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Faculty Profiles

Jay Levy, MD
M_MED-CORE-HMON-ONCO-GEN
Professor

513 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94117
415-476-4071

Research in the Levy laboratory is directed at understanding the interaction of viruses and the immune system in microbial pathogenesis. It focuses on HIV infection with the goal of designing novel antiviral therapies and an effective AIDS vaccine for which both innate and adaptive responses are needed. Biologic, serologic, and molecular characterization of several HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains has revealed their extensive heterogeneity and how viruses can evolve differently in the same individual in the immune system, bowel, and the brain. A major emphasis in the laboratory has been on anti-HIV innate immune responses. The research group is evaluating the role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC), the main producers of type 1 interferons. Studies are directed at understanding how HIV-infected cells induce interferon production from PDC and what cell surface molecules, including toll-like receptors (TLR), are involved in this process. An important potent innate response we have discovered is the ability of CD8+ lymphocytes to suppress HIV replication without killing the cells. This novel CD8+ cell noncytotoxic antiviral response (CNAR) is mediated by an as yet unidentified, natural CD8+ cell antiviral factor (CAF) that blocks HIV transcription. In summary, the Levy laboratory has been conducting studies to identify CAF through RNA Seq procedures, to determine the best strategy for an AIDS vaccine and to use genetically modified stem cell approaches towards a potential HIV cure.

Education and Training

Location Degree or Training Specialty Date
Columbia University MD Medicine and Virology
NIH, National Cancer Institute Staff Associate
Universite de Paris Regeneration
University of California, San Francisco Med. Residency II
University of Pennsylvania Med. Internship, Residency I
Wesleyan University BA Biology

Awards and Honors

2015   UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Award, University of California, San Francisco, 2015
2008   Gold Medal for Excellence in Medical Research, Columbia University, 2008
2004   Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2004
2003   Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, 2003
2002   UCSF 45th Faculty Research Lecturer, University of California, San Francisco, 2002
1996   Doctor of Science Honorary Degree, Wesleyan University, 1996
1993   Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993

Related Web Sites

In the News

Awarded Grants

Project Title Project Number Fiscal Year
Bio-Organic Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Resource P41RR001614 2015
Recent Articles (79)

Hecht FM, Moskowitz JT, Moran P, Epel ES, Bacchetti P, Acree M, Kemeny ME, Mendes WB, Duncan LG, Weng H, Levy JA, Deeks SG, Folkman S. A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in HIV Infection. Brain Behav Immun. 2018 May 26.

Levy JA, Murphy EL. Schwab M (ed.) Encyclopedia of Cancer. Human T-Lymphotropic Virus. 2017; 3:2146 - 2149.

Blazek D, Teque F, Mackewicz C, Peterlin M, Levy JA. The CD8+ cell non-cytotoxic antiviral response affects RNA polymerase II-mediated human immunodeficiency virus transcription in infected CD4+ cells. J Gen Virol. 2016 Jan; 97(1):220-4.

Levy JA. Discovery of another anti-HIV protein in the search for the CD8+ cell anti-HIV Factor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jun 30; 112(26):7888-9.

Levy JA. Dispelling myths and focusing on notable concepts in HIV pathogenesis. Trends Mol Med. 2015 Jun; 21(6):341-53.

Roff SR, Sanou MP, Rathore MH, Levy JA, Yamamoto JK. Conserved epitopes on HIV-1, FIV and SIV p24 proteins are recognized by HIV-1 infected subjects. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2015; 11(6):1540-56.

Ye L, Wang J, Beyer AI, Teque F, Cradick TJ, Qi Z, Chang JC, Bao G, Muench MO, Yu J, Levy JA, Kan YW. Seamless modification of wild-type induced pluripotent stem cells to the natural CCR5?32 mutation confers resistance to HIV infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 01; 111(26):9591-6.

Venditto VJ, Wieczorek L, Molnar S, Teque F, Landucci G, Watson DS, Forthal D, Polonis VR, Levy JA, Szoka FC. Chemically modified peptides based on the membrane-proximal external region of the HIV-1 envelope induce high-titer, epitope-specific nonneutralizing antibodies in rabbits. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2014 Aug; 21(8):1086-93.

