Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Infectious Diseases

Faculty Profiles

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photo Shihui Liu, MD, PhD

Infectious Diseases

Associate Professor of Medicine


Phone: 412-383-4419

Office: 100 Bridgeside Point I
Room 564
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-383-4419
Administrative Assistant:
Kathy Brickett
Address: 571.1 Bridgeside Point I
100 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-383-4416
Fax: 412-383-9055
Education and Training
M.D., Beijing Medical University, 1987
PhD, Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, 1993
M.S, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, 1990
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas
Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 2001
Research Interest
We are using the state-of-the-art multidisciplinary approaches to uncover the basic mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of bacterial protein toxins and engineer these toxins for cancer targeted therapy. We are also interested in uncovering the underlying mechanisms of tumorigenesis and aging and translating those findings into patients. Our current research covers four areas of scientific investigations: (1) Studying the pathogenesis of anthrax toxins and other bacterial protein toxins, developing therapeutics; (2) Using genome-wide genetic approaches to identify host genes required for the actions of bacterial protein toxins, thereby revealing the mechanisms of these toxins in pathogenies; (3) Investigating RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK signaling in cancer, creating and assessing of novel engineered protein toxins and other therapeutics in targeting this pathway in tumor microenvironment; (4) exploring the physiological roles of diphthamide modification on eukaryotic translation elongation factor-2 (eEF2) in life and aging.
Clinical Interest
Infectious diseases caused by bacterial pathogens.
Cancer targeted therapy
Educational Interest
I am interested in mentoring Ph.D. students in research projects.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Madsen DH, Jürgensen HJ, Siersbæk MS, Kuczek DE, Grey Cloud L, Liu S, Behrendt N, Grøntved L, Weigert R, Bugge TH. Tumor-Associated Macrophages Derived from Circulating Inflammatory Monocytes Degrade Collagen through Cellular Uptake. Cell Reports. 2017; 21(13): 3662-3671.
Liu, S., Liu, J., Ma, Q., Cao, L., Fattah, R.J., Yu Z, Bugge, T.H., Finkel, T., Leppla, S.H. Solid tumor therapy by selectively targeting stromal endothelial cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2016; 113(28): E4079-4087.
Liu, S., Moayeri, M., Leppla,S.H. Anthrax lethal toxin and edema toxin in anthrax pathogenesis. Trends Microbiol, 22, 317-325 (*Corresponding). Trends in Microbiology. 2014; 22(6): 317-25.
Liu, S., Zhang, Y., Moayeri, M., Liu, J., Crown, D., Fattah, R., Wein, A.N., Yu, Z.X., Finkel, T., Leppla, S.H. Key tissue targets responsible for anthrax toxin-induced lethality. Nature. 2013; 501(7465): 63-68.
Liu, S., Bachran, C., Gupta, P., Miller-Randolph, S., Wang, H., Crown, D., Zhang, Y., Wein, A. N., Singh, R., Fattah, R., Leppla, S. H. Diphthamide modification on eukaryotic elongation factor 2 is needed to assure fidelity of mRNA translation and mouse development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012; 109(34): 13817-22.
Liu, S., Miller-Randolph, S., Crown, D., Moayeri, M., Sastalla, I., Okugawa, S., Leppla, S. H. Anthrax toxin targeting of myeloid cells through the CMG2 receptor Is essential for establishment of Bacillus anthracis infections in mice. Cell Host & Microbe. 2010; 8(5): 455-462.
Liu, S., Crown, D., Miller-Randolph, S., Moayeri, M., Wang, H., Hu, H., Morley, T., Leppla, S.H. Capillary morphogenesis protein-2 is the major receptor mediating lethality of anthrax toxin in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2009; 106(30): 12424-12429.
Liu, S., Redeye, V., Kuremsky, J. G., Kuhnen, M.,, Molinolo, A., Bugge, T. H., Leppla, S. H. Intermolecular complementation achieves high-specificity tumor targeting by anthrax toxin. Nature Biotechnology. 23, 725-730. Nature Biotechnology. 2005; 23(6): 725-30.
Hobson, J. P., Liu, S., Rono, B., Leppla, S. H., Bugge, T. H. Imaging specific cell-surface proteolytic activity in single living cells. Nature Methods. 2006; 3(4): 259-261.
Liu, S., Leppla, S. H. Retroviral insertional mutagenesis identifies a small protein required for synthesis of diphthamide, the target of bacterial ADP-ribosylating toxins. Molecular Cell. 2003; 12(3): 603-13.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Defining cellular receptors for the Bacillus cereus hemolysin BL toxin (HBL) and the development of anti-HBL therapies
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Grant Number: R01 AI145879
Start Year: 2020
End Year: 2025
Title: Molecular mechanisms and novel biological-based therapies for anthrax lethal toxin-induced mortality
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Health
Grant Number: R56 AI148134
Start Year: 2020
End Year: 2025
Notable Achievements
Academic Editor, the Journal of Toxins, 2013
US Government Service Award, 2011
NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), 2001
First Place Award for Science and Technology Advancement issued by Ministry of Health, PRC, 1995