DONATE NOW:Urgent Call for Healthy Donors as Blood Supply Drops to Dangerously Low LevelsSchedule Appointment

Lanying Du, PhD


Head, Laboratory of Viral Immunology
Member, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute

Contact Information

Phone: +1 (212) 570-3459

Current Projects

Research focuses
  1. Develop effective and safe vaccines and therapeutic antibodies to prevent and treat emerging infectious diseases caused by coronaviruses, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), SARS-CoV-2, and other coronaviruses with pandemic potential, influenza viruses, as well as transfusion-transmitted flaviviruses.
  2. Study pathogenic mechanisms of these viruses, based on which to design novel vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.
Research on coronaviruses
  1. MERS-CoV vaccines and pathogenic mechanisms. We have identified MERS-CoV spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) as an important vaccine target, and demonstrated that MERS-CoV RBD contains a critical neutralizing domain capable of inducing cross-neutralizing antibodies against infection of divergent MERS-CoV strains. Current research focus is to design and develop safe, efficacious, and novel MERS vaccines with low-cost, manufacturing capacity, broad-spectrum efficacy, and enhanced potency, identify their protective mechanisms, and study pathogenic mechanisms of MERS-CoV.
  2. Other coronavirus vaccines and pathogenic mechanisms. We have shown that SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV spike proteins and RBDs are important vaccine targets. We are working on the development of novel spike protein and/or RBD-based vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), SARS-CoV and other coronaviruses with pandemic potential, study of their protective mechanisms, as well as identification of pathogenic mechanisms of these coronaviruses.
  3. Therapeutic antibodies against pathogenic coronaviruses. We have demonstrated that coronavirus spike proteins and RBDs are important therapeutic targets. Current research focus is to design and develop spike protein and/or RBD-targeting novel therapeutic antibodies against emerging coronaviruses with pandemic potential.
Research on Zika virus (ZIKV)

We have identified that ZIKV envelope protein domain III is an important vaccine target in inducing specific antibody responses, cross-neutralizing antibodies, and protection against infection of divergent ZIKV strains. We have established mouse models susceptible to ZIKV infection, and utilized them to evaluate efficacy of ZIKV vaccines and therapeutic agents. Current research focus is to design and develop novel, safe, and effective ZIKV vaccines and therapeutics with improved efficacy, study ZIKV transmission and blood safety, and understand pathogenic mechanisms of ZIKV.

Lab Personnel

  • Shibo Jiang, MD, PhD, Guest Investigator
  • Ron Rowe, BS, Lab Assistant
  • Juan Shi, M.Sc, Visiting Scientist, PhD Student
  • Xiujuan Zhang, PhD, Research Fellow

Funding Support

  • NIH R01 AI157975 Du/Li/Perlman (MPIs)  07/2020 – 06/30/2025 “Novel nanobodies to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic human coronaviruses”
  • NIH R01AI139092 Du (PI)  05/2018 – 04/2023 “Structure-based design of coronavirus subunit vaccines”.
  • NIH R01AI137472  Du (PI)  02/2018 – 01/2023 “Rational design and evaluation of novel mRNA vaccines against MERS-CoV”
  • NIH U01 AI124260  Lustigman/Jiang (co-PIs) 08/2016 – 07/2021 “Enhancing Potency of the MERS Vaccine by a Novel ASP-1+Alum Adjuvant Combination"
  • NIH R21 AI137790  Du (PI) 4/2019-3/2021  “A novel and effective nanobody to prevent and treat Zika virus infection”

Education and Training

Doctoral Training
PhD, University of Hong Kong

Postdoctoral Training
Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center​

Issued Patents (available for licensing and sponsored research support)

Jiang S, Du L, Zhou Y. Influenza hemagglutinin-specific monoclonal antibodies for preventing and treating influenza virus infection. Patent No. US 8,900,585 B2. Filed Oct. 20, 2011, and issued Dec. 02, 2014.
Jiang S, DuL, Zhou Y. Influenza hemagglutinin-specific monoclonal antibodies for preventing and treating influenza virus infection. Patent No. US 9,701,736 B2. Filed Oct. 09, 2014, and issued Jul. 11, 2017.
Jiang S, Du L. Immunopotentiator-linked oligomeric influenza immunogenic compositions. Patent No. US 9,592,287 B2. Filed Oct. 09, 2009, and issued Mar. 14, 2017.
Jiang S, Du L. Immunopotentiator-linked oligomeric influenza immunogenic compositions. Patent No. US 9,943,589 B2. Filed Jan. 26, 2017, and issued Apr. 17, 2018.
Zhou Y, Zhao G, Jiang S, Du L. Immunogenic composition for MERS coronavirus infection. Patent No. US 9,889,194 B2. Filed Feb. 28, 2014, and issued Feb. 13, 2018.

Selected Publications

Wan Y, Shang S, Sun S, Tai W, Chen J, Geng Q, He L, Chen Y, Wu J, Shi Z, Zhou Y, Du L, Li F. Molecular mechanism for antibody-dependent enhancement of coronavirus entry. J Virol. 2020;94(5). pii: e02015-19.

Tai W, He L, Zhang X, Pu J, Voronin D, Jiang S, Zhou Y, Du L. Characterization of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of 2019 novel coronavirus: implication for development of RBD protein as a viral attachment inhibitor and vaccine. Cell Mol Immunol. 2020;17(6):613-620.

Wang N, Shang J, Jiang S, Du L. Subunit vaccines against emerging pathogenic human coronaviruses. Front Microbiol. 2020;11:298.

Tai W, Zhang X, He Y, Jiang S, Du L. Identification of SARS-CoV RBD-targeting monoclonal antibodies with cross-reactive or neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral Res. 2020;179:104820.

