The Shi lab integrates both academic and industrial expertise for basic and translational research. Our research focuses on flaviviruses that cause significant human diseases, such as dengue, Zika, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis viruses. Despite their global public health burden, there is no clinically approved therapy for flavivirus infection. To address this huge unmet medical need, we take a multidisciplinary approach (i) to study the molecular mechanism of viral replication and (ii) to translate the knowledge into antiviral, vaccine, and diagnostic products. Many of our projects are highly collaborative with both academic and pharmaceutical partners around the world. We also aspire to apply the knowledge achieved from the flavivirus research to drug discovery and vaccine development for other viral pathogens.
Pei-Yong Shi, PhD, is I.H. Kempner Professor of Human Genetics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston Texas, USA. He is an elected Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology, adjunct Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, and Honorary Professor at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in virology in 1996 from Georgia State University. After postdoctoral training at Yale University, he joined Bristol-Myers Squibb as a Principal Scientist to develop HIV and HCV therapeutics from 1998 to 2000. He then moved to the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, to study West Nile virus. From 2008 to 2015, he served as Dengue Unit Head and Executive Director to lead drug discovery at Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases. His group developed the first infectious clones of the epidemic strain of West Nile virus and Zika virus, discovered two RNA cap methylation activities of flavivirus NS5 protein, identified essential RNA elements for flavivirus replication, established various platforms for flavivirus vaccine and drug discovery, and pioneered therapeutics development for dengue virus. He has published over 210 peer-reviewed articles and served as Editor (ACS Infectious Diseases, Journal of General Virology, and Nature Vaccine) and Editorial Board member (Journal of Virology, Virology, and Antiviral Research). He is internationally recognized for his scholar and administrative accomplishments at leading research institution, public health sector, and pharmaceutical industry.