Hong Ji

Portrait Image

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine
California National Primate Research Center

California National Primate Research Center, County Rd 98 & Hutchison Drive Davis, Davis CA 95616

Research Interests

Dr. Ji’s research group is focused on elucidating the epigenetic regulation of chronic diseases such as childhood asthma and examining how epigenetic mechanisms mediate the impact of environmental exposures during critical developmental windows (e.g., infancy) on increased disease susceptibility. She utilizes an integrative approach combining molecular and bioinformatic analysis of methylome, chromatin, gene expression and gene network analysis with immunologic and physiologic characterization of disease models to understand genes and pathways that may contribute to disease etiology and pathogenesis. Research is performed in animal models, cell culture, and human biologic specimens.

Graduate Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Graduate Group in Immunology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Group 

Specialties / Focus

  • Cellular Responses to Toxins and Stress
  • Chromosome Biology
  • Epigenomics
  • Gene Regulation
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine


  • VET401, Basic Foundations, PBL
  • VET408, Cardiovascular/Respiratory Lab 1
  • VET403
  • VET413

Honors and Awards

  • 2017-2019, ALA/AAAAI Allergic Respiratory Diseases Award, American Lung Association

  • 2019-2020, UC Davis Environmental Health Science Scholar Award

Professional Societies

  • American Association of Cancer Research
  • American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology
  • Epigenetics society
  • Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society
  • American Thoracic Society

Education and Training

  • 2002, BS, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 2007, PhD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • 2011, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD


