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Tzyy-Choou Wu, MD

Co-Director, Cervical Cancer Research Lab
Professor of Pathology
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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

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  • Co-Director, Cervical Cancer Research Lab
  • Professor of Pathology
  • Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
  • Professor of Oncology

Centers & Institutes

  • Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center


Cervical Cancer, Head and Neck Cancers, Pathology

Research Interests

HPV vaccine; Tumor immunology; T cell biology; Cervical cancer; Molecular pathology; Cellular pathology; Human papillomavirus (HPV); Vaccination; CD8+ T lymphocytes


Dr. Tzyy-Choou Wu is a professor of pathology, oncology, and obstetrics and gynecology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He holds a joint appointment in the Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Wu’s clinical interests include gynecological pathology, cervical cancer, head and neck cancers, and the molecular diagnosis of viral infections.

He and Dr. Chien-Fu Hung also oversee the Cervical Cancer Research Lab, which is working to develop vaccines and immunotherapeutic strategies to prevent and treat human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cervical cancer.

Dr. Wu earned his M.D. at National Taiwan University College of Medicine before earning both his Ph.D. in molecular virology and his M.P.H. in epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He completed a residency in anatomic pathology and a fellowship in gynecologic pathology at Johns Hopkins. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty as an assistant professor in 1995.

Dr. Wu has published more than 260 academic journal articles, written scores of editorials, reviews and book chapters, and delivered many invited lectures. He also holds a number of patents.

He serves on the editorial boards of publications that include the American Journal of Pathology, International Journal of Gynecological Pathology, Gene Therapy and Cancer Research.

Dr. Wu is a member of professional organizations that include the American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Association for Cancer Research and International Society of Gynecological Pathologists. Among his many activities, Dr. Wu serves as director of the Cervical Cancer Steering Committee and as a member of the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Council.


  • English
  • Chinese
  • Taiwanese


Society for Clinical Investigation

American Association of Immunologists

Sigma Xi

Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA)

Binford-Dammin Society of the International Academy of Pathology

American Association for Cancer Research International Society of Gynecological Pathologists

American Society of Gene Therapy

American Society for Microbiology

International Papillomavirus Society

Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore MD ) (1989)
    • Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore MD ) (1985)
    • National Taiwan University Medical School (Taipei) (1982)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Pathology (Baltimore MD ) (1992)


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Pathology (Baltimore MD ) (1995)
    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine / Pathology (Baltimore MD ) (1993)


    • Anatomic Pathology, American Board of Pathology (1992)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Wu’s research focuses on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine development.

    He has created a unique preclinical murine tumor model that expresses HPV-16 oncogenic proteins (E6 and E7) and simulates specific molecular events in the progression of HPV+ precancerous lesions (CIN 3) to invasive cancer.

    This model has been widely used and tested by researchers worldwide for HPV vaccine development.

    Dr. Wu has focused on identifying immunotherapeutic and vaccine approaches to enhance antigen processing and presentation by dendritic cells. These include intracellular targeting and spreading strategies aimed at preventing and treating cervical lesions and cancers. Intracellular targeting directs antigens to different subcellular locations to enhance antigen processing and presentation.

    Intercellular spreading helps antigens distribute to neighboring cells by taking advantage of unique intercellular transport properties that allows for an increase in the amount of antigen presented to effector cells.

    Dr. Wu has created an innovative approach that combines both antigen-specific immunotherapy and anti-angiogenesis to treat HPV E7-expressing tumors.

    The impressive preclinical data derived from these studies have led to several clinical trials that are either currently under way or will soon commence. The continued development of these strategies will facilitate the development of vaccines that generate a potent immune response and antitumor effect against cervical cancer.

    Dr. Wu is also actively involved with investigating mechanisms of immune evasion of tumors, identifying new tumor-specific antigens and applying vaccine strategies to other cancer systems with characterized tumor-specific antigens.

