U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Liver Diseases Virology Section

T. Jake Liang, M.D., Chief

Section Staff

Qisheng Li, M.D., Ph.D., Staff Scientist

Dr. Li received clinical training first as a medical student at the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, China, and then as a Physician in Hepatology at the university's affiliated Shanghai Changzheng Hospital. He received basic research training in molecular and cell biology and virology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2007. From 2006 to 2007, he was a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, conducting clinical research on HCV/HIV co-infection cohorts with Dr. David R. Gretch. Dr. Li was a Postdoctoral and then Research Fellow at the Liver Diseases Branch of NIDDK, NIH with Dr. T. Jake Liang from 2007 to 2013. He is now a Staff Scientist at the Liver Diseases and Virology Section, and his current research is focused on identifying novel host pathways and disease mechanisms by which HCV infects hepatocytes and causes progressive liver damage applying integrative functional genomics and systems biology approaches, and translating the findings to host-dependency drug discovery paradigm to optimize the treatment regimen of hepatitis C and associated chronic liver diseases.

Zongyi Hu, M.D., Ph.D., Staff Scientist

Dr. Zongyi Hu graduated from Hubei Medical College with MD in 1983 and Tongji Medical University with PhD in Pathology in 1989. He completed postdoctoral trainings in Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis in National Cancer Institute on mechanisms of liver regeneration and hepatocarcinogenesis from 1991-1996, and subsequently in Liver Diseases Branch of NIDDKon mechanisms of viral hepatitis from 1996-1999. His current research involves screening and development of novel antiviral molecules against hepatitis C virus and Ebola virus, mechanism of drug resistance to HCV, as well as differentiation and maturation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into hepatocyte lineage.

Zhensheng Zhang, M.D., Biologist

Dr. Zhensheng Zhang graduated from Fudan University in 1982 with a BA and Henan Medical School in 1989 with a MD/PhD in Virology. Dr. Zhang competed postdoctoral training at MGH/Harvard Medical School in the fields of gene regulation of gastrin and molecular biology of hepatitis B virus (HBV). Dr. Zhang's current research involves the molecular mechanism of HBV infections.

Jason Piotrowski, M.S., Lab Manager

Mr. Jason Piotrowski graduated from Boston University in 1991 with a BA. In 2000, He graduated from John Hopkins University with an MS in biotechnology. He worked at the National Institute on Aging and the National Cancer Institute before joining the LDB-NIDDK as the lab manager for the Branch.

Yuchen Xia, Ph.D., Visiting Fellow

Dr. Yuchen Xia earned a Bachelor‘s degree in biology technology from Wuhan University in 2005. He then received a Master‘s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Science in 2008. After winning a Helmholtz scholarship, he spent 5 years as a Ph.D student and 1 year as a posdoc fellow in the lab of Dr. Ulrike Protzer working on innate immune control of hepatitis B virus. In 2013, with highest honor, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the Technische Universität München in medical life science and technology. Part of his dissertation research regarding a novel molecular mechanism on interferon mediated viral clearance was published in the Science journal 2014, which was awarded later by Germany liver foundation as the best publication of the year. Dr. Xia’s current research at NIH focuses on understanding virus host interaction in hepatitis B virus interaction.

Fang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., Visiting Fellow

Dr. Fang Zhang graduated from Xinjiang Agricultural University in 2001 where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sanitary Technology. She then obtained a Masters degree in Microbiology and Immunology from Jinlin University in 2005. In 2010, Dr. Zhang obtained her Ph.D degree in Molecular Virology from China CDC. Dr. Zhang is doing her postdoctoral training in the Liver Diseases of Branch of NIDDK since 2012. Her current research focuses on the innate immunity response after HCV infection at single cell level and the function and mechanism of host factors in hepatitis C virus infection.

Xiaoming Cheng, Ph.D., Visiting Fellow

Dr. Cheng received her Ph.D. in medical life science and technology from Technical University of Munich in Germany, March 2015. Her doctoral study focused on HBV spreading in the liver as well as early innate immune sensing of HCV by non-parenchymal cells in the liver using ex vivo tissue perfusion model. She joined the Liver Diseases & Virology Section, LDB, NIDDK in 2015 and is currently studying HBV innate immune recognition and HBV/HCV co-infection in hepatocyte.

Audrey Boyer, Ph.D., Visiting Fellow

Dr. Audrey Boyer graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology (option biochemistry), with a Master’s degree in biology (option infectiology) and with a PhD in Virology at the University of Tours in France. Her current research involves how protein IKK-a is involved in the lipid metabolic disorder observed during HCV infection. She is also working on the role of TM6SF2 during HCV infection but also in the role of this protein on the lipid metabolism in hepatocytes.

Yao Zhao, M.D., Visiting Fellow

Seung Bum Park, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral IRTA

Dr. Seung Bum Park graduated from Yonsei University with a B.Sc in biotechnology in February 2005, University of California, Davis with a M.Sc in immunology in June 2006, and University of California, Merced with a Ph.D in immunology/virology in August 2015. His current research is to study differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells/embryonic stem cells into hepatocytes.

Adam Rolt, M.Chem., Ph.D., Student/OxCam-NIH Program

Adam Rolt graduated from the University of Liverpool with an undergraduate Masters degree in Chemistry with Honors (MChem). He is currently in his final year as a Wellcome Trust/NIH PhD scholar in Dr. Liang’s lab in the Liver Diseases Branch at NIDDK/NIH. His current research topics are interdisciplinary between the fields of chemistry and biology and include asymmetric organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry of anti-hepaitis C derivatives, as well as probe development, cell biology and target deconvolution experiments.

Brianna Lowey, B.A., Post-Baccalaureate IRTA

Brianna Lowey graduated from Haverford College in 2015 with a BA in Biology, where she focused on immunology and virology. Her current research in the Liver Disease Branch at NIDDK involves the interactions between host microRNAs and HCV infection.

Derek Le, B.S., Post-Baccalaureate IRTA

Mr. Derek Le graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a BS in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology in June 2015. His current research involves the characterization of novel antivirals for hepatitis C virus infection.