Center for Vaccines and Immunity
Dr. Zongdi Feng became an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University and a member of the Center for Vaccines and Immunity at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute in 2014. Dr. Feng received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2008 and undertook post-doctoral training on the immune responses and pathogenesis associated with hepatitis viruses with Dr. Stan Lemon at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Dr. Feng’s research mainly focuses on the life cycle and pathogenesis of hepatitis viruses. Previous studies by Dr. Feng have shown that hepatitis A virus (traditionally thought to be nonenveloped) hijacks host membranes to evade antibody response and facilitate its spread (Nature. 496: 367-71). A similar phenomenon exists for hepatitis E virus (Trends Microbiol. 22:59-64), an emerging agent that causes high mortality (up to 28%) in pregnant women and often develops into persistent infection in immunosuppressed individuals. These novel “quasi-enveloped” viruses create a new paradigm in virology and provide novel insights on vaccines and immunity. Projects focus on understanding how these “quasi-enveloped” viruses (1) structurally differ from their nonenveloped counterparts, (2) enter and exit the cells, (3) become neutralized by antibodies, and (4) interact with “non-permissive” cells.