    Selected Publications

    1. Wu T.-C. (1994) Immunology of Human Papilloma Virus (in relation to cancer). Curr Opin in Immunol 6:728 732.
    2. Wu T.-C., Huang AYC, Jaffee E M and Pardoll DM (1995) A reassessment of the role of B7-1 expression in tumor rejection. J Exp Med 182:1415-1421.
    3. Wu T.-C., F.G. Guarnieri, K.F. Staveley-O''Carroll, R.P. Viscidi, H.I. Levitsky, L. Hedrick, K.R. Cho, J.T. August, and D.M. Pardoll (1995) Engineering a novel pathway for MHC Class II Presentation of Antigens. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 92: 11671-11675.
    4. Lin K-Y, F. G. Guarnieri, K. F. Staveley-O''Carroll, H. I. Levitsky, J. T. August, D. M. Pardoll and T.-C. Wu (1996) Treatment of established tumors with a novel vaccine that enhances major histocompatibility class II presentation Of tumor antigen. Cancer Research 56: 21-26.
    5. R. Roden and T.-C. Wu (2006) How will HPV vaccines affect cervical cancer?. Nature Reviews Cancer 6: 753-763.
    6. T. H. Kang, J. H. Lee, C. K. Song, H. D. Han, B. C. Shin, S. I. Pai, C.-F. Hung, C. Trimble, J.-S. Lim, T. W. Kim and T.-C. Wu (2007) Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate enhances CD8+ T cell-mediated antitumor immunity induced by DNA vaccination. Cancer Research 67: 802-811. 
    7. K.-Y. Lin, D. Lu, C.-F. Hung, S. Peng, L Huang, C. Jie, F. Murillo, J. Rowley, Y.-C. Tsai, L. He, E. Jaffee, D. M. Pardoll and T.-C. Wu (2007) Ectopic expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) as a new mechanism for tumor immune evasion. Cancer Research 67: 1832-1841.
    8. S. Peng, C. Trimble, L. Wu, D. Pardoll, C.-F. Hung, and T.-C. Wu (2007) HLA-DQB1*02-restricted HPV-16 E7 peptide-specific CD4+ T cell immune responses correlate with regression of HPV-16-associated high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions Clinical Cancer Research 13: 2479-2487.
    9. C.-F. Hung, Y.-C. Tsai, L. He, and T.-C. Wu (2007) Co-administration of DNA vaccines with DNA encoding Ii-PADRE generates potent PADRE-specific CD4+ T cell immune responses and enhances vaccine potency. Molecular Therapy 15: 1211-1219.
    10. T.-C. Wu (2007) The role of VCAM-1 in tumor Immune evasion. Cancer Research 67: 6003-6007.
    11. W.-F. Cheng, C.-F. Hung, C.-Y. Chai, C.-A. Chen, C.-N. Lee, Y.-N. Su, W.-Y. I. Tseng, C.-Y. Hsieh, I.-M. Shih, T.-L. Wang and T.-C. Wu (2007) Generation of Mesothelin-Expressing Tumor Model with Intraperitoneal Tumor Growth and Ascites Formation. Cancer 110: 420-431.
    12. D. Kim, C.-F. Hung and T.-C. Wu (2007) Monitoring the trafficking of adoptively transferred antigen- specific CD8-positive T cells in vivo, using noninvasive luminescence imaging. Hum Gene Ther 18: 575-588.
    13. C.-L. Chang, Y.-C. Tsai, L. He, T.-C. Wu, and C.-F. Hung (2007) Cancer immunotherapy using irradiated tumor cells secreting Hsp70. Cancer Research 67: 10047-10057.
    14. D. Kim, T. Hoory, T.-C. Wu and C.-F. Hung (2007) Enhancing DNA vaccine potency by combining a strategy to prolong dendritic cell life and intracellular targeting strategies with a strategy to boost CD4+ T cells. Gene Therapy. 18: 1129-1139.
    15. D. Kim, R. Gambhira, B. Karanam, A. Monie, C.-F. Hung, R. Roden and T.-C. Wu (2008) Generation and characterization of a preventive and therapeutic HPV DNA vaccine. Vaccine 26: 351-360.
    16. S. Peng, C. L. Trimble, R. D. Alvarez, W. K. Huh, Z. Lin, A. Monie, C.-F. Hung and T.-C. Wu (2008) Cluster Intradermal DNA Vaccination Rapidly Induces E7-specific CD8+ T Cell Immune Responses Leading to Therapeutic Antitumor Effects. Gene Therapy (in press).
    17. C.-W. Tseng, C.-F. Hung, R. D. Alvarez, C. L. Trimble, W. K. Huh, D. Kim, C.-M. Chuang, C.-T. Lin, Y.-C. Tsai, L. He, A. Monie and T.-C. Wu (2008) Pretreatment with cisplatin enhances E7-specific CD8+ T cell-mediated antitumor immunity induced by DNA vaccination. Clinical Cancer Research 14: 3193-3203. 
    18. D. Kim, T. Hoory, A. Monie, J. P.-Y. Ting, C.-F. Hung and T.-C. Wu (2008) Enhancement of DNA vaccine potency through co-administration of MHC Class II Transactivator (CIITA) DNA with DNA vaccines via gene gun. Journal of Immunology 180: 7019-7027.
    19. D. Kim, A. Monie, Y.-C. Tsai, L. He, M.-C. Wang, C.-F. Hung and T.-C. Wu (2008) Enhancement of CD4+ T cell help reverses the doxorubicin-induced suppression of antigen-specific immune responses in vaccinated mice. Gene Therapy 15: 1176-1183.
    20. J. Rowley, A. Monie, C.F. Hung and T.-C. Wu (2008) Inhibition of tumor growth by NK1.1+ cells and CD8+ T cells activated by IL-15 through receptor beta/common gamma signaling in trans. Journal of Immunology 181(12):8237-47.



    The Cervical Cancer Research Lab of Drs. T-C Wu and Chien-Fu Hung has a multi-part mission to:

    • Create the most effective cervical cancer vaccine for the prevention and treatment of human papillomavirus-associated malignancies
    • Extend the application of the principles and strategies that we use for HPV vaccine development in order to create vaccines that target other cancers with defined tumor antigens
    • Develop innovative immunological assays for human papillomavirus vaccine clinical trials
    • Serve as an environment for the education of research technicians, graduate students and undergraduate students
  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    Scientific Award, the Chinese American Medical Society, 2008

    Outstanding Service Award, Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (DC Chapter), 2000

    Physician Scientist Award, the Passano Foundation, 1995

    Binford-Dammin Award, Binford-Dammin Society of the International Academy of Pathology, 1994

    Frederik B. Bank Award, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 1987

    The Delta Omega Honorary Society Alpha Chapter, School of Hygiene & Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 1988

    Hampil Fellowship, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 1986-1988

    Dr. Shu Yeh Scholarship, National Taiwan University, 1979

    Professional Activities

    Co-Executive Director, Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, 2010 - present

    President, Binford-Dammin Infectious Disease Society of the International Academy of Pathology, 2006 - 2007

    President, International Association of Chinese Pathologists, 2003 - 2005

    President, Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (DC Chapter), 1998 - 1999

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    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Sheikh Zayed Tower
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Appointment Phone: 410-955-2660
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