The airway epithelium is the initial site of entry for respiratory pathogens into the human body. Respiratory tissues have evolved a mucus clearance system that acts as a physical, innate defense mechanism. This structure, composed of the ciliated epithelial cells, basal cells, and mucus-producing goblet cells, creates an extracellular barrier that limits passage of inhaled foreign matter and effectively clears trapped material through coordinated ciliary beating. The extracellular barrier in the mucosal surface is comprised of a mucus layer, which sits on top of the ciliary brush, and an underlying periciliary layer (PCL). These structures permit particles smaller than 40 nm, such as adeno-associated viruses (∼25 nm), to penetrate the PCL, whereas larger adenovirus particles (∼100 nm) are excluded from the PCL. However, many respiratory viruses as large as 100 nm in diameter (e.g., influenza, SARS-CoV-2) bypass both the mucus layer and the PCL to infect airway epithelial cells. This begs the question of how viruses subvert the nasal mucosa for cellular entry, replication, and egress. Dr. Wu long-term research interest is to decipher the molecular mechanism of (1) respiratory pathogen entry and egress and the downstream signaling pathways these viruses use to circumvent innate immunity in the airway epithelium, (2) virus infection-induced tumorigenesis in upper aerodigestive tract, and (3) how metabolic disorders increase susceptibility to severe infectious disease. The proposed research is innovative and may uncover novel pharmacological targets for upper aerodigestive tract infection and cancer.

Dr. Wu's research program builds on my prior scientific accomplishments and training. Dr. Wu has a strong scientific background in developmental biology, virology, metabolism, and cancer biology. My training is in molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, mouse genetics and physiology, and multi-omic technologies. Dr. Wu's prior research experiences share the common thread of elucidating the detailed molecular mechanism of how signaling pathways facilitate virus infection, activate host antiviral immune response, and regulate basic cellular processes with relevance to human health. Dr. Wu's previous discoveries have instigated several new projects with meaningful therapeutic implications. Dr. Wu has therefore the necessary expertise as well as the drive and creativity to successfully carry out the proposed research project.

Undergraduate: National Yang-Ming University, School of Medicine

Graduate School: Academia Sinica, Interdisciplinary Neuroscience


Research Interest

  • The development of nasal epithelium
  • The interaction between metabolism and immunity
  • Virus infections-induced tumorigenesis in upper aerodigestive tract
  • Virus-host interaction in nasal and oral epithelium


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Identifying natural compounds that potently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in mouse models
Junjiao Yang1, 2, #, Yinghong Xiao3, #, Peter V. Lidsky3, #, Chien-Ting Wu4 , Luke R. Bonser5 4 , Shiming Peng1 , Miguel A. Garcia-Knight3 , Michel Tassetto3 , Chan-I Chung1, 2, Xiaoquan Li1, 2 5 , Tsuguhisa Nakayama6 , Ivan T. Lee7 , Jayakar V. Nayak6 , Khadija Ghias5 , Kirsten Hargett5 6 , Brian K. Shoichet1 , David J. Erle5 , Peter K. Jackson4 , Raul Andino3, *, Xiaokun Shu1, 2, * Nature Microbiology (In press) 2022
A defective viral genome strategy elicits broad protective immunity against respiratory viruses.
Xiao Y, Lidsky PV, Shirogane Y, Aviner R, Wu CT, Li W, Zheng W, Talbot D, Catching A, Doitsh G, Su W, Gekko CE, Nayak A, Ernst JD, Brodsky L, Brodsky E, Rousseau E, Capponi S, Bianco S, Nakamura R, Jackson PK, Frydman J, Andino R, Cell 2021 12 184 25 6037-6051.e14
Ethacridine inhibits SARS-CoV-2 by inactivating viral particles.
Li X, Lidsky PV, Xiao Y, Wu CT, Garcia-Knight M, Yang J, Nakayama T, Nayak JV, Jackson PK, Andino R, Shu X, PLoS Pathog 2021 09 17 9 e1009898
Myosin-Va is required for preciliary vesicle transportation to the mother centriole during ciliogenesis.
Wu CT, Chen HY, Tang TK Nat. Cell Biol. 2018 Feb 20 2 175-185
Human microcephaly protein RTTN interacts with STIL and is required to build full-length centrioles.
Chen HY, Wu CT, Tang CC, Lin YN, Wang WJ, Tang TK Nat Commun 2017 Aug 8 1 247