Yuying Liang will serve as the first Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (VBS) Endowed Professor in Animal Health and Disease at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
This endowed professorship was established in June 2021 with funds from external sales and royalties from products developed in the laboratory of Fang Li and has a three-year term. Its purpose is to recognize researchers who explore cellular mechanisms to increase understanding of disease spread, diagnosis, and treatment while allowing them to continue to lead in their field.
“The endowment allows me to continue and expand my research of zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential and will support collaborative projects in developing novel antivirals and vaccines,” Liang says.
In her new role, Liang is a liaison to identify and build collaborations inside and outside the University. She extends the teaching, research, and outreach mission by inspiring and influencing basic scientists, clinicians, and relevant industry constituents.
During her endowment, Liang hopes to conduct meaningful research that generates additional funding opportunities and partnerships to support students, scientists, and researchers— advancing the University's research, outreach, and education mission.
The endowment provides partial salary support and a stipend to enhance Liang’s research and scholarship. Those endowment funds are the result of Li’s groundbreaking research on coronaviruses that led efforts to solve some of the mysteries of the COVID-19 virus—identifying how the virus infects cells while evading immunity and how the virus has been evolving in both humans and other animal species. His group has also been developing cutting-edge therapeutics against COVID-19 and other pandemic-level viruses.
Portions of royalties from products and licenses generated by Li’s work and recovered by the University helped to establish this endowment with additional funding from VBS.
VBS Department Chair Kent Reed is thrilled to contribute a share of department funds to the endowment that Li’s discoveries helped to establish to recognize other leaders in the field.
“Research success drives and inspires others,” Reed says. “When a scientist like Li makes big discoveries, that legacy can support other rising stars like Dr. Liang.”
Endowed professorships use returns on research investments to pay it forward. They expand the reach of notable researchers and elevate the research and discovery in an institution more broadly.
Often established to honor the legacy of a high-achieving faculty member, endowments inspire and acknowledge the hard work of other faculty members who are selected to receive the award. Endowed professorships enable academic institutions to recognize and retain distinguished faculty in academia.