Sanou MP, Roff SR, Mennella A, Sleasman JW, Rathore MH, Yamamoto JK, Levy JA. Evolutionarily conserved epitopes on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and feline immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptases detected by HIV-1-infected subjects. J Virol. 2013 Sep; 87(18):10004-15.

Liu L, Wang L, Huang L, Siu V, Teque F, Aweeka FT, Levy JA. Nevirapine inhibits the anti-HIV activity of CD8+ cells. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013 Jun 01; 63(2):184-8.

Kaushik S, Teque F, Patel M, Fujimura SH, Schmidt B, Levy JA. Plasmacytoid dendritic cell number and responses to Toll-like receptor 7 and 9 agonists vary in HIV Type 1-infected individuals in relation to clinical state. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2013 Mar; 29(3):501-10.

Ippolito G, Levy JA, Sonnerborg A, Mugusi F, Dianzani F. AIDS and HIV Infection after Thirty Years. AIDS Res Treat. 2013; 2013:731983.

Sanou MP, De Groot AS, Murphey-Corb M, Levy JA, Yamamoto JK. HIV-1 Vaccine Trials: Evolving Concepts and Designs. Open AIDS J. 2012; 6:274-88.

Levy JA, Levy Y. HIV infection: what should be considered in approaches for a cure? AIDS. 2012 Nov 13; 26(17):2253-5.

Levy JA, Autran B, Coutinho RA, Phair JP. 25 Years of AIDS: recording progress and future challenges. AIDS. 2012 Jun 19; 26(10):1187-9.

Tugizov SM, Herrera R, Veluppillai P, Greenspan D, Soros V, Greene WC, Levy JA, Palefsky JM. Differential transmission of HIV traversing fetal oral/intestinal epithelia and adult oral epithelia. J Virol. 2012 Mar; 86(5):2556-70.

Killian MS, Levy JA. HIV/AIDS: 30 years of progress and future challenges. Eur J Immunol. 2011 Dec; 41(12):3401-11.

Liu L, Johnson C, Fujimura S, Teque F, Levy JA. Transfection optimization for primary human CD8+ cells. J Immunol Methods. 2011 Sep 30; 372(1-2):22-9.

Knox K, Carrigan D, Simmons G, Teque F, Zhou Y, Hackett J, Qiu X, Luk KC, Schochetman G, Knox A, Kogelnik AM, Levy JA. No evidence of murine-like gammaretroviruses in CFS patients previously identified as XMRV-infected. Science. 2011 Jul 01; 333(6038):94-7.

Levy JA. Virus-host interactions in HIV pathogenesis: directions for therapy. Adv Dent Res. 2011 Apr; 23(1):13-8.

Meditz AL, MaWhinney S, Allshouse A, Feser W, Markowitz M, Little S, Hecht R, Daar ES, Collier AC, Margolick J, Kilby JM, Routy JP, Conway B, Kaldor J, Levy J, Schooley R, Cooper DA, Altfeld M, Richman D, Connick E. Sex, race, and geographic region influence clinical outcomes following primary HIV-1 infection. J Infect Dis. 2011 Feb 15; 203(4):442-51.

Killian MS, Johnson C, Teque F, Fujimura S, Levy JA. Natural suppression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication is mediated by transitional memory CD8+ T cells. J Virol. 2011 Feb; 85(4):1696-705.

Tugizov SM, Herrera R, Veluppillai P, Greenspan D, Soros V, Greene WC, Levy JA, Palefsky JM. HIV is inactivated after transepithelial migration via adult oral epithelial cells but not fetal epithelial cells. Virology. 2011 Jan 20; 409(2):211-22.

The major genetic determinants of HIV-1 control affect HLA class I peptide presentation. Science. 2010 Dec 10; 330(6010):1551-7.

Ndhlovu LC, Sinclair E, Epling L, Tan QX, Ho T, Jha AR, Eccles-James I, Tincati C, Levy JA, Nixon DF, Hecht FM, Barbour JD. IL-2 immunotherapy to recently HIV-1 infected adults maintains the numbers of IL-17 expressing CD4+ T (T(H)17) cells in the periphery. J Clin Immunol. 2010 Sep; 30(5):681-92.

Levy JA. The unexpected pleiotropic activities of RANTES. J Immunol. 2009 Apr 01; 182(7):3945-6.

