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China-Japan Joint Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and Molecular Microbiology

Some emerging infectious diseases such as SARS in 2003 have severely impacted human society in Asia. It has aroused great attention of both Chinese and Japanese governments. On this basis, the “Joint Laboratory for Molecular Immunology and Molecular Microbiology of Chinese Academy of sciences and the University Of Tokyo?was established in 2006. The collaboration obtained support from both governments. The Ministry of Science and Technology of China recognized the project as a government level collaboration. As for Japanese side, Research Centers for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases was launched as a project commissioned by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Areas of Research
The research areas for China-Japan Joint Laboratory include two parts: molecular immunology and molecular microbiology. We especially focus on HCV and HIV researches, which are closely concerned by both Chinese and Japanese governments. Our goal is a better understanding of mechanisms of viral replication to facilitate the discovery of new drug targets. Presently, we are interested in host protein and small RNA molecules that restrict viral replication: host restriction factors including proteins involved in innate immunity such as the type I interferon (IFN) system. Type I IFNs (IFN-alpha, beta, lambda, and omega) induce the expression of many IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). Some of ISGs have been found to have anti-viral functions whereas others remain to be investigated.
Studies also are concentrated on immune responses regulated by MHC class I-receptor interaction, specifically, the assembly of MHC class I molecules with peptides of invaders, the molecular basis of MHC class I-receptors interaction and the involvement of MHC class I-receptors interaction in auto-immune diseases. We are also engaged in development of platform technology to screen MHC class I binding peptides for the purposes of elucidation of auto-antigen and vaccine design.
We are also interested in interaction between structural proteins of avian influenza virus and cellular proteins; molecular evolution and pathogenicity of animal viruses and developing protein therapy for infectious diseases.

Principal Investigators:

Bin Gao

Antigen processing & presentation, immune responses. Vaccine & immune therapy

Wenjun (Frank) Liu

Molecular biology of animal virus and antiviral drug development.

Yoshihiro Kitamura

Antiviral drugs and gene therapies against AIDS


Institute Of Microbiology Chinese Academy of Sciences
NO.1 West Beichen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China Phone: 0086-10-64807462 Fax: 0086-10-64807468 Email: office@im.ac.cn