Yingying Liu Awarded Postdoc Award
Dr. Yingying Liu has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Postdoc Award. Dr. Liu's impressive scholarly production included publishing 6 papers with Dr. Min Wu including her first author paper published in Science Advances in 2022 (Impact Factor: 14). She has two additional publications coming soon.
This award is accompanied by a $1,000 travel award and a commemorative plaque that will be presented at a special seminar (TBA).
"The battle between bacteria and bacteriophages (phages) has garnered great interest since the discovery and therapeutic application of CRISPR-Cas systems, the first described bacterial adaptive immunity. Currently, a group of TIR-containing (Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain) proteins, such as SARM1 in humans and the thoeris system in bacteria, were characterized to generate the NAD+ -derived messenger to activate the immune effectors to induce to cell death via NAD+ depletion. Tetratricopeptide repeats (TPR) are also regarded as a domain involved in mediating immune changes, such as TPR incorporation into apoptosis signal-regulating kinases (ASK) and into CRISPR-guided caspase for potential viral immunity. Recent genomic analyses identified a range of TPR-containing assemblies, in which quite a few TPR domains were consistently neighbored by a TIR domain suggesting coordination guiding NAD+ -related signal transduction and likely regulation of the antiviral responses.
Our data unveiled that the BcTir/Tpr system armed the E. coli bacterium (BL21) with ability to cope with phage infection involving NAD+ metabolism. Interestingly, BcTpr, other than BcTir, utilized NAD+ and generated the cADPR isomer as a converted messenger. In addition, the BcTir/Tpr system plays a multifunctional role to repress viral replication and remove excessive ROS production resulting from phage infection, thus minimizing oxidation-associated damage by upregulating enzymatic scavengers. The BcTir/Tpr system exhibited pleotropic functions to fortify bacterial host defense against invaders. This ancestral immunity elements provide more insights to understanding the eukaryotic counterparts, especially the design of anti-viral molecules, to activate the host immunity when viral infection occurred."
Experience at UND
"The most impressive image to me of UND is that the working staff make me feel warm inside even though the winter outside is cold. They always come up with 1000 solutions for one question, which gave me very helpful support on my research and life."
Dr. Liu's career goal is to dive deeper to demonstrate the ancestral immune mechanisms of prokaryotes in order to give more guidance and insight into the study of eukaryotic immunity, especially developing the mediating molecules to enhance their immune responses against viral infection and diseases.