Levy JA. Not an HIV cure, but encouraging new directions. N Engl J Med. 2009 Feb 12; 360(7):724-5.

Barbour JD, Ndhlovu LC, Xuan Tan Q, Ho T, Epling L, Bredt BM, Levy JA, Hecht FM, Sinclair E. High CD8+ T cell activation marks a less differentiated HIV-1 specific CD8+ T cell response that is not altered by suppression of viral replication. PLoS One. 2009; 4(2):e4408.

Killian MS, Roop J, Ng S, Hecht FM, Levy JA. CD8+ cell anti-HIV activity rapidly increases upon discontinuation of early antiretroviral therapy. J Clin Immunol. 2009 May; 29(3):311-8.

Levy JA. HIV pathogenesis: 25 years of progress and persistent challenges. AIDS. 2009 Jan 14; 23(2):147-60.

Cohen MS, Hellmann N, Levy JA, DeCock K, Lange J. The spread, treatment, and prevention of HIV-1: evolution of a global pandemic. J Clin Invest. 2008 Apr; 118(4):1244-54.

Bonneau KR, Ng S, Foster H, Choi KB, Berkhout B, Rabson A, Mackewicz CE, Levy JA. Derivation of infectious HIV-1 molecular clones with LTR mutations: sensitivity to the CD8+ cell noncytotoxic anti-HIV response. Virology. 2008 Mar 30; 373(1):30-8.

Song H, Nakayama EE, Yokoyama M, Sato H, Levy JA, Shioda T. A single amino acid of the human immunodeficiency virus type 2 capsid affects its replication in the presence of cynomolgus monkey and human TRIM5alphas. J Virol. 2007 Jul; 81(13):7280-5.

Sriram U, Wong M, Caillier SJ, Hecht FM, Elkins MK, Levy JA, Oksenberg JR, Baranzini SE. Quantitative longitudinal analysis of T cell receptor repertoire expression in HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral and interleukin-2 therapy. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2007 May; 23(5):741-7.

Barbour JD, Sriram U, Caillier SJ, Levy JA, Hecht FM, Oksenberg JR. Synergy or independence? Deciphering the interaction of HLA Class I and NK cell KIR alleles in early HIV-1 disease progression. PLoS Pathog. 2007 Apr; 3(4):e43.

Martinez-Mariño B, Foster H, Hao Y, Levy JA. Differential gene expression in CD8(+) cells from HIV-1-infected subjects showing suppression of HIV replication. Virology. 2007 May 25; 362(1):217-25.

Killian MS, Norris PJ, Rawal BD, Lebedeva M, Hecht FM, Levy JA, Busch MP. The effects of early antiretroviral therapy and its discontinuation on the HIV-specific antibody response. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2006 Jul; 22(7):640-7.

Killian MS, Fujimura SH, Hecht FM, Levy JA. Similar changes in plasmacytoid dendritic cell and CD4 T-cell counts during primary HIV-1 infection and treatment. AIDS. 2006 Jun 12; 20(9):1247-52.

Sanchez-Mejia RO, Ojemann SG, Simko J, Chaudhary UB, Levy J, Lawton MT. Sacral epithelioid angiosarcoma associated with a bleeding diathesis and spinal epidural hematoma: case report. J Neurosurg Spine. 2006 Mar; 4(3):246-50.

Hare CB, Pappalardo BL, Busch MP, Karlsson AC, Phelps BH, Alexander SS, Bentsen C, Ramstead CA, Nixon DF, Levy JA, Hecht FM. Seroreversion in subjects receiving antiretroviral therapy during acute/early HIV infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Mar 01; 42(5):700-8.

Schmidt B, Fujimura SH, Martin JN, Levy JA. Variations in plasmacytoid dendritic cell (PDC) and myeloid dendritic cell (MDC) levels in HIV-infected subjects on and off antiretroviral therapy. J Clin Immunol. 2006 Jan; 26(1):55-64.

Schmidt B, Ashlock BM, Foster H, Fujimura SH, Levy JA. HIV-infected cells are major inducers of plasmacytoid dendritic cell interferon production, maturation, and migration. Virology. 2005 Dec 20; 343(2):256-66.

