• Portrait of Xiao Jian Yao.
  • Professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
    508-745 Bannatyne Ave.
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0J9

    Phone: 204-977-5677

Accepting graduate students

Research themes

  • Fundamental research to explore the molecular mechanisms of how HIV manipulate cellular machinery to facilitate HIV-1 infection
  • Development of new and effective preventative strategies including a novel dendritic cells (DCs)-targeting vaccine approaches to help control HIV-1, SARS-CoV-2, influenza and other viral infections   


Research affiliations

Research scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)

Research summary

The combat between host cells and viral invaders is an ancient one and continues today.

Cells have evolved different mechanisms to protect themselves from viral pathogens.

At the same time, viruses also developed their own ways to escape these innate inhibitory pathways.

Both cells and viruses have devised numerous mechanisms of evasion and attenuation to impair one another.

In addition, to carry out a successful infection, HIV-1 takes advantage of various host cellular proteins and cellular pathways during various steps of the HIV-1 life cycle.

It is these mechanisms that science is now trying to understand and to explore as potential target for antiviral therapies.

The one of goals of our lab is to provide important insights into mechanisms of how HIV hijacks various host cellular proteins and cellular pathways for continue its replication and dissemination.         

Meanwhile, our lab has developed a novel and highly efficient DC-targeting vaccination technology.

By using this technology, our lab has developed and/or is generating new DC-targeting vaccine approaches against HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and influenza viral infections.

We hope that our vaccine development research can make significant contributions to combat against HIV, SARS-CoV-2, influenza and other emergent viral infections.


Dr. Xiao-Jian Yao is a professor in medical microbiology and infectious diseases and director of the laboratory of molecular human retrovirology at the University of Manitoba.

Dr. Yao was one of a few scientists who first characterized the anti-HIV compound 3TC in vitro.



  • Basic Science Career Development Research Award (2006–2009)
  • Basic Science Career Development Research Award (The MMSF professor of Medical Microbiology) (2006–2009)
  • The 2007 Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Health Sciences (2008)
  • Dr. Kenneth Hughes Young Investigator Award In Medical Research (2009)
  • The Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Educator of the Year Award (2008–2009)
  • Manitoba Research Chair Award (2019)


Contact us

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room 543 - 745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada