Dr. Ji joined the University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center in 2007. He was promoted to a tenured full professor in 2017. He was trained as a clinician-scientist and practiced for several years. After graduating from the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (China CDC), Dr. Ji completed his postdoc training at the University of Georgia at Athens. His basic and translational studies have been continuously supported by AHA, CFF, and NIH since 2004. Dr. Ji has published more than 150 peer-reviewed full papers in prestigious professional journals. He has trained 37 graduates and postdoc fellows so far. He serves as a guest editor, academic editor, and editorial board member for more than 30 professional journals. Dr. Ji has been invited as a grant reviewer for NIH, private, and international funding agencies regularly.

Dr. Ji’s research team focuses on the physiology and pathophysiology of lung fluid homeostasis, including the transepithelial ion transport and edema fluid resolution. His group is supported by NIH for stem cell-mediated alveolar regeneration of injured lungs in 3D organoid and animal models. To date, Dr. Ji’s lab is combining multi-omics and machine learning algorithms to identify new endotypes, therapeutic targets, biomarkers, and microbiota for ARDS and sarcoidosis. ARDS is commonly seen in critically ill patients. For example, COVID-19 patients hospitalized in ICU have considerably high mortality.

Education and Training

University of Georgia at Athens, Postdoctoral fellow
University of Kent, Ph.D. of Life Science
Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (China CDC), M.S. of Public Health.
Xinxiang Medical University, M.D. of Clinical Science

Courses Taught

  1. BIOT 5131/5132: Critical reading
  2. BIOT 5222/5222L: Advanced Metabolism
  3. BIOT5310: Fundamentals of Biomedical Research Course

Research Interest & Grants

  1. Lung fluid homeostasis and edema fluid resolution regulated by fibrinolysis.
  2. Re-alveolarization of injured lungs regulated by stem cell niches.
  3. Identification of endotypes, biomarkers, and therapeutic targets for ARDS and sarcoidosis.
  4. Lung microbiota and dysbiosis of pulmonary diseases.
  5. 09/01/2017-05/14/2026: Novel paracrine mechanism for cell-based therapy of injured lungs. NIH 1R01HL134828-01A1. Principal Investigator (30% effort).

Publication Highlights

  1. Zhang M, Ali G, Komatsu S, Zhao RZ, Ji HL. Prkg2 regulates alveolar type 2-mediated re-alveolarization. Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 2022 March 10; 13:111. doi:10.1186/s13287-022-02793-4.
  2. Zhao R, Su Z, Komissarov AA, Yi G, Liu SL, Idell S, Matthay MA, Ji HL. Associations of D-dimer on admission and clinical features of COVID-19 patients: A systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression. Frontiers in Immunology. 2021; 12:691249. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.691249. PMID: 32935113.
  3. Ali G, Zhang M, Zhao RZ, Komatsu S, Ikebe M, Zhou BY, Liang C, Jiang DH, Matthay MA, Ji HL. Urokinase niche for re-alveolarization of injured lung epithelial layer. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy. 2021; 6:97. DOI: 10.1038/s41392-021-00511-9. PMID: 33640905.
  4. Ji HL, Zhao RZ, Matalon S, Matthay MA. Elevated plasmin(ogen) as a common risk factor for COVID-19 susceptibility. Physiological Review. 2020; 100(3): 1065-1075. PMID: 32216698.
  5. Zhao RZ, Ali G, Nie HG, Chang YC, Bhattarai D, Su XF, Zhao XL, Matthay MA, Ji HL. Plasmin improves oedema blood-gas barrier by cleaving epithelial sodium channels. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2020 Jul;177(13):3091-3106. Doi: 10.1111/bph.15038. PMID: 32133621.
  6. Ji HL, Zhao RZ, Shetty S, Idell S, Matalon S.  ENaC, a novel amiloride-inhibitible sodium channels. American Journal of Physiology- Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. 2012; 303:L1013-26. PMID: 22983350. PMCID: PMC3532584.
  7. Link of main publications on the PubMed can be found: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.