Jianyun Liu, Ph.D.
950 W. Walnut Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: (317) 274-7590
Research Program Membership
Assistant Research Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
IU School of Medicine
My research interests are focused on how CD1d-mediated antigen presentation to NKT cells is impacted by immune evasion in cancer as well as in viral infections. After I obtained my Ph.D in Molecular Biology from Virginia Tech, I joined Dr. Randy Brutkiewicz\'s lab for my post-doc training in early 2007. In his lab, I started to study the signals in the cytoplasmic tail of human CD1d and how they regulate antigen presentation by human CD1d. I found that a phosphorylatable amino acid (Threonine) in the human CD1d tail is a major signal controlling transport to the cell surface and its function in activating NKT cells. I further discovered that neurofibromin 1 (NF1), a tumor suppressor gene, plays a role in regulation of the surface expression of CD1d and the activation of NKT cells. In the Brutkiewicz Lab, I have successfully developed protocols to culture human NKT cells from human blood. By collaborating with clinical doctors, I have found dysfunctional NKT cells from multiple myeloma patients blood samples. My future research will focus on understanding in more detail the mechanisms by which CD1d-mediated antigen presentation is regulated normally, and how CD1d+ myeloma tumor cells are impaired in their ability to present antigen to NKT cells. We also collaborate with Dr. Patrick Loehrer, the Director of IUSCC, in discovery of novel and innovative strategies for immunotherapy of thymoma.
Post-doctoral Fellowship - Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 2012
Ph.D. - Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 2006