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Juan Carlos Zapata Jimenez, PhD

Academic Title:

Research Associate

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Research Associate

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

2013                Ph.D., Biology, University of Antioquia, Colombia. (Summa Cum Laude).

1999                MSc., Virology, University of Antioquia, Colombia.

1995                B.S., Microbiology and Clinic Laboratory, University of Antioquia, Colombia.

2004                Management of BSL-3 facility and biosafety protocols.


I am an experienced teacher and researcher in the areas of microbiology, molecular virology, immunology, and vaccine development. I had characterized a Colombian virus strain from Bovines (BHV-1), Hepatitis C virus and a Lassa vaccine candidate. My experience also includes animal models for arenavirus and retroviruses vaccine development and treatment.

My main research interest is in virus-host interactions using animal models, genomic profiling, and basic molecular virology; focused not only on host responses but also on changes that occur in the viral population in order to describe virus-host coevolution. This knowledge allows us to undestand how virus adapt to its host and propose the development of new control or erradication strategies.

Highlighted Publications

  1. Zapata J, Campilongo F, Barclay R, DeMarinoC, Iglesias-Ussel M, Kashanchi F, Romerio F. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 antisense transcript promotes viral latency by recruiting the Polycomb Repressor Complex 2 and promoting nucleosome assembly. Virology. 2017. Mar 21;506:34-44.
  2. Latinovic O, Medina-Moreno S, Schneider K, Gohain N, Zapata JC, Pazgier M, Reitz M, Bryant J, Redfield RR. Full length single chain Fc protein (FLSC IgG1) as a potent anti-viral therapy candidate: Implications for in vivo studies. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2016. Feb 32(2):178-86.
  3. Heredia A, Le N, Gartenhaus RB, Sausville E, Medina-Moreno S, Zapata JC, Davis C, Gallo RC, Redfield RR. Targeting of mTOR catalytic site inhibits multiple steps of the HIV-1 lifecycle and suppresses HIV-1 viremia in humanized mice. PNAS. 2015 Jul 28;112(30):9412-7.
  4. Yan J, Zapata JC, Pauza CD, Salvato M. Modulation of anti-viral immunity by Fas-FasL signaling. Viruses. 2015. Mar 7. 1429-1453.
  5. Zapata JC, and Salvato MS. Genomic profiling of host responses to Lassa virus: therapeutic potential from primate to man. Future Medicine. 2015. Mar 10(3):233-256.
  6. Zapata JC, Cox D, Salvato MS. The role of platelets in the pathogenesis of viral hemorrhagic fevers. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014. Jun 12;8(6):e2858.
  7. Zapata JC, Goicochea M, Nadai Y, Eyzaguirre LM, Carr JK, Tallon LJ, Sadzewicz L, Myers G, Fraser CM, Su Q, Djavani M, Lukashevich IS, Salvato MS. Genetic variation in vitro and in vivo of an attenuated Lassa vaccine candidate. J Virol. 2014. Mar; 88(6): 3058-66.
  8. Zapata JC, Carrion R Jr, Patterson JL, Crasta O, Zhang Y, Mani S, Jett M, Poonia B, Djavani M, White DM, Lukashevich IS, Salvato MS. Transcriptome Analysis of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Lassa Virus and to the Reassortant ML29, a Vaccine Candidate. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013. 7 (9): 1-3.
  9. Zapata JC, Salvato MS. Arenavirus Variations Due to Host-Specific Adaptation. Viruses. 2013. 5:241-278.
  10. Zapata JC, Poonia B, Bryant J, Davis H, Ateh E, George L, Crasta O, Zhang Y, Slezak T, Jaing C, Pauza CD, Goicochea M, Moshkoff D, Lukashevich IS, Salvato MS. An attenuated Lassa vaccine in SIV-infected rhesus macaques does not persist or cause arenavirus disease but does elicit protective immunity. Virology Journal. 2013. 10:52.