George Y. Liu, MD, PhD

Associate Director, Infectious and Immunologic Diseases Research Center, PD Infectious Disease, Allergy & Immunology
Phone:(310) 423-4471
Fax:(310) 423-8284

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Pediatrics

Awards and Activities

Pfizer Aspire Young Investigator Award2010
Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award2009
Pediatric Infectious Disease Society Young Investigator Award2008
Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in Biomedical Sciences2004
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Post-doctoral Fellowship2002

Research Focus

The primary aim of our research is to understand how interaction between S. aureus and the host leads to a productive infection. From the bacterial side, we strive to identify novel immune evasion mechanisms that facilitate S. aureus invasion of the host. Conversely, we also study host antimicrobial mechanisms that keep S. aureus infection in check. Ultimately, based on knowledge of host and S. aureus defense mechanisms, we seek to identify novel strategies to treat infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Research Contributions

Demonstrated that carotenoids are a novel class of virulence factors
Showed that Vitamin B3 boosts host clearance of S. aureus via CEBP epsilon

Current investigations include:

Host- Pathogen interaction. CA-MRSA pathogenesis. C/EBP epsilon and nicotinamide in immune boosting. S. aureus and adaptive immune response. Role of bacterial hyaluronidases in pathogenesis of infections. Panton Valentine Leucocidin and CA-MRSA. Impact of Antibiotics on Host-pathogen interaction. Novel antimicrobial therapeutics.

Selected Publications

  1. Kyme P, Thoennissen NH, Tseng CW, Thoennissen GB, Wolf AJ, Shimada K, Krug UO, Lee K, Müller-Tidow C, Berdel WE, Hardy WD, Gombart AF, Koeffler HP, Liu GY: C/EBPe mediates nicotinamide-enhanced clearance of Staphylococcus aureus in mice. J. Clin. Invest., 122(9): 3316-29, 2012
  2. Park B, Liu GY: Targeting the host-pathogen interface for treatment of Staphylococcus aureus infection. Semin Immunopathol, 34(2): 299-315, 2011
  3. Shimada T, Park BG, Wolf AJ, Brikos C, Goodridge HS, Becker CA, Reyes CN, Miao EA, Aderem A, Götz F, Liu GY, Underhill DM: Staphylococcus aureus evades lysozyme-based peptidoglycan digestion that links phagocytosis, inflammasome activation, and IL-1beta secretion. Cell host & microbe, 7(1): 38-49, 2010
  4. Tseng CW, Kyme P, Low J, Rocha MA, Alsabeh R, Miller LG, Otto M, Arditi M, Diep BA, Nizet V, Doherty TM, Beenhouwer DO, Liu GY: Staphylococcus aureus Panton-Valentine leukocidin contributes to inflammation and muscle tissue injury. PLoS ONE, 4(7): e6387, 2009
  5. Liu CI, Liu GY, Song Y, Yin F, Hensler ME, Jeng WY, Nizet V, Wang AH, Oldfield E: A cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitor blocks Staphylococcus aureus virulence. Science, 319(5868): 1391-4, 2008
  6. Liu GY, Essex A, Buchanan JT, Datta V, Hoffman HM, Bastian JF, Fierer J, Nizet V: Staphylococcus aureus golden pigment impairs neutrophil killing and promotes virulence through its antioxidant activity. J. Exp. Med., 202(2): 209-15, 2005

Lab Information

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