Jessica Wei

PhD Candidate
Immune and Inflammatory Responses in the Eye


Seattle, most recently


I have a Bachelor of Science in Cellular Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of Washington. Before returning to graduate school, I researched gene therapy for muscular dystrophy at UW and cancer immunotherapy in the Pre-Clinical Discovery and Clinical Immunology groups at a biotech company.


The relaxing atmosphere during the interview visit was very warm and welcoming, I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with all the VS faculty and students. I was looking for programs that had translational research components and found the interdisciplinary aspect of this program to be very enticing; I knew this is where I wanted to pursue my degree after seeing a strong collaborative environment.


My project aims to understand how innate immunity employs lipid circuits to regulate adaptive immunity in the experimental uveitis mouse model. Lipid mediators are potent bioactive lipid signals generated from the membrane phospholipids of cells. Immune cells are essential for producing diverse classes of lipid mediators that modulate inflammation. More specifically, neutrophils produce lipoxin A4 (LXA4) during acute inflammatory responses, and in a feedback-loop manner, LXA4 prevents further PMN infiltration and promotes clearance of apoptotic cells. During my graduate work, I hope to elucidate how neutrophil-derived LXA4 regulates T effector cell function in order to resolve inflammation.


Space travel without the motion sickness and being able to do a head stand.


I like exploring new places and trying new things, traveling for food, museums and architecture, being surrounded by nature, and picking up new hobbies. On a typical morning you can find me listening to This American Life or RadioLab while walking on the sunny side of the street.