Younho Choi, PhD
Florida Research & Innovation Center, 9801 SW Discovery Way,
Port St. Lucie, FL 34987
Dr. Choi did his PhD studies in microbiology at Seoul National University, South Korea. From 2013, postdoctoral studies on RNA viruses were conducted at the University of Southern California and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. In 2021, he was appointed Assistant Staff at Cleveland Clinic Florida Research & Innovation Center (FRIC).
Dr. Choi’s research comprises five parts: (1) viral immune evasion and signal transduction, (2) viral genetics and animal models, (3) viral pathogenesis (4) host recognition of viral infection, (5) vaccine and treatment development. Dr. Choi is now mostly interested in understanding the molecular mechanism of immunopathogenesis of emerging tick-borne viruses including Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) virus (SFSTV), which is an RNA virus of the order Bunyavirales, genus Bandavirus, was spread to all over East Asia. SFTSV is on concern because it causes hemorrhagic fever, thrombocytopenia, and multi-organ failure with a high fatality rate (12-30%) in human. Infected ticks, mostly Haemaphysalis longicornis (Asian longhorned tick) are the major source of human SFTSV infection, however, human-to-human transmission by direct contact has been reported. Due to the lack of therapies and vaccines, there is a pressing need to understand SFTSV pathogenesis. Dr. Choi’s research uses cutting-edge genomic, biochemical, and immunological analyses of viral genes in culture as well as animals including mouse and ferret. Because SFTSV is BSL3 agent, Dr. Choi is well trained for BSL3 work and uses a reverse genetic approach for generating a new and mutant virus in the BSL3 facility to define the viral pathogenesis and to develop vaccines.
- Choi Y, Jiang Z, Shin WJ, Jung JU. Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus NSs Interacts with TRIM21 To Activate the p62-Keap1-Nrf2 Pathway. J Virol. 2020 Feb 28;94(6) PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7158713.
- Yu KM, Park SJ, Yu MA, Kim YI, Choi Y, Jung JU, Brennan B, Choi YK. Cross-genotype protection of live-attenuated vaccine candidate for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus in a ferret model. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Dec 9; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6936527.
- Choi Y, Park SJ, Sun Y, Yoo JS, Pudupakam RS, Foo SS, Shin WJ, Chen SB, Tsichlis PN, Lee WJ, Lee JS, Li W, Brennan B, Choi YK, Jung JU. Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome phlebovirus non-structural protein activates TPL2 signalling pathway for viral immunopathogenesis. Nat Microbiol. 2019 Mar;4(3):429-437. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6548314.
- Park SJ, Kim YI, Park A, Kwon HI, Kim EH, Si YJ, Song MS, Lee CH, Jung K, Shin WJ, Zeng J, Choi Y, Jung JU, Choi YK. Ferret animal model of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome phlebovirus for human lethal infection and pathogenesis. Nat Microbiol. 2019 Mar;4(3):438-446. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6548318.
Cleveland Clinic Receives $2.9 Million for Additional Research on Emerging Tick-borne Virus Pathogen
Dr. Jae Jung will study the natural course of infection and viral reassortment of the emerging pathogen, Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Virus (SFTSV).