Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology

I-Chueh Huang

Office: (951) 827-3560
Fax: (951) 827-3087
3115 Biological Sciences
Office Hours: , 2pm - 2pm
Email: ichueh.huang@ucr.edu

I-Chueh Huang

Assistant Professor of Cell Biology & Neuroscience
M.D. 2000, National Taiwan University
Ph.D. 2008, Harvard University


Our research objective is to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the innate immune control of viral infections, and help create novel therapies for viral diseases based on this understanding. Recently, we identified a family of interferon-inducible transmembrane (IFITM) proteins critical to the intrinsic and innate immune control of several highly pathogenic viruses, including SARS coronavirus, influenza A viruses, dengue virus, West Nile virus, Ebola virus, and Marburg viruses. The IFITM protein family has four human paralogs, IFITM1, 2, 3, and 5. As their names indicate, expression of IFITM proteins is strongly induced by both type I and type II interferons. Our studies demonstrated that IFITM proteins restrict viral replication at the early stage of their lifecycles. We also showed that IFITM proteins differentially restrict influenza A viruses and filoviruses. In vivo, IFITM-mediated restriction plays a pivotal role in control of influenza A virus replication. We observed that Ifitm knockout mice developed more severe clinical presentations than wild type mice after challenged with influenza A viruses.   

Based on previous IFITM work, our current research focuses on (1) understanding the mechanisms of IFITM-mediated viral restriction, (2) investigating the role of IFITM proteins in modulation of adaptive immunity, (3) determining the importance of human IFITM polymorphisms in control of viral infections, and (4) identifying compounds which upregulate the expression of IFITM proteins. Several approaches are used in our lab, including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, immunoprecipitation, siRNA and drug screens, and animal experiments. These studies may (1) deepen our knowledge of how innate immunity controls viral infection and modulates adaptive immunity, (2) identify populations which are sensitive to specific viral infections, (3) help define and limit the use of antivirals, and (4) provide new approaches for the treatment of viral diseases. 


  • Chan YK, Huang IC, Farzan M. 2012. IFITM proteins restrict antibody-dependent enhancement of dengue virus infection.  PLoS One.;7(3):e34508.
  • Huang IC*, Bailey CC, Weyer JL, Radoshitzky SR, Becker MM, Chiang JJ, Brass AL, Ahmed AA, Chi X, Dong L, Longobardi LE, Boltz D, Kuhn JH, Elledge SJ, Bavari S, Denison MR, Choe H, Farzan M. 2011. Distinct Patterns of IFITM-Mediated Restriction of Filoviruses, SARS Coronavirus, and Influenza A Virus. PLoS Pathog.;7(1):e1001258. *corresponding author.
  • Brass AL*, Huang IC*, Benita Y, John SP, Krishnan MN, Feeley EM, Ryan BJ, Weyer JL, van der Weyden L, Fikrig E, Adams DJ, Xavier RJ, Farzan M, Elledge SJ. 2009. The IFITM proteins mediate cellular resistance to influenza A H1N1 virus, West Nile virus, and dengue virus. Cell; 139(7):1243-54. *equal author.
  • Gack MU, Albrecht RA, Urano T, Inn KS, Huang IC, Carnero E, Farzan M, Inoue S, Jung JU, GarcĂ­a-Sastre A. 2009. Influenza A virus NS1 targets the ubiquitin ligase TRIM25 to evade recognition by the host viral RNA sensor RIG-I. Cell Host Microbe.; 8;5(5):439-49.
  • Huang IC, Li W, Sui J, Marasco W, Choe H, Farzan M. 2008. Influenza A virus neuraminidase limits viral superinfection. J Virol.; 82(10):4834-43.
  • Li W, Sui J, Huang IC, Kuhn JH, Radoshitzky SR, Marasco WA, Choe H, Farzan M. 2007. The S proteins of human coronavirus NL63 and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus bind overlapping regions of ACE2. Virology.; 367(2):367-74.
  • Li W, Wong SK, Li F, Kuhn JH, Huang IC, Choe H, Farzan M. 2006. Animal origins of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus: insight from ACE2-S-protein interactions. J Virol.; 80(9):4211-9.
  • Huang IC, Bosch BJ, Li W, Farzan M, Rottier PM, Choe H. 2006. SARS-CoV, but not HCoV-NL63, utilizes cathepsins to infect cells: viral entry. Adv Exp Med Biol.; 581:335-8.
  • Huang IC, Bosch BJ, Li F, Li W, Lee KH, Ghiran S, Vasilieva N, Dermody TS, Harrison SC, Dormitzer PR, Farzan M, Rottier PJ, Choe H. 2006. SARS coronavirus, but not human coronavirus NL63, utilizes cathepsin L to infect ACE2-expressing cells. J Biol Chem.; 281(6):3198-203.
  • Li W, Zhang C, Sui J, Kuhn JH, Moore MJ, Luo S, Wong SK, Huang IC, Xu K, Vasilieva N, Murakami A, He Y, Marasco WA, Guan Y, Choe H, Farzan M. 2005. Receptor and viral determinants of SARS-coronavirus adaptation to human ACE2. EMBO J.; 24(8):1634-43
  • Chiu WY, Yang CC, Huang IC, Huang TS. 2004. Dysphagia as a manifestation of thyrotoxicosis: report of three cases and literature review. Dysphagia.; 19(2):120-4.


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