Bo Liang, PhD

Bo Liang, PhD

I am broadly interested in the structural basis and physiological function of biologically important complexes in space and time. I am particularly interested in human disease associated ribonucleoprotein complexes, and membrane protein complexes. My research interests focus on hybrid approaches of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), X-ray crystallography and fluorescence light microscopy to uncover the mechanisms of macromolecular machineries. I am also interested in sampling and deciphering the structural and dynamic aspects of molecules that are critical for their biological function in real time at single molecule level.

Click here to read Dr. Liang's faculty profile.

Samantha Rice

My name is Samantha Rice, I am from Tuscaloosa AL where I spent most of my life. After high school, I attended Auburn University where I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Laboratory and Medical Technology in 2012. Immediately after graduating college, I began working at Southern Research in Birmingham AL as a laboratory manager for a HIV laboratory. There I focused on maintaining the lab’s day to day functions while working on vaccinia virus related experiments studying the membrane fusion and viral entry of HIV-1 into human T-cells. Specifically our work studied a CCR5 delta 32 base pair deletion mutation found in a small population of Europeans which rendered them resistant to HIV-1 viral entry. The height of these studies revolved around trying to express and purify the coreceptor CCR5 so that we could analyze its crystal structure and compare this structure to the CCR5 crystal structure of patients with the CCR5 delta 32 mutation.

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Dongdong Cao, PhD

Dongdong Cao received a B.A. in Biotechnology in 2011 and a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2017 from University of Science and Technology of China. During his time at USTC, he mainly focused on exploring the structure and function of enzymes and immune related proteins by X-ray crystallography.

In June 2017, Dongdong joined Liang laboratory as a research scholar, where his research continued to focus on the structure and function of the RNA synthesis machinery of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) using X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM.

Yunrong Gao, PhD

Yunrong received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from the Huazhong Agricultural University in 2008. He completed his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Bi lijun and Prof. Zhang xian’en at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academic of Sciences. His Ph.D. thesis focused on the new mechanism of PAS (Para-Aminosalicylic Acid) resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and structural analysis of the regulatory mechanism of MarR family proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Yunrong joined in the Liang’s group in June of 2017, in his current project, he will apply cyo-EM or X-ray crystallography to study the function of some important proteins in HRSV.

Hyunjun Max Ahn

My name is Hyunjun Max Ahn, a freshman majoring in chemistry at Emory University. Although I am originally from Korea, I attended and graduated from high school in Georgia. In high school, I was very involved in tutoring activities – I mainly tutored math, chemistry, reading and ESOL. In fact, I was the president of the tutoring program in my high school and a manager of the math tutoring program in Ocee public library. In addition, I was also very involved in fundraising organizations – I was Historian and Vice President of Make A Wish Foundation in my high school. I seek to continue my tutoring career in Emory through Project Shine – a project dedicated to mentor elementary students. 

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Anna Antonova

My name is Anna Antonova and I am from Fair Lawn, New Jersey. I graduated from Fair Lawn High School and am now studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University. Throughout high school, I volunteered in The Valley Hospital’s pharmacy department. There, I prepared intra-pharmacy non-hazardous medication and was responsible for restocking drugs and other supplies. In the summer of my sophomore year, I was the assistant recreation manager at Alaris Health Nursing Home. I was in charge of organizing activities and interactive games, like Karaoke Night, Bingo, and board games that helped patients with their mental well-being. 

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Amber Bell

My name is Amber Bell and I am a sophomore undergraduate here at Emory University double majoring in Biology and Mathematics. I am from a small town named Cleveland in Southeast TN. I attended Walker Valley High School where I was the Student Body President, Science Olympiad team member, and Anchor Club service member. Graduating from high school, I was a Rotary Youth Leader, a Tennessee Scholar, a Questbridge National College Match finalist, an Air Liquide America Foundation scholar, and a member of the Georgetown Scholarship Program.

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Paul D'Cunha

My name is Paul D’Cunha and I am a Junior at Emory University. I am from Lubbock, Texas but I have lived in several places ranging from Montana to New York. I am currently majoring in Chemistry (B.S.) and Mathematics (B.A.). Previously, I worked in an inorganic chemistry lab here at Emory under the mentorship of Dr. Hill in the department of chemistry studying new synthetic methods for adding Zirconium to polyoxometalates. 

