Kiho Cho Photo

Kiho Cho

2425 Stockton Blvd, Room 631
Sacramento, CA 95817
(916) 453-2284
kcho (at)


  • Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, DVM
  • Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, BS
  • University of California, Davis, PhD

Research Interests

My current research focuses on the role of endogeneous retroviruses (ERVs) and retroelements in determining burn injury response.

Cho Lab
An Example of Repetitive Element Arrays (RE Arrays): Complex and Ordered Arrangements of Repetitive Elements

Currently, people use genes to explain why people respond the way they do to injury or disease. However, genes make up only ~3% of a person’s DNA. Furthermore, the genes between different people are over 99% similar.

This leads us to believe that genes cannot be the only reason why people respond so differently to injury, and that the key to understanding these differences may lie in the unexplored “other” ~97% of the DNA.

Endogenous retroelements are a major proportion of that “other” DNA. In our lab, we examine how these retroelements become active or inactive during injury. We think retroelements may play a fundamental role in understanding why individuals respond so uniquely to burn injury and treatment. We hope to develop a new retroelement-based diagnostic tool to predict an individual burn patient’s response to injury and develop unique treatment therapies which will maximize their chances for a full recovery.


Lee KH, Lim D, Greenhalgh D, Cho K. Highly Variable Genomic Landscape of Endogenous Retroviruses in the C57BL/6J Inbred Strain, Depending on Individual Mouse, Gender, Organ Type, and Organ Location. Int J Genomics. 2017;2017:3152410. doi: 10.1155/2017/3152410. Epub 2017 Aug 29. PMID: 28951865; PMCID: PMC5603323. Download PDF

Hsu K, Lee YK, Chew A, Chiu S, Lim D, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Inherently variable responses to glucocorticoid stress among endogenous retroviruses isolated from 23 mouse strains. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2017 Oct;1863(10 Pt B):2594-2600. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.10.026. Epub 2016 Nov 3. PMID: 27816520; PMCID: PMC5415441. Download PDF


Lee KH, Lim D, Chiu S, Greenhalgh D, Cho K. Genomic landscapes of endogenous retroviruses unveil intricate genetics of conventional and genetically-engineered laboratory mouse strains. Exp Mol Pathol. 2016 Apr;100(2):248-56. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2016.01.005. Epub 2016 Jan 11. PMID: 26779669; PMCID: PMC4823159. Download PDF


Lee KH, Shin KS, Lim D, Kim WC, Chung BC, Han GB, Roh J, Cho DH, Cho K. Repetitive element signature-based visualization, distance computation, and classification of 1766 microbial genomes. Genomics. 2015 Jul;106(1):30-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2015.04.004. Epub 2015 Apr 23. PMID: 25918033. Download PDF

Lee KH, Yee L, Lim D, Greenhalgh D, Cho K. Temporal and spatial rearrangements of a repetitive element array on C57BL/6J mouse genome. Exp Mol Pathol. 2015 Jun;98(3):439-45. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2015.03.037. Epub 2015 Mar 31. PMID: 25839092; PMCID: PMC4433582. Download PDF


Lee KH, Rah H, Green T, Lee YK, Lim D, Nemzek J, Wahl W, Greenhalgh D, Cho K. Divergent and dynamic activity of endogenous retroviruses in burn patients and their inflammatory potential. Exp Mol Pathol. 2014 Apr;96(2):178-87. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2014.02.001. Epub 2014 Feb 6. PMID: 24509167; PMCID: PMC4104748. Download PDF


Lee KH, Kim WC, Shin KS, Roh JK, Cho DH, Cho K. Large interrelated clusters of repetitive elements (REs) and RE arrays predominantly represent reference mouse chromosome Y. Chromosome Res. 2013 Mar;21(1):15-26. doi: 10.1007/s10577-012-9334-8. Epub 2013 Jan 29. PMID: 23359013; PMCID: PMC3604171. Download PDF

You RN, Kim WC, Lee KH, Lee YK, Shin KS, Cho K, Cho DH. REViewer: a tool for linear visualization of repetitive elements within a sequence query. Genomics. 2013 Oct;102(4):209-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2013.07.008. Epub 2013 Jul 24. PMID: 23891933; PMCID: PMC3819206. Download PDF

Baker AC, Chew VW, Green TL, Tung K, Lim D, Cho K, Greenhalgh DG. Single nucleotide polymorphisms and type of steroid impact the functional response of the human glucocorticoid receptor. J Surg Res. 2013 Mar;180(1):27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2012.12.027. Epub 2013 Jan 7. PMID: 23333190. Download PDF

