Haitao Guo, PhD

  • Professor

Education & Training

  • Postdoc, Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • PhD in Virology, Wuhan University (China), 2001
  • BS in Virology, Wuhan University (China), 1996

Research Interests

Research in my lab is focused on the viral pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and antiviral discovery. HBV is the etiologic agent of viral hepatitis B, a disease affecting approximately 300 million people worldwide who suffer the high risk of liver failure, cirrhosis and liver cancer. My laboratory aims at understanding the molecular mechanisms of HBV DNA replication and morphogenesis, with special focus on the biosynthesis and regulation of HBV covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, which is the persistent form of HBV infection, and is the culprit for the failure of current antiviral therapies. Making use of the HBV cccDNA reporter cell line systems recently established by us, we are screening small molecule compound libraries for cccDNA inhibitors in a high throughput fashion, and two identified cccDNA formation inhibitors are currently under preclinical development. In addition, we are studying the innate immunity and oncogenic signaling pathways that regulate HBV replication, as well as identification and characterization of host restriction factors that inhibit HBV infection and propagation in human hepatocytes. We are also investigating the molecular mechanisms of HBV-induced liver cancer and finding therapeutic targets.

Dr. Guo conducts his research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. 


Kim ES, Zhou J, Zhang H, Marchetti A, van de Klundert M, Cai D, Yu X, Mitra B, Liu Y, Wang M, Protzer U and Guo H. 2022. Hepatitis B virus X protein counteracts high mobility group box 1 protein-mediated epigenetic silencing of covalently closed circular DNA. PLoS Pathog. 18: e1010576. | View abstract

Marchetti AL, Zhang H, Kim ES, Yu X, Jang S, Wang M and Guo H. 2022. Proteomic Analysis of Nuclear Hepatitis B Virus Relaxed Circular DNA-Associated Proteins Identifies UV-Damaged DNA Binding Protein as a Host Factor Involved in Covalently Closed Circular DNA Formation. J Virol. 96: e0136021. | View abstract

Mao R, Dong M, Shen Z, Zhang H, Liu Y, Cai D, Mitra B, Zhang J and Guo H. 2021. RNA Helicase DDX17 Inhibits Hepatitis B Virus Replication by Blocking Viral Pregenomic RNA Encapsidation. J Virol. 95: e0044421. | View abstract

Cai D, Yan R, Xu JZ, Zhang H, Shen S, Mitra B, Marchetti A, Kim ES and Guo H. 2020. Characterization of the Termini of Cytoplasmic Hepatitis B Virus Deproteinated Relaxed Circular DNA. J Virol. 95: doi: 10.1128/JVI.00922-20. | View abstract

Shen S, Xie Z, Cai D, Yu X, Zhang H, Kim ES, Zhou B, Hou J, Zhang X, Huang Q, Sun J and Guo H. 2020. Biogenesis and molecular characteristics of serum hepatitis B virus RNA. PLoS Pathog. 16: e1008945. | View abstract

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