  • Ji H, Platts MH, Dharamasi L and Friedman KL.  Regulation of Telomere Length by an N-terminal Region of the Yeast Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase. Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Oct;25(20):9103-14. PMID:16199886. PMCID: PMC1265764.
  • Ji H, Adkins CJ, Cartwright BR and Friedman KL. Yeast Est2p affects telomere length by influencing association of Rap1p with telomeric chromatin. Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Apr;28(7):2380-90. PMID: 18212041. PMCID: PMC2268414.
  • Irizarry RA, Ladd-Acosta C, Wen B, Wu Z, Montano C, Onyango P, Cui H, Gabo K, Rongione M, Webster M, Ji H, Potash JB, Sabunciyan S and Feinberg AP. The human colon cancer methylome shows similar hypo- and hypermethylation at conserved tissue-specific CpG island shores. Nat Genet. 2009 Feb;41(2):178-86. PMID:19151715. PMCID: PMC2729128.
  • Kim K, Doi A, Wen B, Ng K, Zhao R, Cahan P, Kim J, Aryee M J, Ji H., Ehrlich LIR, Yabuuchi A, Takeuchi A, Cunniff KC, Hongguang H, Mckinney-Freeman S, Naveiras O, Yoon T, Irizarry RA, Hanna J, Jaenisch R, Weissleder R, Orkin S, Weissman I L, Feinberg AP and Daley GQ. Epigenetic memory in induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 2010 Sep;467:285–290. PMID: 20644535. PMCID: PMC3150836.
  • Ji H*, Ehrlich LIR*, Seita J*, Murakami P, Doi A, Lindau P, Lee H, Aryee MJ, Irizarry RA, Kim K, Rossi DJ, Inlay MA, Serwold T, Karsunky H, Ho L, Daley GQ, Weissman IL and Feinberg AP. A comprehensive methylome map of lineage commitment from hematopoietic progenitors. Nature. 2010 Sep;467:338–342. PMID: 20720541. PMCID: PMC2956609. *Co-authors
  • Ji H and Khurana Hershey G.K.K. Genetic and epigenetic influence on the response to environmental particulate matter. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Jan;129(1):33-41. PMID: 22196522. PMCID: PMC3268704
  • Brunst KJ, Leung YK, Ryan PH, Khurana Hershey GK, Levin L, Ji H, Lemasters GK, Ho SM. Forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3) hypermethylation is associated with diesel exhaust exposure and risk for childhood asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Feb;131(2):592-4.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.10.042. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PMID:23260754. PMCID: PMC3563724.
  • Abdel-Hameed EA, Ji H, Sherman KE, Shata MT. Epigenetic modification of FOXP3 in patients with chronic HIV infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23846566. PMID:23846566. PMCID: PMC3871978
  • Zhang X, Ulm A, Somineni HK, Oh S, Weirauch MT, Zhang HX, Chen X, Lehn MA, Janssen EM and Ji H. DNA methylation dynamics during ex vivo differentiation and maturation of human dendritic cells. Epigenetics & Chromatin. 2014 August, 7:21 doi:10.1186/1756-8935-7-21. PMID:25161698. PMCID: PMC4144987.
  • Ji H*, Zhang X, Oh S, Mayhew CN, Ulm A, Somineni HK, Ericksen M, Wells JM, Khurana Hershey GK. Dynamic transcriptional and epigenomic reprogramming from pediatric nasal epithelial cells to induced pluripotent stem cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Oct 14. pii: S0091-6749(14)01262-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.08.038. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:25441642. PMCID: PMC4289122. *Corresponding author
  • Xiao C, Biagini Myers JM, Ji H, Metz K, Martin LJ, Lindsey M, He H, Powers R, Ulm A, Ruff B, Ericksen MB, Somineni HK, Simmons J, Strait RT, Kercsmar CM, Khurana Hershey GK. Vanin-1 expression and methylation discriminate pediatric asthma corticosteroid treatment response. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Mar 28. pii: S0091-6749(15)00261-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.01.045. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25910714. PMCID: PMC4586304
  • Somineni HK, Zhang X, Biagini Myers JM, Butsch Kovacic M, Ulm A, Jurcak N, Ryan PH, Khurana Hershey GK, Ji H. Ten-eleven translocation 1 (TET1) methylation is associated with childhood asthma and traffic-related air pollution. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Dec 9. pii: S0091-6749(15)01577-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2015.10.021. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:26684294. PMCID: PMC4783231
  • Oh S*, Ji H*, Barzman D*, Lin PI*, Hutton J. Pediatric Asthma and Autism-Genomic Perspectives. Clin Transl Med. 2015 Dec;4(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s40169-015-0078-x. Epub 2015 Dec 14. *Co-authors. PMID: 26668064. PMCID: PMC4678135
  • Abdel-Hameed EA, Ji H, and Shata MT. HIV-Induced Epigenetic Alterations in Host Cells. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;879:27-38. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-24738-0_2. PMID: 26659262
  • Abdel-Hameed EA, Rouster SD, Ji H, Ulm A, Hetta HF, Anwar N, Sherman KE, Shata MT. Evaluating the Role of Cellular Immune Responses in the Emergence of HCV NS3 Resistance Mutations During Protease Inhibitor Therapy. Viral Immunology. 2016 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26885675. PMCID: PMC4860622
  • Ulm A, Christopher MN, Debley J, Khurana Hershey GK, Ji H. Cultivate primary nasal epithelial cells from children and reprogram into induced pluripotent stem cells. J Vis Exp. 2016 Mar 10;(109). doi: 10.3791/53814. PMID: 27022951. PMCID: PMC4792220
  • Ji H, Biagini Myers JM, Brandt EB, Brokamp C, Ryan PH and Khurana Hershey GK. Air pollution, epigenetics and asthma. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2016 Oct 19;12:51. eCollection 2016. PMID: 27777592 PMCID: PMC5069789. DOI:10.1186/s13223-016-0159-4
  • Chidambaran V, Zhang X, Martin LJ, Ding L, Weirauch MT, Geisler K, Stubbeman BL, Sadhasivam S, Ji H. DNA methylation at the mu-1 opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) promoter predicts preoperative, acute, and chronic postsurgical pain after spine fusion. Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine. 9 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 157-168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2147/PGPM.S132691. PMID: 28533693. PMCID: PMC5432115.
  • Zhang X, Biagini Myers JM, Yadagiri VK, Ulm A, Chen X, Weirauch MT, Khurana Hershey GK, Ji H. Nasal DNA methylation differentiates corticosteroid treatment response in pediatric asthma: A pilot study. PLoS One. 2017 Oct 13;12(10):e0186150. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186150. eCollection 2017. PMID: 29028809. PMCID: PMC5640236
  • Zhang X, Biagini Myers JM, Burleson JD, Ulm A, Bryan KS, Chen X, Weirauch MT, Baker TA, Butsch Kovacic MS, Ji H. Nasal DNA methylation is associated with childhood asthma. Nasal DNA methylation is associated with childhood asthma. Epigenomics. 2018 Apr 25. doi: 10.2217/epi-2017-0127. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 29692198
  • Ji Hong, Lin Ping-I, Oh Sunghee (2018) Genomic/Epigenomic Abnormality in Pediatric Cancer. Infect Dis Diag Treat: IDDT-117. DOI: 10.29011/IDDT-117. 100017
  • Bowers K, Ding L, Gregory S, Yolton K, Ji H, Meyer J, Ammerman RT, Van Ginkel J, Folger A. Maternal distress and hair cortisol in pregnancy among women with elevated adverse childhood experiences. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 May 18;95:145-148. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.05.024. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Zhang X, Chen X, Weirauch MT, Zhang X, Burleson JD, Brandt EB, Ji H. Diesel exhaust and house dust mite allergen lead to common changes in the airway methylome and hydroxymethylome. Environ Epigenet. 2018 Jul; 4(3): dvy020. Published online 2018 Jul 27. doi:  10.1093/eep/dvy020
  • Chidambaran V, Zhang X, Geisler K, Stubbeman BL, Chen X, Weirauch MT, Meller J, Ji H. Enrichment of genomic pathways based on differential DNA methylation associated with chronic postsurgical pain and anxiety in children - a prospective, pilot study. J Pain. 2019 Jan 9. pii: S1526-5900(18)31065-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.12.008. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Folger A, Ding L, Ji H, Yolton K, Ammerman RT, Van Ginkel J, Bowers K. Neonatal NR3C1 Methylation and Social-Emotional Development at 6 and 18 months of age. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 05 February 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00014
  • Burleson JD, Siniard D, Yadagiri VK, Chen X, Weirauch MT, Ruff BP, Brandt EB, Hershey GKK, Ji H. TET1 contributes to allergic airway inflammation and regulates interferon and aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling pathways in bronchial epithelial cells. Sci Rep. 2019 May 14;9(1):7361. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43767-6.

Updated publication list can be found here.