Dr. Liao is a Professor of Medicine and Research Director of Duke Human Vaccine Institute. Dr. Liao is a MD virologistt rained in China. In early 1980’s, Dr. Liao made major contributions to the first isolation of epidemic hemorrhagic fever virus (hataanvirus) from Apodemus agraius using tissue culture in China. The successful identification and isolation of Hataanvirus enabled the early diagnosis and treatment of the disease, and advancement of HFRS research towards prevention by development of a killed vaccine that has been currently used in China. Dr. Liao received his PhD from the UNC-CH in biochemistry in 1991, and his postdoctoral training on HIV-1 molecular biology and pathogenesis of HIV-1 at Duke University between 1991-1994, and joined the faculty at Duke University in 1994. Dr. Liao is an expert in medical virology, molecular biology and HIV-1 vaccine development.
Current research in Liao Lab focuses in the areas of: 1) HIV-1 vaccine immunogen design and development for induction of broadly reactive antibody and T cell responses; 2) host immune responses to HIV-1 infection; 3) host cellular factors that modulate HIV-host interaction, and 4) development of vaccines and detections for viral hemorrhagic fever and other emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Liao and his colleagues has recently developed a strategy by combining the isolation of Ig VH and VL genes from sorted single cells by RT-PCR and novel linear Ig heavy- and light-chain gene expression cassettes for high throughput sequence analysis and functional testing of Ig VH and VL genes expressed as recombinant antibodies. This novel approach would greatly facilitate study of B cell response and repertoires in acute HIV-1 infection as well as in other disease setting and development of therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies.
Key words: HIV-1, AIDS, HIV-1 vaccine, neutralizing antibody and viral hemorrhagic fever.