College of Science


Lab People

Liwu Li, Ph. D.  Principal Investigator

Dr. Li received his B.S. degree from China in 1986, a Ph.D from Univ. of Michigan in 1996, and did his post-doc training at Michigan till 1999.  He was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine from 1999 till 2005.  He has served as an associate editor of the Journal of Immunology, a panel member for various NIH study sections, and president for the Inflammation Research Association. Dr. Li is currently a Professor at Virginia Tech, and holds joint appointment at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and School of Biomedical Engineering.

Research Faculty

Shuo Geng, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor

Selected publication:

Toll-interacting protein differentially modulates HIF1α and STAT5-mediated genes in fibroblasts. 2018. J Biol Chem 293(31):12239


Low-grade inflammatory polarization of monocytes impairs wound healing. 2016 J Pathology. 238(4):571-83


The persistence of low-grade inflammatory monocytes contributes to aggravated atherosclerosis. 2016 Nature Communications. 7:13436.


Yao Zhang, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor

Selected publication:

Enhanced tumor immune surveillance through neutrophil reprogramming due to Tollip deficiency. Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight. 2019. 4(2):e122939.


Suppression of Neutrophil Antimicrobial Functions by Total Particulate Matter from Cigarette Smoke. 2018 Frontiers in Immunology. 9:2274.


Enhanced Mucosal Defense and Reduced Tumor Burden in Mice with the Compromised Negative Regulator IRAK-M. 2017 EBioMedicine. 15:36-47. 


Support Faculty, Graduate Students and Scholars
Feng Xu, B.S. Chemistry, Pekin University. Research Faculty Coordinator

Kisha Pradhan, Wilson College, Graduate Student

Selected publication:

TRAM-related pathway mediates the expression of adhesion/co-activating molecules on low-grade inflammatory monocytes induced by subclinical dose endotoxin. 2021 Journal of Immunology. 206(12):2980-8.



RuiCi Lin, National Yang-Ming University, Graduate Student

Selected publication:

TICAM2-related pathway mediates neutrophil exhaustion.2020 Scientific Reports. 10(1):14397.



Ziyue Yi, University of Minnesota, Graduate Student

Single-cell analysis of innate memory trajectory


Yajun Wu, Qingdao University School of Medicine, Graduate Student

Intervention of innate monocyte exhaustion


Caitlin Armstrong, Cornell University (Joint supervisor: Dr. Xin Luo), Graduate Student

Udipta Bohara, Hollins University (Joint supervisor: Dr. Biswarup Mukhopadhyay), Graduate Student
Ran Lu, Ph.D, Research Associate

Former Post-docs:

Steve Fasciano, PhD, Chair of Science, Lincoln College of New England

Kathleen Richter, PhD, NIEHS

Jianmin Su, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, VTC Medical School

Qifa Xie, PhD, University of Louisville Medical School

Urmila Maitra, PhD, University of Alabama

Keqiang Chen, PhD, Research Scientist, NIH


Former Graduate Students:

Allison Rahtes, PhD, Albany Medical College

Christina Lee, PhD, Stanford Medicine

Matt Morris, PhD, University of Rochester Medical School

Ruoxi Yuan, PhD, Hospital for Special Surgery/Cornell Medicine

Liz Kowalski, PhD, Virginia Tech

Bianca Baker, PhD, Dompe Pharmaceuticals

Chimera Lyle, PhD, Boston University Medical School

Trevor Glaros, PhD, Principal Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Samantha Chang, PhD, DVM, Practicing Veterinaian

Neeraj Singh, PhD, DVM, NIH

Lorna Ringwood, PhD, Wake Forest Medicine

Mike Surace, PhD, Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals

Lu Gan, PhD, NIH, Clinical Research Scientist

Tamisha Vaughan, PhD, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals


Former Undergradaute students:

Julia Button, UNC School of Medicine

Sean Dougherty, VCU School of Medicine/UVA Residency

Erin Huber, PhD student, John Hopkins School of Public Health

Ka-Po Leung, Pharmacy student, VCU School of Pharmacy

Phil Nguyen, Dental student, VCU School of Dentistry

Andrew Becker, Medical Student, VCOM

Lee Howell, Research Staff, Naval Research Center

Sarah Davis, PhD student, Univ of Tennessee

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