Daiqing Liao, Ph.D.

Daiqing Liao, Ph.D

Associate Professor

Office: CGRC 456
Email: dliao@ufl.edu
Phone: (352) 273-8188

Education and Training

Ph.D. – University of British Columbia, Canada (1993)
M.S. – Peking University, China (1986)
B.S. – Hunan University, China (1983)

Postdoctoral Training

Yale University School of Medicine (1994-1997)

Research Interests

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


Iqbal Mahmud, Guimei Tian, Jia Wang, Tarun E. Hutchinson, Brandon J. Kim, Nikee Awasthee, Seth Hale, Chengcheng Meng, Allison Moore, Liming Zhao, Jessica E. Lewis, Aaron Waddell, Shangtao Wu, Julia M. Steger, McKenzie L. Lydon, Aaron Chait, Lisa Y. Zhao, Haocheng Ding, Jian-Liang Li, Hamsa Thayele Purayil, Zhiguang Huo, Yehia Daaka, Timothy J. Garrett & Daiqing Liao (2023). DAXX drives de novo lipogenesis and contributes to tumorigenesis. Nat Commun 14, 1927. 10.1038/s41467-023-37501-0.

Waddell, A., Mahmud, I., Ding, H., Huo, Z., and Liao, D. (2021). Pharmacological Inhibition of CBP/p300 Blocks Estrogen Receptor Alpha (ERalpha) Function through Suppressing Enhancer H3K27 Acetylation in Luminal Breast Cancer. Cancers (Basel) 13, 2799. 10.3390/cancers13112799. | PubMed PMID: 34199844

Waddell, A.R., Huang, H., and Liao, D. (2021). CBP/p300: Critical Co-Activators for Nuclear Steroid Hormone Receptors and Emerging Therapeutic Targets in Prostate and Breast Cancers. Cancers (Basel) 13, 2872. 10.3390/cancers13122872. | PubMed PMID: 34201346

Liao D. Apoptosis, necroptosis, and pyroptosis in health and disease: an overview of molecular mechanisms, targets for therapeutic development, and known small molecule and biologic modulators. In: Liao D, editor. Mechanisms of Cell Death and Opportunities for Therapeutic Development [Internet] Boston: Academic Press, Elsevier Inc.; 2022. Chapter 1; p.1-46. 296p.

Liao D. Ferroptosis: lipids, iron, cellular defense mechanisms and opportunities for drug development. In: Liao D, editor. Mechanisms of Cell Death and Opportunities for Therapeutic Development [Internet] 1st ed. Boston: Academic Press, Elsevier Inc.; 2022. Chapter 8; p.261-277. 296p.

Chung MC, Liao D, Guan J. Protein phase separation in cell death and survival. In: Liao D, editor. Mechanisms of Cell Death and Opportunities for Therapeutic Development [Internet] Boston: Academic Press, Elsevier Inc.; 2022. Chapter 6; p.175-195. 296p.

Liao D, editor. Mechanisms of Cell Death and Opportunities for Therapeutic Development 1st ed. Boston: Academic Press, Elsevier Inc.; 2021. 296p.

Xiao Y, Wang J, Zhao LY, Chen X, Zheng G, Zhang X, Liao D. Discovery of histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3)-specific PROTACsChem Commun (Camb). 2020 Aug 25;56(68):9866-9869. doi: 10.1039/d0cc03243c. |  PubMed PMID: 32840532.

Waddell AR, Liao D. Assays for Validating Histone Acetyltransferase InhibitorsJ Vis Exp. 2020 Aug 6;(162). doi: 10.3791/61289.  | PubMed PMID: 32831305.

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

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