Randall N. Hyer, MD, PhD, MPH, former Moderna executive, named president of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute <<click here>>.
Liudi Tang, PhD Assistant Professor, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute

Liudi Tang, PhD

Dr. Tang is a virologist with a particular focus on hepatitis B virus (HBV). His research interests cover the biosynthesis and maintenance of the HBV covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, the crosstalk between HBV and cellular innate immune signaling, and the viral regulation of cellular metabolism.

Dr. Tang received his Ph.D. from the Microbiology & Immunology Department at Drexel University College of Medicine. Working with his mentor Dr. Ju-Tao Guo, Dr. Tang and his colleagues identified several groups of host cellular proteins involved in the making of HBV cccDNA from its precursor molecules, in cell-based assays. He also pioneered the characterization suggesting that the cccDNA biosynthesis from de novo infection vs from intracellular amplification/recycling requires distinct host factors and is subjected to differential regulations. In addition, Dr. Tang and his colleagues demonstrated that HBV evades the sensing of cyclic GMP-AMP synthase in hepatocytes. Moreover, work from him and his colleagues discovered novel small molecular agonists of stimulator of interferon genes (STING) and demonstrated for the first time that activation of STING in hepatocytes suppresses cccDNA transcription activity.

After graduating in 2019, Dr. Tang joined Evrys Bio, LLC, as a postdoctoral scientist mentored by Dr. Thomas Shenk. Dr. Tang’s projects focus on developing broad-spectrum antiviral strategies through targeting the host metabolic pathways to restrain the energy and building blocks essential for viral propagation. He has accumulated very promising data demonstrating that pharmacological inhibition of a metabolic enzyme, namely Sirtuin 2, shows broad-spectrum antiviral activities, including human cytomegalovirus, coronaviruses, and HBV etc.

TRAINING:

2014-2019: Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

2019-2022: Post doctorate: Evrys Bio, Doylestown, PA

RESEARCH INTERESTS:

Dr. Liudi Tang’s laboratory is set to investigate the mechanism of hepatitis B virus (HBV) persistent infection and develop novel gene editing technologies to cure chronic Hepatitis B, a disease that affects more than 250 million people and claims appropriately 1 million lives per year. More specific research directions include but not limited to:

  1. Virus-host interactions that facilitate the release of HBV relaxed circular (rc) DNA from viral nucleocapsid, and the conversion of rcDNA into the covalent closed circular (ccc) DNA in the nucleus.
  2. Viral and cellular regulations of HBV cccDNA transcription and maintenance.
  3.  Selective elimination of HBV-infected hepatocytes through novel gene therapies.

 

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS 

  1. Jin Hu*, Liudi Tang*, Junjun Cheng, Tianlun Zhou, Yuhuan Li, Jinhong Chang, Qiong Zhao, Ju-Tao Guo. (2021) Hepatitis B virus nucleocapsid uncoating: biological consequences and regulation by cellular nucleases. Emerg Microbes Infect. 10(1):852-864. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2021.1919034. (*These authors contribute equally to this work).
  2. Junjun Cheng, Qiong Zhao, Liudi Tang, Yan Zhou, Muhammad Sheraz, Jinhong Chang, and Ju-Tao (2020) IFN- α Induces Multiple Cellular Proteins that Coordinately Suppress Hepadnaviral cccDNA Transcription. JVI.00442-20. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00442-20.
  3. Xiaohui Zhang, Bowei Liu, Liudi Tang, Qing Su, Nicky Hwang, Mohit Sehgal, Junjun Cheng, Julia Ma, Xuexiang Zhang, Yinfei Tan, Yan Zhou, Zhongping Duan, Victor R. DeFilippis, Usha Viswanathan, John Kulp, Yanming Du, Ju-Tao Guo, Jinhong (2019) Discovery and Mechanistic Study of a Novel Human STING Agonist. ACS Infect Dis. 2019 Jul 12;5(7):1139-1149. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.9b00010
  4. Liudi Tang, Muhammad Sheraz, Michael McGrane, Jinhong Chang and Ju-Tao Guo (2019) DNA Polymerase alpha is essential for intracellular amplification of hepatitis B virus covalently closed circular DNA. PLoS Pathogens15(4):e1007742. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007742.
  5. Muhammad Sheraz, Junjun Cheng, Liudi Tang, Jinhong Chang and Ju-Tao Guo (2019) Cellular DNA topoisomerases are required for the synthesis of hepatitis B virus covalently closed circular DNA. Journal of Virology. JVI.02230-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02230-18.
  6. Jin Hu, Junjun Cheng, Liudi Tang, Zhanying Hu, Yue Luo, Tianlun Zhou, Yuhuan Li, Jinhong Chang and Ju-Tao Guo (2018). Virological basis for the cure of chronic hepatitis B. ACS Infectious Diseases. 2018 Jun 12. doi: 1021/acsinfecdis.8b00081.
  7. Bowei Liu, Liudi Tang, Xiaohui Zhang, Julia Ma, Mohit Sehgal, Junjun Cheng, Xuexiang Zhang, Yan Zhou, Yanming Du, John Kulp, Ju-Tao Guo, Jinhong Chang (2017) A cell-based high throughput screening assay for the discovery of cGAS-STING pathway agonists. Antiviral Research. 147:37-46.
  8. Fang Guo*, Liudi Tang*, Sainan Shu, Mohit Sehgal, Muhammad Sheraz, Bowei Liu, Qiong Zhao, Junjun Cheng, Xuesen Zhao, Tianlun Zhou, Jinhong Chang and Ju-Tao Guo.(2017) Activation of STING in hepatocytes suppresses the replication of hepatitis B virus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 61(10). e00771-17. (*These authors contribute equally to this work).
  9. Liudi Tang, Qiong Zhao, Shuo Wu, Junjun Cheng, Jinhong Chang and Ju-Tao Guo (2017) Current status and future direction in hepatitis B virus drug discovery. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery. 12(1):5-15.

    

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