Education and Training
Ph.D. – University of British Columbia, Canada (1993)
M.S. – Peking University, China (1986)
B.S. – Hunan University, China (1983)
Yale University School of Medicine (1994-1997)
Protein lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) catalyze the acetyl attachment to lysine side chains of protein substrates that include histones and many other cellular proteins. Deacetylases (HDACs) catalyze the reverse reaction to remove the attached acetyl group. Acetylation of protein substrates impacts their stability and functions in a variety of cellular pathways such as gene transcription, intracellular trafficking and metabolisms. Both KATs and HDACs are implicated in human diseases and represent rational therapeutic targets. The research in the Liao laboratory focuses on understanding cell-biological functions of these enzymes in virology, epigenetics and cancer biology, as well as on discovery, characterization, and optimization of novel small-molecule inhibitors of these enzymes for cancer therapy. In collaboration with the high-throughput screen facilities at Scripps Florida at Jupiter and the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, we aim at identifying novel lead KAT and HDAC inhibitors. We use in vitro biochemical as well as cell-based assays to validate their activities. We also collaborate with medicinal chemists to optimize the lead compounds to improve the target potency and specificity as well as drug-like properties of the lead compounds. We use mouse tumor models to determine in vivo anticancer efficacy of the small-molecule inhibitors. Ultimately, our optimized KAT and HDAC inhibitors may lead to novel therapy for treating cancer patients and other human diseases.
Awards and Honors
|2018 – 2021||University of Florida Term Professorship|
|2015, 2016||Exemplary Teacher, University of Florida College of Medicine|
|2003 – 2006||American Lung Association of Florida Inc. Career Investigator Award|
|1998||Canadian Foundation for Innovation Investigator Award|
|1997 – 2000||Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec Faculty Scholarship|
|1995 – 1997||Medical Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University|
Xiao Y, Wang J, Zhao LY, Chen X, Zheng G, Zhang X, Liao D. Discovery of histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3)-specific PROTACs. Chem Commun (Camb). 2020 Aug 25;56(68):9866-9869. doi: 10.1039/d0cc03243c. | PubMed PMID: 32840532.
Mahmud I, Liao D (2019) DAXX in cancer: phenomena, processes, mechanisms and regulation. Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Jul 27. pii: gkz634. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz634. | PubMed
Huo Z, Zhu L, Ma T, Liu, H, Han, S, Liao D, Zhao J and Tseng G (2019) Two-way Horizontal and Vertical Omics Integration for Disease Subtype Discovery (2019) Statistics in Biosciences 12(1) DOI: 10.1007/s12561-019-09242-6.
Li D, Tian G, Wang J, Zhao LY, Co O, Underill ZC, Mymryk JS, Claessens F, Dehm SM, Daaka Y, Liao D. (2018) Inhibition of androgen receptor transactivation function by adenovirus type 12 E1A undermines prostate cancer cell survival. Prostate, 78(15):1140-1156. doi: 10.1002/pros.23689. | PubMed
Masannat J, Purayil HT, Zhang Y, Russin M, Mahmud I, Kim W, Liao D, Daaka Y (2018) βArrestin2 Mediates Renal Cell Carcinoma Tumor Growth. Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 20;8(1):4879. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23212-w. PMID: 29559707 | PubMed
Li Q., Wang J, Liao D, Ai J, Jin L, Gao, Q (2018). Degradation of DAXX by adenovirus type 12 E1B-55K circumvents chemoresistance of ovarian cancer to cisplatin. Virology 521, 118-128, doi:10.1016/j.virol.2018.05.026. | PubMed
Wang, Y, Stowe, RL, Pinello, CE, Tian, G, Madoux, F, Li, D., Zhao, LY, Li, JL, Wang, Y, Wang, YR, Ma, H, Hodder, P, Roush, WR, and Liao, D (2015). Identification of HDAC Inhibitors with Benzoylhydrazide scaffold that Selectively Inhibit Class I HDACs. Chem Biol, 22(2):273-84. | PubMed
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