Plant Pathology Graduate Program

Rong Hai


Rong Hai
Office: 951-827-3910
Fax: 951-827-4294
4488 Boyce Hall
Office Hours: , not specified - not specified
Email: rong.hai@ucr.edu

Rong Hai

Assistant Professor of Virology

Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley. Jul, 2001-Dec, 2006

M.Sc in Genetics, Jinan University, China. Jul, 1997-Jul, 2000

B.Sc. in Biology, Jinan University, China. Jul, 1992-Jul, 1996


Biography & Research Interests

 Our laboratory has broadly interests on the molecular characterization of emerging negative strand RNA viruses with focuses on discovering novel viral virulence signatures and molecular viral-host interactions. Currently, we use influenza viruses as the primary model system.

Influenza virus, family Orthomyxoviridae, is a negative-strand RNA virus with 8 segments and is grouped by its antigenic properties as type A, B or C. Influenza virus is a major human respiratory pathogen. However, only types A and B, are responsible for seasonal epidemics resulting in approximately 35,000 (US) and 500,000 (worldwide) deaths annually, while type C causes mild respiratory illness. In addition, influenza A virus can cause pandemics, which occurs every 10-50 years. Due to the lack of pre-existing immunity in humans, pandemic cases usually increase mortality and severity of the infection. For example, during 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, about one third of the world's population (or ≈500 million persons) were infected and had clinically apparent illnesses.

We combine molecular, biochemical, and imaging techniques to understand how viruses replicate and to explore virus-host interactions. We also have interests, driven by our research goals, in developing methods for manipulating genomes of other emerging viruses.





1. Riegger D*, Hai R*, Dornfeld D, Manz B, Leyva-Grado V, Sanchez-Aparicio MT, Albrecht RA, Palese P, Haller O, Schwemmle M, Garcia-Sastre A, Kochs G, Schmolke M. 2015. The nucleoprotein of newly emerged H7N9 influenza A virus harbors a unique motif conferring resistance to antiviral human MxA. J Virol 89:2241-2252. (*: These authors contributed equally to this work.)

2. Leyva-Grado, V. H.*, Hai, R.*, Fernandes, F., Belicha-Villanueva, A., Carter, C., and Yondola, M. 2014. Modulation of an ectodomain motif in the influenza A virus neuraminidase alters tetherin sensitivity and results in virus attenuation in vivo. Journal of molecular biology 426:1308-1321. (*: These authors contributed equally to this work.)

3. Hai, R., Schmolke, M., Leyva-Grado, V. H., Thangavel, R. R., Margine, I., Jaffe, E. L., Krammer, F., Solorzano, A., Garcia-Sastre, A., Palese, P., and Bouvier, N. M. 2013. Influenza A(H7N9) virus gains neuraminidase inhibitor resistance without loss of in vivo virulence or transmissibility. Nat Commun 4:2854.

4. Pica, N.*, Hai, R.*, Krammer, F., Wang, T. T., Maamary, J., Eggink, D., Tan, G. S., Krause, J. C., Moran, T., Stein, C. R., Banach, D., Wrammert, J., Belshe, R. B., Garcia-Sastre, A., and Palese, P. 2012. Hemagglutinin stalk antibodies elicited by the 2009 pandemic influenza virus as a mechanism for the extinction of seasonal H1N1 viruses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:2573-2578. (*: These authors contributed equally to this work.)

5. Hai, R., Krammer, F., Tan, G. S., Pica, N., Eggink, D., Maamary, J., Margine, I., Albrecht, R. A., and Palese, P. 2012. Influenza viruses expressing chimeric hemagglutinins: globular head and stalk domains derived from different subtypes. J Virol 86:5774-5781.

6. Hai, R., Garcia-Sastre, A., Swayne, D. E., and Palese, P. 2011. A reassortment-incompetent live attenuated influenza virus vaccine for protection against pandemic virus strains. J Virol 85:6832-6843.

7. Chou, Y. Y., Albrecht, R. A., Pica, N., Lowen, A. C., Richt, J. A., Garcia-Sastre, A., Palese, P., and Hai, R.* 2011. The M segment of the 2009 new pandemic H1N1 influenza virus is critical for its high transmission efficiency in the guinea pig model. J Virol 85:11235-11241. (*: The corresponding author.)

8. Manicassamy, B.*, Medina, R. A.*, Hai, R.*, Tsibane, T., Stertz, S., Nistal-Villan, E., Palese, P., Basler, C. F., and Garcia-Sastre, A. 2010. Protection of mice against lethal challenge with 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus by 1918-like and classical swine H1N1 based vaccines. PLoS Pathog 6:e1000745. (*: These authors contributed equally to this work.)

9. Hai, R., Schmolke, M., Varga, Z. T., Manicassamy, B., Wang, T. T., Belser, J. A., Pearce, M. B., Garcia-Sastre, A., Tumpey, T. M., and Palese, P. 2010. PB1-F2 expression by the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus has minimal impact on virulence in animal models. J Virol 84:4442-4450.

10. Hai, R., Martinez-Sobrido, L., Fraser, K. A., Ayllon, J., Garcia-Sastre, A., and Palese, P. 2008. Influenza B virus NS1-truncated mutants: live-attenuated vaccine approach. J Virol 82:10580-10590.

11. Dunn, W., Chou, C., Li, H., Hai, R., Patterson, D., Stolc, V., Zhu, H., and Liu, F. 2003. Functional profiling of a human cytomegalovirus genome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100:14223-14228.

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