Lennette ET, Busch MP, Hecht FM, Levy JA. Potential herpesvirus interaction during HIV type 1 primary infection. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2005 Oct; 21(10):869-75.

Killian MS, Ng S, Mackewicz CE, Levy JA. A screening assay for detecting CD8+ cell non-cytotoxic anti-HIV responses. J Immunol Methods. 2005 Sep; 304(1-2):137-50.

Locher CP, Witt SA, Kassel R, Dowell NL, Fujimura S, Levy JA. Differential effects of R5 and X4 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection on CD4+ cell proliferation and activation. J Gen Virol. 2005 Apr; 86(Pt 4):1171-9.

Diaz LS, Foster H, Stone MR, Fujimura S, Relman DA, Levy JA. VCAM-1 expression on CD8+ cells correlates with enhanced anti-HIV suppressing activity. J Immunol. 2005 Feb 01; 174(3):1574-9.

Levy JA, Autran B, Coutinho R, Phair JP. Registration of clinical trials. AIDS. 2005 Jan 28; 19(2):105.

Schmidt B, Scott I, Whitmore RG, Foster H, Fujimura S, Schmitz J, Levy JA. Low-level HIV infection of plasmacytoid dendritic cells: onset of cytopathic effects and cell death after PDC maturation. Virology. 2004 Nov 24; 329(2):280-8.

Martinez-Mariño B, Shiboski S, Hecht FM, Kahn JO, Levy JA. Interleukin-2 therapy restores CD8 cell non-cytotoxic anti-HIV responses in primary infection subjects receiving HAART. AIDS. 2004 Oct 21; 18(15):1991-9.

Levy JA. Prospects for an AIDS vaccine: encourage innate immunity. AIDS. 2004 Oct 21; 18(15):2085-6.

Schmidt B, Ashlock B, Neipel F, Levy JA. Potential screening assay for undetectable viruses on the basis of their capacity to induce alpha interferon production. J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Sep; 42(9):4300-2.

Locher CP, Witt SA, Ashlock BM, Polacino P, Hu SL, Shiboski S, Schmidt AM, Agy MB, Anderson DM, Staprans SI, zur Megede J, Levy JA. Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 DNA vaccine provides partial protection from acute baboon infection. Vaccine. 2004 Jun 02; 22(17-18):2261-72.

Levy JA, Autran B, Coutinho R, Phair JP. Retraction. Clinical course of cardiomyopathy in HIV-infected patients with or without encephalopathy related to the myocardial expression of tumour necrosis factor-alpha and nitric oxide synthase. AIDS. 2004 May 21; 18(8):1087.

Deeks SG, Kitchen CM, Liu L, Guo H, Gascon R, Narváez AB, Hunt P, Martin JN, Kahn JO, Levy J, McGrath MS, Hecht FM. Immune activation set point during early HIV infection predicts subsequent CD4+ T-cell changes independent of viral load. Blood. 2004 Aug 15; 104(4):942-7.

Locher CP, Witt SA, Ashlock BM, Levy JA. Evaluation of genetic immunization adjuvants to improve the effectiveness of a human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) envelope DNA vaccine. DNA Cell Biol. 2004 Feb; 23(2):107-10.

Castelli J, Thomas EK, Gilliet M, Liu YJ, Levy JA. Mature dendritic cells can enhance CD8+ cell noncytotoxic anti-HIV responses: the role of IL-15. Blood. 2004 Apr 01; 103(7):2699-704.

Locher CP, Putnam D, Langer R, Witt SA, Ashlock BM, Levy JA. Enhancement of a human immunodeficiency virus env DNA vaccine using a novel polycationic nanoparticle formulation. Immunol Lett. 2003 Dec 15; 90(2-3):67-70.

Altfeld M, Addo MM, Rosenberg ES, Hecht FM, Lee PK, Vogel M, Yu XG, Draenert R, Johnston MN, Strick D, Allen TM, Feeney ME, Kahn JO, Sekaly RP, Levy JA, Rockstroh JK, Goulder PJ, Walker BD. Influence of HLA-B57 on clinical presentation and viral control during acute HIV-1 infection. AIDS. 2003 Dec 05; 17(18):2581-91.

Levy JA. The search for the CD8+ cell anti-HIV factor (CAF). Trends Immunol. 2003 Dec; 24(12):628-32.

