Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Infectious Diseases

Faculty Profiles

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photo Yue Chen, MD, PhD

Infectious Diseases

Research Associate Professor of Medicine


Phone: 412-596-2373

Office: Scaife Hall 867
3550 Terrace St
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-596-2373
Education and Training
MD, Dalian Medical University, China, 1983
Master of Medical Science, Xian Jiaotong University, 1989
PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1998
Research Interest
• The role of gut microbiome changes in HIV pathogenesis in MSM: Men who have sex with men (MSM) have been disproportionately affected by HIV-1. MSM have a distinct fecal microbiome regardless of HIV-1 infection. To investigate whether the MSM-associated gut microbiome affects susceptibility and progression of HIV-1 infection, we studied fecal microbiome profiles and blood plasma inflammatory cytokines of HIV-1 seroconverters (SC) before and after HIV-1 infection and HIV-1 negative MSM. The pathogenic changes in gut microbiome were present in MSM several months prior to infection with HIV-1. This was associated with increased inflammatory biomarkers in blood and risk for development of AIDS. Since sexual behaviors have an impact on gut microbiome, we are currently reanalyzing the microbiome, short chain fatty acids, and plasma cytokines data based on the number of sex partners the study participants reported.

• The role of HCMV reactivation in HIV persistence using a single-cell sequencing technology: HCMV causes a life-long latent infection with periodical reactivation and immune activation, leading to high levels of HCMV specific CD4 and CD8 T cells in blood circulation as the person ages. We hypothesize that periodical HCMV reactivation leads to HCMV specific CD4 T cells harboring HIV provirus to repeatedly produce HIV and increase HIV reservoir despite presence of effective ART. To test our hypothesis, we will use the established a Rhapsody-based single cells sequencing technique to analysis gene expression profiles of the HCMV specific CD4 T cells harboring HIV provirus with the ultimate goal of eliminating HIV reservoir.
Notable Achievements
The Innovation Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2006