Hua-Xin Liao, MD, PhD


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Professor of Medicine
Department / Division:
Medicine / Medicine - DHVI Faculty
2 Genome Court
Durham, NC 27710
Office Telephone:
(919) 684-5858
  • MD, Shandong Medical University (China), 1977
  • PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991
Research Interests:
Dr. Liao is a Professor of Medicine and Research Director of Duke Human Vaccine Institute. Dr. Liao is a MD virologistt rained in China. In early 1980’s, Dr. Liao made major contributions to the first isolation of epidemic hemorrhagic fever virus (hataanvirus) from Apodemus agraius using tissue culture in China. The successful identification and isolation of Hataanvirus enabled the early diagnosis and treatment of the disease, and advancement of HFRS research towards prevention by development of a killed vaccine that has been currently used in China. Dr. Liao received his PhD from the UNC-CH in biochemistry in 1991, and his postdoctoral training on HIV-1 molecular biology and pathogenesis of HIV-1 at Duke University between 1991-1994, and joined the faculty at Duke University in 1994. Dr. Liao is an expert in medical virology, molecular biology and HIV-1 vaccine development.

Current research in Liao Lab focuses in the areas of: 1) HIV-1 vaccine immunogen design and development for induction of broadly reactive antibody and T cell responses; 2) host immune responses to HIV-1 infection; 3) host cellular factors that modulate HIV-host interaction, and 4) development of vaccines and detections for viral hemorrhagic fever and other emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Liao and his colleagues has recently developed a strategy by combining the isolation of Ig VH and VL genes from sorted single cells by RT-PCR and novel linear Ig heavy- and light-chain gene expression cassettes for high throughput sequence analysis and functional testing of Ig VH and VL genes expressed as recombinant antibodies. This novel approach would greatly facilitate study of B cell response and repertoires in acute HIV-1 infection as well as in other disease setting and development of therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies.

Key words: HIV-1, AIDS, HIV-1 vaccine, neutralizing antibody and viral hemorrhagic fever.
Representative Publications:
  • Alam, SM; Liao, HX; Tomaras, GD; Bonsignori, M; Tsao, CY; Hwang, KK; Chen, H; Lloyd, KE; Bowman, C; Sutherland, L; Jeffries, TL; Kozink, DM; Stewart, S; Anasti, K; Jaeger, FH; Parks, R; Yates, NL; Overman, RG; Sinangil, F; Berman, PW; Pitisuttithum, P; Kaewkungwal, J; Nitayaphan, S; Karasavva, N; Rerks-Ngarm, S; Kim, JH; Michael, NL; Zolla-Pazner, S; Santra, S; Letvin, NL; Harrison, SC; Haynes, BF. Antigenicity and immunogenicity of RV144 vaccine AIDSVAX clade E envelope immunogen is enhanced by a gp120 N-terminal deletion. Journal of virology. 2013;87:1554-1568.  Abstract
  • Schmidt, AG; Xu, H; Khan, AR; O'Donnell, T; Khurana, S; King, LR; Manischewitz, J; Golding, H; Suphaphiphat, P; Carfi, A; Settembre, EC; Dormitzer, PR; Kepler, TB; Zhang, R; Moody, MA; Haynes, BF; Liao, HX; Shaw, DE; Harrison, SC. Preconfiguration of the antigen-binding site during affinity maturation of a broadly neutralizing influenza virus antibody. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 2013;110:264-269.  Abstract
