Dr. Li Wu, professor in the Department of Veterinary Biosciences, has been elected as a 2017 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is a prestigious honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. New Fellows will be welcomed in an induction ceremony at the AAAS annual meeting in Austin, TX in February 2018.
Members receive the honor of Fellow in recognition of their scientific or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society. The tradition of electing AAAS Fellows began in 1874.
Dr. Wu’s recognition is based upon his creative and impactful research, effective mentorship and nationally and internationally recognized service. He has made distinguished contributions to the field of molecular virology, particularly for the mechanisms of HIV replication and the virus interactions with host cells, which include:
- Identification of novel host proteins regulating HIV-1 infection in immune cells. The novel findings of the Wu lab helped define the role of five new cellular interacting partners of SAMHD1 in restricting HIV-1 replication.
- Discovery of a new mechanism of HIV-1 RNA modification and gene regulation in cells. This paradigm-shifting discovery of the mechanism regulating HIV replication through viral RNA-methylation may lead to effective drugs that target this novel pathway to fight a variety of viral diseases.
- Clarification of the mechanism by which the host protein SAMHD1 restricts HIV-1 in cells. Dr. Wu’s findings provided conclusive evidence that the reduction of intracellular dNTPs (DNA-building blocks) by SAMHD1 is the primary mechanism of HIV-1 restriction in immune cells.
Dr. Wu earned his PhD in Molecular Virology from the Shanghai Medical College (formerly Shanghai Medical University), Fudan University, China, in 2000, completed his postdoctoral training in the HIV Drug Resistance Program (renamed HIV Dynamics and Replication Program in 2015) at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, in 2005, and joined The Ohio State University in 2009.
Other AAAS Fellows in the College of Veterinary Medicine include Professors Lawrence Mathes (emeritus), Patrick Green, Yasuko Rikihisa and Michael Oglesbee, all faculty members in the Department of Veterinary Biosciences.