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Mason Domke

Mason Domke

My name is Mason Domke, and I am currently a freshman at Emory University looking to possibly double major in Biology and Creative Writing. I am from a small town named Cosby in East Tennessee. In high school, I was Class Vice President during my freshman year and class president every following year. The biggest portion of my time, however, was spent volunteering through Key Club, a nationwide service organization that emphasizes student involvement in volunteering and a multitude of humanitarian endeavors. Outside of academics, I was my school’s track and field team captain. 

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Ju Mi Ha

Ju Mi Ha

Ju Mi is a sophomore majoring in Biology and Japanese at Emory University. She began research in high school doing DNA analysis of grass shrimp in local river to create phylogenetic relationships of the species as a part of High School Research Program of Brookhaven National Lab. Throughout high school, Ju Mi has also worked on collecting samples of the local water in Long Island to observe activities of phytoplanktons that may cause harmful algal blooms. She joined the lab in spring of 2017.

Shaylan Hill

My name is Shaylan Hill, I grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, and I am a freshman here at Emory University. I attended Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth, FL where I was a student in the school’s medical academy. In this academy, I took several medical laboratory classes and became a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), and Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT). I plan to double major in Biology and Spanish on the pre-health track at Emory with plans to study abroad as well.

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Morayo K. Olateru-Olagbegi

My name is Morayo Olagbegi, and my family is originally from Gabon and Nigeria, but I have spent most of my life in Georgia. I am currently a senior in high school, attending the Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology. Depending on where I decide to attend college, I plan on majoring in International Development Studies, International Relations, Public Health, Global Health, or Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

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Priyal Parikh

Priyal Parikh is from Montgomery, New Jersey and is in her last semester at Emory College of Arts and Sciences. She is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Biology and has completed a minor in Economics. Priyal hopes to attend medical school, and currently has an interest in emergency medicine and neurology after serving as an Emergency Medical Technician for the last five years. In addition to working in the Liang Lab, Priyal is involved in multiple service organizations on campus, and has interacted with many members of the Atlanta community as a result. 

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Claire Roesler

Claire Roesler is from Western Springs, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where she graduated from Lyons Township High School in the top one percent of her class and was awarded with the senior orchestra award. Claire hopes to attend medical school and go into emergency medicine. Claire is a sophomore at Emory College of Arts and Sciences. She is on the pre-medical track and double majoring in chemistry and music. In addition to working in the Liang Lab, Claire tutors chemistry and mathematics at the local high school and is an active member of Phi Delta Epsilon. Her other involvements include being the assistant principle violinist in the Emory Symphony Orchestra and performing in a chamber quartet.

Sarah Romanelli

My name is Sarah Romanelli and I'm a freshman at Emory University studying biology on a pre-med track. I'm from Oceanside, New York and I'm a proud student from Oceanside High School! During my time in high school, I was heavily involved in science research and a proud member of my high school's college research program. I interned for the past two years at Columbia University's Center for Cancer Genetics, where I studied the effect of hyperactive NT5C2 genes on relapsed leukemia and nucleoside analogue resistance. For my research, I was awarded "Best In Fair" at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF) as well as second place in translational medicine at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

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Lisa Zhuang

Hi, my name is Lisa Zhuang, a student lab assistant for the Liang Laboratory. I hail from college town Columbia, MO, where I graduated with highest honors from Rock Bridge High School. Currently, I attend Emory College of Arts and Sciences (class of 2021,) where I plan to major in neuroscience. In high school, I participated in a multitude of service projects independently and through community service clubs. I volunteered at the local food bank weekly for two years, an assisted living home for a year and a half, and helped set up and run the local Alzheimer’s Walk for four years. I worked as both vice president and treasurer for HOSA for four years, planning service projects including cancer research fundraisers and blood drives. I was also president of Environmental Coalition, where I enacted plans to make the school more sustainable. 

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Training Opportunities

We are always interested in hearing from highly motivated, enthusiastic, and creative students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians to join our research group.

Graduate Students

Students interested in pursuing Ph.D. studies within our laboratory should apply to the graduate programs in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology (BCDB) or Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG).

The overview of all graduate programs is available at the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences website. All Ph.D. applicants should apply to the BCDB or MMG program directly through the department’s application system.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Individuals with prior experience in structural biology, biochemistry, virology, molecular biology, cell biology, RNA biology are strongly encouraged to send in a CV, cover letter and the contact details of three referees.


Individuals with strong oral and written communication skills are required, and with prior experience in electron microscopy, biochemistry, and virology are preferred to apply. Please send in a CV, interest statement and the contact of two referees.

All inquiries and applications should address to:

Bo Liang, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry
1510 Clifton Road NE, Room 4113
Rollins Research Center
Atlanta, GA 30322