Lee KH, Lim D, Green T, Greenhalgh D, Cho K. Injury-elicited stressors alter endogenous retrovirus expression in lymphocytes depending on cell type and source lymphoid organ. BMC Immunol. 2013 Jan 5;14:2. doi: 10.1186/1471-2172-14-2. PMID: 23289855; PMCID: PMC3562510. Download PDF


Lee KH, You RN, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Identification of a group of Mus dunni endogenous virus-like endogenous retroviruses from the C57BL/6J mouse genome: proviral genomes, strain distribution, expression characteristics, and genomic integration profile. Chromosome Res. 2012 Oct;20(7):859-74. doi: 10.1007/s10577-012-9322-z. Epub 2012 Nov 30. PMID: 23197326; PMCID: PMC3535300. Download PDF

Kim WC, Lee KH, Shin KS, You RN, Lee YK, Cho K, Cho DH. REMiner-II: a tool for rapid identification and configuration of repetitive element arrays from large mammalian chromosomes as a single query. Genomics. 2012 Sep;100(3):131-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2012.06.006. Epub 2012 Jun 28. PMID: 22750555; PMCID: PMC3428500. Download PDF

Kao D, Hsu K, Chiu S, Tu V, Chew A, Lee KH, Lee YK, Kwon DN, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. ERE database: a database of genomic maps and biological properties of endogenous retroviral elements in the C57BL/6J mouse genome. Genomics. 2012 Sep;100(3):157-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2012.06.002. Epub 2012 Jun 9. PMID: 22691267; PMCID: PMC3428438. Download PDF

Baker AC, Green TL, Chew VW, Tung K, Amini A, Lim D, Cho K, Greenhalgh DG. Enhanced steroid response of a human glucocorticoid receptor splice variant. Shock. 2012 Jul;38(1):11-7. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e318257c0c0. PMID: 22706020. Download PDF

Lee KH, Chiu S, Lee YK, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Age-dependent and tissue-specific structural changes in the C57BL/6J mouse genome. Exp Mol Pathol. 2012 Aug;93(1):167-72. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2012.04.013. Epub 2012 Apr 20. PMID: 22548960. Download PDF

Lee YK, Lee KH, Kim SG, Melhem R, Moon CS, Liu S, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Unique profile of ordered arrangements of repetitive elements in the C57BL/6J mouse genome implicating their functional roles. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35156. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035156. Epub 2012 Apr 18. PMID: 22529984; PMCID: PMC3329453. Download PDF


Lee KH, Horiuchi M, Itoh T, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Cerebellum-specific and age-dependent expression of an endogenous retrovirus with intact coding potential. Retrovirology. 2011 Oct 12;8:82. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-8-82. PMID: 21992658; PMCID: PMC3207890. Download PDF

Tung K, Baker AC, Amini A, Green TL, Chew VW, Lim D, Nguyen ST, Yee KS, Cho K, Greenhalgh DG. Novel hyperactive glucocorticoid receptor isoform identified within a human population. Shock. 2011 Oct;36(4):339-44. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e318228eca7. PMID: 21701417. Download PDF

Lee KH, Lee YK, Kwon DN, Chiu S, Chew V, Rah H, Kujawski G, Melhem R, Hsu K, Chung C, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Identification of a unique library of complex, but ordered, arrays of repetitive elements in the human genome and implication of their potential involvement in pathobiology. Exp Mol Pathol. 2011 Jun;90(3):300-11. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 Mar 1. PMID: 21376035; PMCID: PMC3092023. Download PDF


Kwon DN, Lee YK, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Lipopolysaccharide stress induces cell-type specific production of murine leukemia virus type-endogenous retroviral virions in primary lymphoid cells. J Gen Virol. 2011 Feb;92(Pt 2):292-300. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.023416-0. Epub 2010 Oct 21. PMID: 20965985; PMCID: PMC3081078. Download PDF

Chiu S, Hsu K, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Post-injury stress signals alter epigenetic profile of cytosine methylation in the proviral genome of endogenous retroviruses. Exp Mol Pathol. 2010 Dec;89(3):291-300. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2010.06.012. Epub 2010 Jul 6. PMID: 20609362. Download PDF


Kwon DN, Greenhalgh DG, Cho K. Cloning and characterization of endogenous retroviruses associated with postinjury stress signals in lymphoid tissues. Shock. 2009 Jul;32(1):80-8. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e31818bc193. PMID: 18948849. Download PDF

Cho K, Chiu S, Lee YK, Greenhalgh D, Nemzek J. Experimental polymicrobial peritonitis-associated transcriptional regulation of murine endogenous retroviruses. Shock. 2009 Aug;32(2):147-58. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e31819721ae. PMID: 19060780. Download PDF