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Zhiwei Liu, Former Tenure-Track Investigator in IIB, Departs DCEG

, by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

Zhiwei Liu, Ph.D.

Zhiwei Liu, Ph.D., former tenure-track investigator in the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch (IIB), began a new position in mid-January at Merck Pharmaceuticals. Prior to his appointment as a tenure-track investigator, Dr. Liu completed a postdoctoral fellowship in IIB through the DCEG Fellowship Training Program. During his time in DCEG, Dr. Liu investigated the role of infection and immune response in the etiology of virus-related cancers—primarily Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC), and hepatitis B virus and hepatocellular cancer.  

Last year, Dr. Liu and colleagues published the first-ever comparison of two approaches for EBV screening for early detection of NPC. Their findings provided important confirmation of the performance of each and outlined the need to assess the cost-effectiveness.  

His investigation of liver and biliary tract cancers in a large registry-based database in the United Kingdom showed for the first time the association of statin use with reduced risk of biliary tract cancers. He also demonstrated that aspirin use is associated with better survival following a diagnosis of biliary tract cancers. 

Dr. Liu received several awards to support his research, including the DCEG Fellowship Achievement Award, NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, and the NCI Director's Innovation PI Award.