Faculty Profile, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan

Faculty Profiles

Shainn-Wei Wang, Ph.D.

Joint-appointed Assistant Investigator
Division of Infectious Diseases


-Ph.D., Genetics, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
-M.S., Genetics, The Pennsylvania State University, USA


- Joint-appointed Assistant Investigator, Division of Clinical Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (2005-present)
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, The Institute of Basic Medical Science, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan (2004-present)
- Assistant Professor, Institute of Molecular Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Medical College, Taiwan (2004- present)
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital, USA (1997- 2004)
- Postdoctoral Research Associate, Pesticide Research Laboratory, Inter-college program in Genetics, The Pennsylvania State University, USA (1996- 1997)


Dr. Wang's current ongoing projects cover: (1) HIV vaccine development and mucosal immunity (2) Identification of the cellular protein network for HIV nucleocapsid during Gag transport and selective RNA packaging, (3) Proteomic analysis of the HCV core-interacting cellular protein network in hepatocytes and immune cells, and (4) Development of a multivalent retroviral/flaviviral chimeric vector vaccine against HCV and HIV.

His team's long term goals are to (1) understand the pathogenesis of epidemic viruses (e.g., HIV, HCV, and Influenza) in Asia: They are interested in finding out how the gene networks are reprogrammed in DC, Macrophage, and T cells in responding to viral infections. Gene chips and Flow cytometry techniques will be used to investigate possible pathogenic mechanisms related to apoptosis or other cellular signaling events, and (2) identify host restriction factors for viral infection: For example, by comparing protein profiles of susceptible cells to those of non-susceptible cells when exposed to virus or viral proteins, they will investigate the cellular factor(s) that have direct protein-protein interaction with viral protein(s) in restricting viral entry, assembly, genome encapsidation, or replication. Tandem affinity purification for protein complex (Tap-Tag) and mass spectrometry will be used to explore the protein network related to the species-specific resistance of viral infection.


Dr. Wang's team have previously found that multiple mutations in the basic region of NC in the HIV Gag structural polyprotein did not affect Gag assembly on the plasma membrane, but resulted in the production of unstable viral particles without viral RNA, which disintegrated immediately after budding. However, full recovery of intact vRNA-minus particles was achieved by functional disruption of viral protease (D25S point mutation). Therefore, RNA is not crucial for retroviral assembly but plays a critical role in maintaining structural stability of the viral particle during protease mediated maturation (see attached figure). They have exploited this discovery to generate HIV DNA molecular clone harboring NC, protease, and other mutations that were able to efficiently produce non-infectious viral particles in vitro. Vaccination of the proviral DNA mutant in a prime boost strategy in monkeys has shown significant success in protecting chronic infection of the wild type virus after challenge in a monkey model. Molecular engineering of the mutant provirus harboring a potent microbial protein adjuvant in together with the use of cytokines for immune enhancing are in progress.


1.Su HW, Yeh HH, Wang SW, Shen MR, Chen TL, Kiela PR, Ghishan FK and Tang MJ. Cell confluence-induced activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) triggers epithelial dome formation via augmentation of sodium hydrogen exchanger-3 (NHE3) expression. Journal of Biological Chemistry, Feb 2 [Epub ahead of print], 2007.
2.Wang SW, Bertley FMN, Kozlowski PA, Herrmann L, Manson K, Mazzara G, Piatak M, Johnson RP, Carville A, Mansfield K and Aldovini A. A SHIV DNA/MVA rectal vaccination in Macaques provides systemic and mucosal virus specific responses and protection against AIDS. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, 20(8):846-59, 2004.
3.Bertley F, Kozlowski PA, Wang SW, Chappelle J, Sonuyi O, Montefiori D, J. D. Lifson JD, Carville A, Mansfield K and Aldovini A. Control of SHIV viremia and disease progression after nasal DNA-MVA vaccination. Journal of Immunology, 172:3745-3757, 2004.
4.Wang SW, Noonan K and Aldovini A. RNA-NC interaction is required for virion structural stability after protease-mediated Gag cleavage but not for virus assembly. Journal of Virology, 78:716-723, 2004.
5.Patel J, Wang SW, Izmailova E and Aldovini A. The Simian immunodeficiency virus 5 untranslated leader sequence plays a role in viral protein translation and RNA packaging. Journal of Virology, 77: 6284-6292, 2003.
6.Wang SW and Aldovini A. RNA incorporation is critical for retroviral particle integrity after cell membrane assembly of Gag complexes. Journal of Virology, 76:11853-11865, 2002.
7.Wang SW, Kozlowski P, Schchmelz G, Manson K, Wyand MS, Glickman R, Montefiori D, Lifson JD, Johnson RP, Neutra MR and Aldovini A. Effective induction of simian immunodeficiency virus-specific systemic and mucosal immune responses in primates by vaccination with proviral DNA producing intact but noninfectious virions. Journal of Virology, 74:10514-10522, 2000.