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Researcher | Research Overview

The Hur laboratory studies various protein-nucleic acid interactions involved in the vertebrate immune system. The lab uses a combination of structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology to understand molecule mechanisms of the following proteins.

Innate immune receptors involved in antiviral immune response :

  • pattern recognition receptors
  • antiviral immune response
  • auto-inflammatory disease
  • immuno-oncology application


Transcription factors involved in T cell development of self-tolerance

  • Transcription factors
  • T cell development of self-tolerance
  • Nuclear organization

Researcher | Research Background

Dr. Hur received her BS in physics from Ewha Women’s University in Korea in 2001, Ph.D. in physical chemistry with Dr. Thomas C. Bruice at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003 and obtained post-doctoral training in X-ray crystallography with Dr. Robert M. Stroud at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Hur joined Harvard Medical School in 2008 as an assistant professor and joined Boston Children's Hospital in 2010. In her own lab, she investigates immune mechanisms for self vs non-self discrimination. Her research on a family of viral RNA receptors, RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), has led to the discovery of key mechanistic principles of foreign nucleic acid sensing. She was chosen as a Pew scholar (2010), Burroughs Wellcome Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease (2015), a recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science (2015), Richard A. and Susan F. Smith President’s Innovation Award (2019) and NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2019), a finalist for the Blavatnik National Awards in Life Sciences (2020 and 2021) and a winner of the Paul Marks Prize (2022). She was named the Oscar M. Schloss, MD Professor at Harvard University in 2020 and an investigator for Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2021).

Selected Publications

  1. Cadena C, Ahmad S, Xavier A, Willemsen J, Park S, Park JW, Oh SW, Fujita T, Hou F, Binder M, & Hur S, Ubiquitin-dependent and –independent roles of E3 ligase RIPLET in innate immunity, Cell, (2019). 177(5):1187-1200 PMID: 31006531
  2. Ahmad S*, Mu X*, Yang F*, Greenwald E, Park JW, Jacob E, Zhang C-Z and Hur S., Breaching self-tolerance to Alu duplex RNA underlies MDA5-mediated inflammation. Cell, (2018) 172:797-810. PMC5807104
  3. Yao H*, Dittmann M*, Peisley A, Hoffmann H-H, Gilmore RH, Schmidt T, Schmidt-Burgk J, Hornung V, Rice CM, and Hur S, ATP-dependent effector-like functions of RIG-I like receptors. Mol. Cell, (2015), 58:541-8. PMCID: PMC4427555
  4. Peisley A, Wu B, Xu H, Chen ZJ and Hur S., Structural basis for ubiquitin-mediated antiviral signal activation by RIG-I. Nature, (2014), 509:110-4. PMID: 24590070. PMC6136653.
  5. Wu B, Peisley A, Richards C, Yao H, Zeng X, Lin C, Chu F, Walz T, Hur S. Structural Basis for dsRNA recognition, filament formation and antiviral signaling by MDA5. Cell (2013). 152: 276-89. Non-NIH Support.
  6. Peisley A*, Wu B*, Yao H, Walz T and Hur S., RIG-I forms signaling-competent filaments in an ATP-dependent and ubiquitin-independent manner. Mol Cell, (2013), 51, 573-83, PMID: 23993742
  7. Peisley A*, Jo MH*, Lin C, Wu B, Orme-Johnson M, Walz T, Hohng S, Hur S. Kinetic Mechanism for Viral dsRNA Length Discrimination by MDA5 Filament. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2012), 109(49):E3340-9. PMCID: PMC3523859
  8. Peisley, A., Lin, C., Wu, B., Orme-Johnson, M., Liu, M., Walz, T., Hur S. Cooperative Assembly and Dynamic Disassembly of MDA5 Filaments for Viral dsRNA Recognition. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011, 108, 21010-5. PMCID: PMC3248507

Researcher | Publications