Jiang S, Hillyer C, Du L. Neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and other human coronaviruses. Trends Immunol. 2020;41(5):355-359.

Jiang S, Du L. Effect of low-pathogenic human coronavirus-specific antibodies on SARS-CoV-2. Trends Immunol. 2020. doi: 10.1016/ Online ahead of print.

Zhang N, Shang J, Li C, Zhou K, Du L. An overview of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus vaccines in preclinical studies. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2020. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1813574. Online ahead of print.

Tai W, Zhang X, Drelich A, Shi J, Hsu JC, Luchsinger L, Hillyer CD, Tseng CK, Jiang S, Du L. A novel receptor-binding domain (RBD)-based mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Cell Res. 2020. doi: 10.1038/s41422-020-0387-5. Online ahead of print.

Zhang N, Li C, Jiang S, Du L. Recent advances in the development of virus-like particle-based flavivirus vaccines. Vaccines. 2020;8(3),481; doi: 10.3390/vaccines8030481.

Du L, Zhao G, Lin Y, Sui H, Chan C, Ma S, He Y, Jiang S, Wu CY, Yuen KY, Jin DY, Zhou Y, Zheng BJ. Intranasal vaccination of recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding receptor-binding domain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) spike protein induces strong mucosal immune responses and provides long-term protection against SARS-CoV infection. J Immunol. 2008;180(2):948-56.

Du L, He Y, Zhou Y, Liu S, Zheng BJ, Jiang S. The spike protein of SARS-CoV – a target for vaccine and therapeutic development. Nature Rev Microbiol. 2009;7(3):226-36.

Du L, Li Y, Zhao G, Wang L, Zou P, Lu L, Zhou Y, Jiang S. Highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) mutants transmissible by air are susceptible to human and animal neutralizing antibodies. J Infect Dis. 2013;208(8):1315-9.
Du L, Jin L, Zhao G, Sun S, Li J, Yu, H, Li Y, Zheng BJ, Liddington RC, Zhou Y, Jiang S. Identification and structural characterization of a broadly neutralizing antibody targeting a novel conserved epitope on influenza H5N1 hemagglutinin. J Virol. 2013;87(4):2215-25.

Du L, Zhao G, Kou Z, Ma C, Sun S, Poon VK, Lu L, Wang L, Debnath AK, Zheng BJ, Zhou Y, Jiang S. Identification of a receptor-binding domain in the S protein of the novel human coronavirus Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus as an essential target for vaccine development. J Virol. 2013;87(17):9939-42.

Yang Y, Du L, Liu C, Wang L, Ma C, Tang J, Baric RS, Jiang S, Li F. Receptor usage and cell entry of bat coronavirus HKU4 provide insight into bat-to-human transmission of MERS coronavirus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(34):12516-21.

Du L, Zhao G, Yang Y, Qiu H, Wang L, Kou Z, Tao X, Yu H, Sun S, Tseng CT, Jiang S, Li F, Zhou Y. A conformation-dependent neutralizing monoclonal antibody specifically targeting receptor-binding domain in Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein. J Virol. 2014;88(12):7045-53.

Du L, Tai W, Yang Y, Zhao G, Zhu Q, Sun S, Liu C, Tao X, Tseng CK, Perlman S, Jiang S, Zhou Y, Li F. Introduction of neutralizing immunogenicity index to the rational design of MERS coronavirus subunit vaccines. Nat Commun. 2016;7:13473.

Tai W, Wang Y, Fett CA, Zhao G, Li F, Perlman S, Jiang S, Zhou Y, Du L. Recombinant receptor-binding domains of multiple Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (MERS-CoVs) induce cross-neutralizing antibodies against divergent human and camel MERS-CoVs and antibody escape mutants. J Virol. 2016;91(1).

Zhang N, Channappanavar R, Ma C, Wang L, Tang J, Garron T, Tao X, Tasneem S, Lu L, Tseng CT, Zhou Y, Perlman S, Jiang S, Du L. Identification of an ideal adjuvant for receptor-binding domain-based subunit vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Cell Mol Immunol. 2016;13(2):180-90.

Du L, Yang Y, Zhou Y, Lu L, Li F, Jiang S. MERS-CoV spike protein – a key target for antivirals. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2017;21(2):131-43.

Tai W, He L, Wang Y, Sun S, Zhao G, Luo C, Li P, Zhao H, Fremont DH, Li F, Jiang S, Zhou Y, Du L. Critical neutralizing fragment of Zika virus EDIII elicits cross-neutralization and protection against divergent Zika viruses. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018;7(1):7.
Zhao G, He L, Sun S, Qiu H, Tai W, Chen J, Li J, Chen Y, Gao Y, Wang Y, Shang J, Ji K, Fan R, Du E, Jiang S, Li F, Du L, Zhou Y. A novel nanobody targeting Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) receptor-binding domain has potent cross-neutralizing activity and protective efficacy against MERS-CoV. J Virol. 2018;92(18):pii:e00837-18.
Jiang S, Du L. Advances in the research and development of therapeutic antibodies against the Zika virus. Cell Mol Immunol. 2019;16(1):96-97. 

Tai W, Voronin D, Chen J, Bao W, Kessler DA, Shaz B, Jiang S, Yazdanbakhsh K, Du L. Transfusion-transmitted Zika virus infection in pregnant mice leads to broad tissue tropism with severe placental damage and fetal demise. Front Microbiol. 2019;10:29. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.00029.

Tai W, Chen J, Zhao G, Geng Q, He L, Chen Y, Zhou Y, Li F, Du L. Rational design of Zika virus subunit vaccine with enhanced efficacy. J Virol. 2019:pii:JVI.02187-18. doi:10.1128/JVI.02187-18.