  7. Lam TT-Y*, Wang J*, Shen Y*, Zhou B, Duan L, Cheung C-L, Ma C, Lycett SJ, Leung CYH, Chen X, Li F, Hong W, Chai Y, Zhou L, Liang H, Ou Z, Liu  Y, Farooqui, Kelvin DJ, Poon LLM, Smith DK, Pybus OG, Leung GM, Shu Y, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Peiris JSM, Rambaut A, Zhu H#, Guan Y#. The genesis and source of the H7N9 influenza viruses causing human infections in China. Nature. 2013 Oct 10; 502(7470):241-4.
  8. Zhu H*, Wang D*, Kelvin DJ, Li L, Zheng Z, Yoon SW, Wong SS, Farooqui A, Wang J, Banner D, Chen R, Zheng R, Zhou J, Zhang Y, Hong W, Dong W, Cai Q, Roehrl MH, Huang SS, Kelvin AA, Yao T, Zhou B, Chen X, Leung GM, Poon LL, Webster RG, Webby RJ, Peiris JS, Guan Y#, Shu Y#. Infectivity, transmission, and pathology of human-isolated H7N9 influenza virus in ferrets and pigs. Science. 2013 Jul 12; 341(6142):183-186.
  9. Vijaykrishna D*, Poon LLM*, Zhu HC, Ma SK, Li OTW, Cheung CL, Smith GJD, Peiris JSM#, Guan Y#. Reassortment of pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza A virus in swine. Science. 2010 Jun 18;328(5985):1529.
  10. Vijaykrishna D*, Smith GJD*, Pybus OG*, Zhu H, Bhatt S, Poon LLM, Riley S, Bahl J, Ma SK, Cheung CL, Chen H, Shortridge KF, Webby RJ, Webster RG, Guan Y#, Peiris JSM#. Long-term evolution and transmission dynamics of swine influenza A virus. Nature. 2011 May 26; 473(7348):519-522.