  • Bar, KJ; Tsao, CY; Iyer, SS; Decker, JM; Yang, Y; Bonsignori, M; Chen, X; Hwang, KK; Montefiori, DC; Liao, HX; Hraber, P; Fischer, W; Li, H; Wang, S; Sterrett, S; Keele, BF; Ganusov, VV; Perelson, AS; Korber, BT; Georgiev, I; McLellan, JS; Pavlicek, JW; Gao, F; Haynes, BF; Hahn, BH; Kwong, PD; Shaw, GM. Early low-titer neutralizing antibodies impede HIV-1 replication and select for virus escape. PLoS pathogens. 2012;8:e1002721.  Abstract
  • Bonsignori, M; Alam, SM; Liao, HX; Verkoczy, L; Tomaras, GD; Haynes, BF; Moody, MA. HIV-1 antibodies from infection and vaccination: insights for guiding vaccine design. Trends in Microbiology. 2012;20:532-539.  Abstract
  • Bonsignori, M; Montefiori, DC; Wu, X; Chen, X; Hwang, KK; Tsao, CY; Kozink, DM; Parks, RJ; Tomaras, GD; Crump, JA; Kapiga, SH; Sam, NE; Kwong, PD; Kepler, TB; Liao, HX; Mascola, JR; Haynes, BF. Two distinct broadly neutralizing antibody specificities of different clonal lineages in a single HIV-1-infected donor: implications for vaccine design. Journal of virology. 2012;86:4688-4692.  Abstract
  • Bonsignori, M; Pollara, J; Moody, MA; Alpert, MD; Chen, X; Hwang, KK; Gilbert, PB; Huang, Y; Gurley, TC; Kozink, DM; Marshall, DJ; Whitesides, JF; Tsao, CY; Kaewkungwal, J; Nitayaphan, S; Pitisuttithum, P; Rerks-Ngarm, S; Kim, JH; Michael, NL; Tomaras, GD; Montefiori, DC; Lewis, GK; DeVico, A; Evans, DT; Ferrari, G; Liao, HX; Haynes, BF. Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity-mediating antibodies from an HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial target multiple epitopes and preferentially use the VH1 gene family. Journal of virology. 2012;86:11521-11532.  Abstract
  • Friedman, J; Alam, SM; Shen, X; Xia, SM; Stewart, S; Anasti, K; Pollara, J; Fouda, GG; Yang, G; Kelsoe, G; Ferrari, G; Tomaras, GD; Haynes, BF; Liao, HX; Moody, MA; Permar, SR. Isolation of HIV-1-neutralizing mucosal monoclonal antibodies from human colostrum. PloS one. 2012;7:e37648.  Abstract
  • Haynes, BF; Gilbert, PB; McElrath, MJ; Zolla-Pazner, S; Tomaras, GD; Alam, SM; Evans, DT; Montefiori, DC; Karnasuta, C; Sutthent, R; Liao, HX; DeVico, AL; Lewis, GK; Williams, C; Pinter, A; Fong, Y; Janes, H; DeCamp, A; Huang, Y; Rao, M; Billings, E; Karasavvas, N; Robb, ML; Ngauy, V; de Souza, MS; Paris, R; Ferrari, G; Bailer, RT; Soderberg, KA; Andrews, C; Berman, PW; Frahm, N; De Rosa, SC; Alpert, MD; Yates, NL; Shen, X; Koup, RA; Pitisuttithum, P; Kaewkungwal, J; Nitayaphan, S; Rerks-Ngarm, S; Michael, NL; Kim, JH. Immune-correlates analysis of an HIV-1 vaccine efficacy trial. The New England journal of medicine. 2012;366:1275-1286.  Abstract
  • Hwang, KK; Chen, X; Kozink, DM; Gustilo, M; Marshall, DJ; Whitesides, JF; Liao, HX; Catera, R; Chu, CC; Yan, XJ; Luftig, MA; Haynes, BF; Chiorazzi, N. Enhanced outgrowth of EBV-transformed chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells mediated by coculture with macrophage feeder cells. Blood. 2012;119:e35-e44.  Abstract
  • Liu, G; Huang, QQ; Lin, ZG; Huang, FF; Liao, HX; Peng, SL. High tolerance to salinity and herbivory stresses may explain the expansion of Ipomoea cairica to salt marshes. PloS one. 2012;7:e48829.  Abstract
