University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jay A. Levy, MD

Jay A. Levy, MD

Professor in Residence, Department of Medicine, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Affiliate Member

Research Summary

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

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, BA, 1960, Biology
Universite de Paris, France, 1961, Regeneration
Columbia University, New York, MD, 1965, Medicine and Virology


Professional Experience

  • 1965-1966
    Intern in Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • 1966-1967
    First year resident in Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • 1967-1970
    Staff Associate,National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • 1970-1971
    Second year resident, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 1971-1972
    Visiting Scientist, Hopital St. Louis (Prof. M. Boiron), Paris; Hopital Paul-Brousse (Dr. G. Mathe), ICIG, Paris
  • 1972-1977
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Research Associate, Cancer Research Institute, University of California San Francisco
  • 1978-1979
    Visiting Scientist, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel (Prof. N. Haran-Ghera); Pasteur Institute, Paris (Prof. F. Jacob)
  • 1978-1985
    Associate Professor of Medicine, and Microbiology and Immunology, University of California San Francisco
  • 1985-present
    Professor, Dept of Med., Div of Hem/Onc and Research Assoc, Cancer Research Institute, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Levy JA, Murphy EL. Schwab M (ed.) Encyclopedia of Cancer. Human T-Lymphotropic Virus. 2017; 3:2146 - 2149.
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  2. 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.
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  3. 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.
    View on PubMed
  4. Levy JA. Dispelling myths and focusing on notable concepts in HIV pathogenesis. Trends Mol Med. 2015 Jun; 21(6):341-53.
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  5. 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.
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  6. 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 1; 111(26):9591-6.
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  7. 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.
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  8. 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.
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  9. 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 1; 63(2):184-8.
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  10. 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.
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  11. Ippolito G, Levy JA, Sonnerborg A, Mugusi F, Dianzani F. AIDS and HIV Infection after Thirty Years. AIDS Res Treat. 2013; 2013:731983.
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  12. 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.
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  13. Levy JA, Levy Y. HIV infection: what should be considered in approaches for a cure? AIDS. 2012 Nov 13; 26(17):2253-5.
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  14. Araya AX, Norr KF, Pérez CM, Levy JA, Park CG, Kim MJ. HIV-related symptoms and patient clusters among Chileans living with HIV. AIDS Care. 2013; 25(4):488-95.
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  15. 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.
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  16. 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.
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  17. Killian MS, Levy JA. HIV/AIDS: 30 years of progress and future challenges. Eur J Immunol. 2011 Dec; 41(12):3401-11.
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  18. 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.
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  19. 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 1; 333(6038):94-7.
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  20. Levy JA. Virus-host interactions in HIV pathogenesis: directions for therapy. Adv Dent Res. 2011 Apr; 23(1):13-8.
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