Jean K Lim

Jean K Lim, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Research Topics:

Biodefense, Cellular Immunity, Chemokines, Immunology, Infectious Disease, Inflammation, Trafficking, Viruses and Virology

The Lim lab focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of vector-borne viruses, such as West Nile virus (WNV) and how cell trafficking controls viral spread and disease.  West Nile virus is a highly virulent re-emerging human pathogen and the leading cause of arthropod-borne encephalitis in the US.  Neither vaccines nor antiviral or immunomodulator therapies are available for WNV, and new concepts based on precise understanding of molecular pathogenesis are needed.  WNV causes meningitis and multifocal encephalitis in both human disease and mouse models, characterized by the accumulation of leukocytes, including monocytes and T cells, in the brain.  The major research projects in the lab are to 1) understand leukocyte trafficking events, both at the molecular and cellular level, as they relate to host defense against WNV, 2) understand host genetic susceptibility to WNV by evaluating WNV-infected human samples; and 3) develop new models to evaluate WNV and other flavivirus infection.  The primary tools used to evaluate these questions are a well-established mouse model of WNV infection, samples acquired from WNV-infected individuals, and an ex vivo model of WNV infection in human lymphoid tissue.  A combination of these approaches will provide a comprehensive understanding of WNV pathogenesis and virus-host interactions.


Watch a video featuring the Microbiology and Virology PhD Graduate School Program.

Multi-Disciplinary Training Areas

Immunology [IMM], Microbiology [MIC]


NIAID, National Institutes of Health

PhD, University of Maryland