Dr. Shuai Liu re-visited the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology with support of the StayConnected@HHU grant.

Dr. Shuai Liu is a lecturer at the Faculty of Life Science and Food Engineering at the Institute of Technology in Huaian, China and is currently researching the interaction of fungi and bacteria during co-cultivation. He had previously obtained his doctoral degree at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf which he re-visited now.

Dr. Shuai Liu, Photo: private

What motivated you to apply for the Researcher Alumni Programme and to come back to Düsseldorf?
There are two reasons why I came back to Düsseldorf. On the one hand I would like to continue and further intensify the collaboration with my colleagues at HHU. On the other hand I can progress with my own research and think about further research projects to be carried out. Heinrich Heine University is very open for international students and researchers. In addition, it is important to develop collaborations not only because of economic reasons, but also because of the different personal and cultural backgrounds. It is a big advantage to bring researchers from different backgrounds together.

What it the most rewarding about working and researching at HHU?
Particularly rewarding is the natural products database of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology. Microbial samples collected by colleagues worldwide have been analysed and the data is gathered in this great database. I can compare samples and search the data which leads to get great new results that take me further in research by avoiding to repeate experiments.

Could you please tell us a little bit more about your collaborative research project?
I am researching the interaction of fungi and bacteria during co-cultivation. Both organisms are producing metabolites in defense of each other. We do not know about the interaction deeply and therefore currently are “just” exploring the mechanisms. On the long run we are looking for new compounds such as antibiotics to use in medical treatment.

How exactly does your research project benefit from of Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology here at HHU and vice versa?
Prof. Proksch is a great group leader with strong scientific ability and good managerial skills. He invites many researchers from all over the world and engages them well in the lab. By working and discussing together we achive good research results and publish jointly.

Are there already plans for a future cooperation with Prof. Proksch and HHU? Are there any joint publications on the way?
Prof. Proksch is very experienced and I hope for a further collaboration even if he retires soon. We just submitted one manuscript for publication during this research stay.

What could we do to make the research cooperation with HHU even better? How could you keep in touch with HHU?
The Researcher Alumni Programme is really good and supports me very well. I would like to stay in contact with my colleagues from HHU. I hope Prof. Proksch has a good successor and I am looking forward to working with her/him in the future.


Interview by Uta Brunner in September 2018.

Dr. Shuai Liu

Academic Career

04/2017 - : Lecturer Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian China

10/2013 - 12/2016: PhD, CSC Programme, Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology, HHU Düsseldorf

Educational Background

09/2006 - 07/2013: Bachelor and Master, Hainan University, Haikou, China

07/2011 - 07/2013:  Master, Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Haikou, China

List of joint publications with Prof. Proksch:

Liu S, Dai H, Heering C, Janiak C, Lin WH, Liu Z, Proksch P (2017) Inducing new secondary metabolites through co-​cultivation of the fungus Pestalotiopsis sp. with the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Tetrahedron Letters 58: 257-261.
Liu S, Dai H, Konuklugil B, Orfali RS, Lin WH, Kalscheuer R, Liu Z, Proksch P (2016) Phenolic bisabolanes from the sponge-derived fungus Aspergillus sp. Phytochemistry Letters 18: 187-191.
Liu S, Dai H, Makhloufi G, Heering C, Janiak C, Hartmann R, Mandi A, Kurtan, T, Mueller WEG, Kassack MU, Lin WH, Liu Z, Proksch P (2016) Cytotoxic 14-​membered macrolides from a mangrove-​derived endophytic fungus, Pestalotiopsis microspora. J. Nat. Prod. 79: 2332-2340.
Liu S, Dai H-F, Orfali R, Lin WH, Liu Z, Proksch P (2016) New fusaric acid derivatives from the endophytic fungus Fusarium oxysporum and their phytotoxicity to barley leaves. J. Agric. Food Chem. 64: 3127-3132.

Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: Junior Scientist and International Researcher Center