Sun Lab

Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research

Department of Medicine: Infectious Diseases

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Mission Statement

Translating our discoveries in treating acute and chronic diseases caused by viral infection including COVID-19

Respiratory viral infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, accounting for more than 2 million deaths word-wide per year. Viral pandemics result in even greater morbidity, mortality, and socioeconomic disruption, as evidenced by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Respiratory viral infections can lead to the development of acute bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and the exacerbation of chronic lung disorders (acute morbidity). Additionally, there is a growing appreciation that respiratory viral infections often cause persistent disorders following acute disease, both within pulmonary and extrapulmonary organ systems (chronic sequelae), as evidenced by the occurrence of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome (PACS) following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The Sun lab has made important discoveries in the mechanisms underlying host acute morbidity and chronic sequelae following respiratory viral infections. Our research has shown that by targeting our body immune system in the lung, we can potentially ameliorate acute morbidity and/or chronic sequelae development following viral infection including COVID-19. The ongoing research in the lab, utilizing both animal models and clinical samples, aims to deepen our understanding of the factors and mechanisms underlying infection-caused acute and chronic diseases, and to develop novel means that can be ultimately translated into new therapy. Additionally, we are interested in understanding the immune system during aging, aiming to develop future effective vaccination and anti-tumor immunotherapy strategies for the elderly.

For the most current list of Sun Lab publications, please see

Follow our latest discovery and news in Twitter: @Jie_Immunology

Recent News

Jul 2022
Jinyi’s paper has generated significant interests in the scientific community and the public on nasal booster vaccine for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and spread.

See an Editorial accompanied with Jinyi’s paper calling for an Operation Warp Speed (OWS) for developing nasal booster vaccines against COVID-19 published by Drs. Eric Topol and Akiko Iwasaki in Science Immunology.
Also see UVA Today news coverage:

Congratulations to Jinyi and other co-authors for the publication of a research report in Science Immunology on mucosal immunity against SARS-CoV-2 post COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.

Congrats to Harish and Yue for the publication of their review paper in Science Immunology on the immune mechanisms regulating chronic lung sequelae development post viral infection.

The Sun lab welcomes MIC and MSTP students, Evan Lam, Sam Young and Natchanon Sittipongpittaya for their lab rotations.

The Sun lab welcomes Dr. Gislane Santos to join the lab as a postdoctoral research associate.

In Su presented her work on the mechanisms of chronic lung sequelae development post-acute COVID-19 at the Keystone Conferences: Viral Immunity.

Recent Tweets

Associated Sites at UVa

Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center (aka CVRC)
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics
Cardiovascular Training Grant (CVTG and Facebook)