The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Fenyong Liu was born and raised in Guangzhou, China during the Cultural Revolution. Early on in life he knew that he wanted to pursue science as his career, learning English during junior high school and having influential teachers while attending high school in Guangzhou. After passing the university entrance examinations, Liu matriculated at the prestigious University of Science and Technology of China. Initially he decided to pursue physics, but then transferred to the biology program after two years of study. Encouraged by his professors, Liu decided to attend graduate school in the United States at the University of Chicago, briefly spending time in the Medical School before transferring into the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program, where he worked with Richard Roller and Bernard Roizman. While his initial research focused on the biochemistry of viral DNA replication, Liu focused in the last years of his doctoral study on the genetics of the herpes virus capsid protein; his research resulted in a patent and created intense interest from the pharmaceutical industry. He followed up his graduate research with postdoctoral positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute and Yale University, where he worked with Sidney Altman on the inhibition of antiviral gene expression. Liu discusses his wife (also a scientist) and family as well as balancing family commitments and career, especially during the period when he became a principal investigator at University of California, Berkeley. His current research in molecular biology and virology has focused on cytomegalovirus infection; during the interview he describes his typical workday and both his laboratory management style as well as the multiple roles he plays as a principal investigator. The interview concludes with Liu's reflections on his various scientific mentors and on his wife's career trajectory and the difficulties of being a woman in science. Liu concludes his interview by reflecting on his various scientific mentors.
|1986||University of Science and Technology of China||BS||Biology|
|1989||University of Chicago||MS||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|1992||University of Chicago||PhD||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
University of California, Berkeley
University Fellowship, Chicago Medical School
University of Chicago Fellowship, University of Chicago
Parke-Davis Postdoctoral Fellowship of Life Sciences Research Foundation
Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Award, March of Dimes National Birth Defects Foundation
Liu Tianhong Foundation Memorial Visiting Professorship, College of Life Sciences, Hsing Hua University, Beijing, P.R. China
Regent's Junior Faculty Fellowship (University of California)
Hellman Family Faculty Award, University of California at Berkeley
|1998 to 2002||
Pew Scholar of Biomedical Sciences
Established Investigator Award, American Heart Association
Scholar of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America
Table of Contents
Family background. Early schooling during the Chinese Cultural Revolution Childhood interests and experiences. Decision to pursue science as a career. Entrance to high school in Guangzhou, China. Learning English in junior high school.
Brother. Influential high-school teacher. Attends the University of Science and Technology of China. University entrance examination in China. College experiences. Transfer from physics to biology courses. Influential college teachers. Admission to graduate school. Attends Chicago Medical School. Works for Kwang-Poo ChangMeets future wife. Transition to graduate school. Transfers into Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Influential professors. Meets and works for Bernard Roizman. Work with Richard Roller on the biochemistry of viral DNA replication. Graduate program at University of Chicago. Richard Roller's mentorship. Bernard Roizman's mentoring style. Doctoral research on the genetics of the herpes virus capsid protein. Wife's career. Decision to do a postdoctoral fellowship with Sidney Altman at Yale University.
Postdoctoral research in Sidney Altman's laboratory on inhibition of antiviral gene expression. Writing journal articles. More on Bernard Roizman's mentoring style. Reasons for becoming a principal investigator. Current research in the biology of viral infection. Altman's mentoring style. Balancing family and career. Accepts a position at University of California, Berkeley. Wife and daughter. Grant-writing process. Setting up laboratory.
Current research in molecular biology and virology on cytomegalovirus infection. Laboratory management style. Administrative duties. Typical workday. Role in the lab. Conducting scientific research. Future research plans. Practicalapplications of his research. Wife's career trajectory. Gender. Tenure at University of California, Berkeley. Scientific mentors.