Li JZ, Mack EC, Levy JA. Virucidal efficacy of soap and water against human immunodeficiency virus in genital secretions. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2003 Oct; 47(10):3321-2.

Mackewicz CE, Yuan J, Tran P, Diaz L, Mack E, Selsted ME, Levy JA. alpha-Defensins can have anti-HIV activity but are not CD8 cell anti-HIV factors. AIDS. 2003 Sep 26; 17(14):F23-32.

Levy JA, Scott I, Mackewicz C. Protection from HIV/AIDS: the importance of innate immunity. Clin Immunol. 2003 Sep; 108(3):167-74.

Diaz LS, Stone MR, Mackewicz CE, Levy JA. Differential gene expression in CD8+ cells exhibiting noncytotoxic anti-HIV activity. Virology. 2003 Jul 05; 311(2):400-9.

Levy JA, Autran B, Coutinho R, Phair JP. Clinical course of cardiomyopathy in HIV-infected patients with or without encephalopathy related to the myocardial expression of tumour necrosis factor-alpha and nitric oxide synthase. AIDS. 2003 May 23; 17(8):1119.

Mackewicz CE, Wang B, Metkar S, Richey M, Froelich CJ, Levy JA. Lack of the CD8+ cell anti-HIV factor in CD8+ cell granules. Blood. 2003 Jul 01; 102(1):180-3.

Mackewicz CE, Craik CS, Levy JA. The CD8+ cell noncytotoxic anti-HIV response can be blocked by protease inhibitors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Mar 18; 100(6):3433-8.

Levy JA. Is HIV superinfection worrisome? Lancet. 2003 Jan 11; 361(9352):98-9.

Locher CP, Fujimura S, Murthy KK, Brasky K, Leland M, Levy JA. Expression patterns of phenotypic markers on lymphocytes from human immunodeficiency virus type 2-infected baboons. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2003 Jan 01; 19(1):31-40.

Locher CP, Witt SA, Herndier BG, Abbey NW, Tenner-Racz K, Racz P, Kiviat NB, Murthy KK, Brasky K, Leland M, Levy JA. Increased virus replication and virulence after serial passage of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 in baboons. J Virol. 2003 Jan; 77(1):77-83.

Soumelis V, Scott I, Liu YJ, Levy J. Natural type 1 interferon producing cells in HIV infection. Hum Immunol. 2002 Dec; 63(12):1206-12.

Locher CP, Witt SA, Ashlock BM, Levy JA. Enhancement of antibody responses to an HIV-2 DNA envelope vaccine using an expression vector containing a constitutive transport element. DNA Cell Biol. 2002 Aug; 21(8):581-6.

Levy JA. HIV-1: hitching a ride on erythrocytes. Lancet. 2002 Jun 29; 359(9325):2212-3.

Castelli JC, Deeks SG, Shiboski S, Levy JA. Relationship of CD8(+) T cell noncytotoxic anti-HIV response to CD4(+) T cell number in untreated asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals. Blood. 2002 Jun 01; 99(11):4225-7.

Hecht FM, Busch MP, Rawal B, Webb M, Rosenberg E, Swanson M, Chesney M, Anderson J, Levy J, Kahn JO. Use of laboratory tests and clinical symptoms for identification of primary HIV infection. AIDS. 2002 May 24; 16(8):1119-29.

Renne R, Blackbourn D, Whitby D, Levy J, Ganem D. Limited transmission of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus in cultured cells. J Virol. 1998 Jun; 72(6):5182-8.

Nielsen IL, McNeill C, Danzig W, Goldman S, Levy J, Miller AJ. Adaptation of craniofacial muscles in subjects with craniomandibular disorders. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1990 Jan; 97(1):20-34.

Jacobson MA, Crowe S, Levy J, Aweeka F, Gambertoglio J, McManus N, Mills J. Effect of Foscarnet therapy on infection with human immunodeficiency virus in patients with AIDS. J Infect Dis. 1988 Oct; 158(4):862-5.

Levy JA, Huebner RJ. Association of a [corrected] murine leukaemia virus from a mouse lymphoma (2731-L) associated [corrected] with reovirus type 3 infection. Nature. 1970 Mar 07; 225(5236):949-50.

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