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Zixu LIU, Ph.D.
School of Life Sciences
Immune system biology laboratory
Dr. Liu earned a B.S. in Biology from Anhui Agricultural University in 2006 and a M.S. in Genetics from Wuhan University in 2008. After working at the National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing for two years, he began his doctoral dissertation in Dr. Jian-Min Zhou’s lab, where he studied the mechanisms by which plant pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) regulate innate immunity. After receiving his Ph.D. in Biology from Nanjing University in 2013, Dr. Liu joined Dr. Neal Alto’s lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas for postdoctoral training. There, he became interested in exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying the mammalian innate immune response to bacterial and viral infection. He joined the faculty of the Westlake University in November, 2020.
Mammals have evolved sophisticated immune systems that defend against pathogenic microbes while preserving beneficial host-microbe interactions. In the Liu lab, we are interested in understanding the molecular events underlying the host immune response to pathogen infection. Specifically, our research focuses on addressing the following fundamental questions: 1) How does the host sense and initiate an immune response to pathogen infection? 2) How does the host organism control infection-induced inflammation and avoid immunopathology? 3) What are the molecular mechanisms underlying inflammation-associated diseases? In summary, the goal of our laboratory is to better understand the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions. Ultimately, we believe that our efforts will help identify molecular targets for immunotherapeutic treatment of pathogenic and inflammatory diseases, including cancer.
1. Liu Z, Mar BK, Hanners NW, Perelman SP, Kanchwala M, Xing C, Schoggins JW, Alto NM (2019). A NIK-SIX signalling axis controls inflammation by targeted silencing of non-canonical NF-κB. Nature. 568, 249-253.
2. Liu Z, Wu Y, Yang F, Zhang Y, Chen S, Xie Q, Tian X, Zhou JM (2013). BIK1 interacts with PEPRs to mediate ethylene-induced immunity. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 110, 6205-6210.
3. Liu T*, Liu Z*, Song C, Hu Y, Han Z, She J, Fan F, Wang J, Jin C, Chang J, Zhou JM, Chai J (2012). Chitin-induced dimerization actives a plant immune receptor. Science. 336, 1160-1164. (* These authors contributed equally to the work)
Full publication list: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=5AB_LGMAAAAJ&hl=en
We are looking for highly motivated postdocs, graduate students, and research assistants to join our research community. Researchers from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply a position in the lab. Please send a cover letter including your career development and CV to Dr. Zixu Liu at Liuzlab@westlake.edu.cn, if you are interested in our research area.