  • Moody, MA; Yates, NL; Amos, JD; Drinker, MS; Eudailey, JA; Gurley, TC; Marshall, DJ; Whitesides, JF; Chen, X; Foulger, A; Yu, JS; Zhang, R; Meyerhoff, RR; Parks, R; Scull, JC; Wang, L; Vandergrift, NA; Pickeral, J; Pollara, J; Kelsoe, G; Alam, SM; Ferrari, G; Montefiori, DC; Voss, G; Liao, HX; Tomaras, GD; Haynes, BF. HIV-1 gp120 vaccine induces affinity maturation in both new and persistent antibody clonal lineages. Journal of virology. 2012;86:7496-7507.  Abstract
  • Alam, SM; Liao, HX; Dennison, SM; Jaeger, F; Parks, R; Anasti, K; Foulger, A; Donathan, M; Lucas, J; Verkoczy, L; Nicely, N; Tomaras, GD; Kelsoe, G; Chen, B; Kepler, TB; Haynes, BF. Differential reactivity of germ line allelic variants of a broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibody to a gp41 fusion intermediate conformation. Journal of virology. 2011;85:11725-11731.  Abstract
  • Bonsignori, M; Hwang, KK; Chen, X; Tsao, CY; Morris, L; Gray, E; Marshall, DJ; Crump, JA; Kapiga, SH; Sam, NE; Sinangil, F; Pancera, M; Yongping, Y; Zhang, B; Zhu, J; Kwong, PD; O'Dell, S; Mascola, JR; Wu, L; Nabel, GJ; Phogat, S; Seaman, MS; Whitesides, JF; Moody, MA; Kelsoe, G; Yang, X; Sodroski, J; Shaw, GM; Montefiori, DC; Kepler, TB; Tomaras, GD; Alam, SM; Liao, HX; Haynes, BF. Analysis of a clonal lineage of HIV-1 envelope V2/V3 conformational epitope-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies and their inferred unmutated common ancestors. Journal of virology. 2011;85:9998-10009.  Abstract
  • Dennison, SM; Anasti, K; Scearce, RM; Sutherland, L; Parks, R; Xia, SM; Liao, HX; Gorny, MK; Zolla-Pazner, S; Haynes, BF; Alam, SM. Nonneutralizing HIV-1 gp41 envelope cluster II human monoclonal antibodies show polyreactivity for binding to phospholipids and protein autoantigens. Journal of virology. 2011;85:1340-1347.  Abstract
  • Dennison, SM; Sutherland, LL; Jaeger, FH; Anasti, KM; Parks, R; Stewart, S; Bowman, C; Xia, SM; Zhang, R; Shen, X; Scearce, RM; Ofek, G; Yang, Y; Kwong, PD; Santra, S; Liao, HX; Tomaras, G; Letvin, NL; Chen, B; Alam, SM; Haynes, BF. Induction of antibodies in rhesus macaques that recognize a fusion-intermediate conformation of HIV-1 gp41. PloS one. 2011;6:e27824.  Abstract
  • Go, EP; Hewawasam, G; Liao, HX; Chen, H; Ping, LH; Anderson, JA; Hua, DC; Haynes, BF; Desaire, H. Characterization of glycosylation profiles of HIV-1 transmitted/founder envelopes by mass spectrometry. Journal of virology. 2011;85:8270-8284.  Abstract
  • Go, EP; Hewawasam, GS; Ma, BJ; Liao, HX; Haynes, BF; Desaire, H. Methods development for Analysis of Partially Deglycosylated Proteins and Application to an HIV Envelope Protein Vaccine Candidate. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 2011;305:209-216.  Abstract
  • Gray, ES; Moody, MA; Wibmer, CK; Chen, X; Marshall, D; Amos, J; Moore, PL; Foulger, A; Yu, JS; Lambson, B; Abdool Karim, S; Whitesides, J; Tomaras, GD; Haynes, BF; Morris, L; Liao, HX. Isolation of a monoclonal antibody that targets the alpha-2 helix of gp120 and represents the initial autologous neutralizing-antibody response in an HIV-1 subtype C-infected individual. Journal of virology. 2011;85:7719-7729.  Abstract
  • Haynes, BF; Moody, MA; Liao, HX; Verkoczy, L; Tomaras, GD. B cell responses to HIV-1 infection and vaccination: pathways to preventing infection. Trends in Molecular Medicine. 2011;17:108-116.  Abstract
  • Liao, HX; Chen, X; Munshaw, S; Zhang, R; Marshall, DJ; Vandergrift, N; Whitesides, JF; Lu, X; Yu, JS; Hwang, KK; Gao, F; Markowitz, M; Heath, SL; Bar, KJ; Goepfert, PA; Montefiori, DC; Shaw, GC; Alam, SM; Margolis, DM; Denny, TN; Boyd, SD; Marshal, E; Egholm, M; Simen, BB; Hanczaruk, B; Fire, AZ; Voss, G; Kelsoe, G; Tomaras, GD; Moody, MA; Kepler, TB; Haynes, BF. Initial antibodies binding to HIV-1 gp41 in acutely infected subjects are polyreactive and highly mutated. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 2011;208:2237-2249.  Abstract
  • Ma, BJ; Alam, SM; Go, EP; Lu, X; Desaire, H; Tomaras, GD; Bowman, C; Sutherland, LL; Scearce, RM; Santra, S; Letvin, NL; Kepler, TB; Liao, HX; Haynes, BF. Envelope deglycosylation enhances antigenicity of HIV-1 gp41 epitopes for both broad neutralizing antibodies and their unmutated ancestor antibodies. PLoS pathogens. 2011;7:e1002200.  Abstract
  • Moody, MA; Zhang, R; Walter, EB; Woods, CW; Ginsburg, GS; McClain, MT; Denny, TN; Chen, X; Munshaw, S; Marshall, DJ; Whitesides, JF; Drinker, MS; Amos, JD; Gurley, TC; Eudailey, JA; Foulger, A; DeRosa, KR; Parks, R; Meyerhoff, RR; Yu, JS; Kozink, DM; Barefoot, BE; Ramsburg, EA; Khurana, S; Golding, H; Vandergrift, NA; Alam, SM; Tomaras, GD; Kepler, TB; Kelsoe, G; Liao, HX; Haynes, BF. H3N2 influenza infection elicits more cross-reactive and less clonally expanded anti-hemagglutinin antibodies than influenza vaccination. PloS one. 2011;6:e25797.  Abstract
  • Morris, L; Chen, X; Alam, M; Tomaras, G; Zhang, R; Marshall, DJ; Chen, B; Parks, R; Foulger, A; Jaeger, F; Donathan, M; Bilska, M; Gray, ES; Abdool Karim, SS; Kepler, TB; Whitesides, J; Montefiori, D; Moody, MA; Liao, HX; Haynes, BF. Isolation of a human anti-HIV gp41 membrane proximal region neutralizing antibody by antigen-specific single B cell sorting. PloS one. 2011;6:e23532.  Abstract
  • Tang, H; Robinson, JE; Gnanakaran, S; Li, M; Rosenberg, ES; Perez, LG; Haynes, BF; Liao, HX; Labranche, CC; Korber, BT; Montefiori, DC. epitopes immediately below the base of the V3 loop of gp120 as targets for the initial autologous neutralizing antibody response in two HIV-1 subtype B-infected individuals. Journal of virology. 2011;85:9286-9299.  Abstract
  • Whittle, JR; Zhang, R; Khurana, S; King, LR; Manischewitz, J; Golding, H; Dormitzer, PR; Haynes, BF; Walter, EB; Moody, MA; Kepler, TB; Liao, HX; Harrison, SC. Broadly neutralizing human antibody that recognizes the receptor-binding pocket of influenza virus hemagglutinin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. 2011;108:14216-14221.  Abstract
  • Zhu, Z; Qin, HR; Chen, W; Zhao, Q; Shen, X; Schutte, R; Wang, Y; Ofek, G; Streaker, E; Prabakaran, P; Fouda, GG; Liao, HX; Owens, J; Louder, M; Yang, Y; Klaric, KA; Moody, MA; Mascola, JR; Scott, JK; Kwong, PD; Montefiori, D; Haynes, BF; Tomaras, GD; Dimitrov, DS. Cross-reactive HIV-1-neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies identified from a patient with 2F5-like antibodies. Journal of virology. 2011;85:11401-11408.  Abstract