College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Liang Tang, PhD

Associate Professor
Primary office:
8041 Haworth Hall
Room 8041


Research: Structure and dynamics of large molecular assemblies by X-ray crystallography and electron cryomicroscopy.

Teaching Interests

  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Virology


Many biological processes are carried out by complex, multi-component macromolecular assemblies. The assembly and dynamics of these molecular machines has been central to structural and cell biology, and has imposed tremendous challenges owing to their unusual complexity. The research in this lab combines the powers of X-ray crystallography and electron cryo-microscopy to understand the structure, function, and dynamics of large molecular assemblies from a variety of viruses and pathogenic bacteria. These microbial pathogens cause diseases ranging from pneumonia, meningitis and shigellosis to mucocutaneous lesions, encephalitis and several forms of cancer. We aim to understand lifecycles of these pathogeic microorganisms at atomic or near atomic detail in order to find novel, more efficient and more economic ways for prevention, treatment and cure. Currently, the lab is focused on the DNA-packaging nano-machines in dsDNA bacterial viruses and herpesviruses, and the type III secretion systems in Gram-gegative pathogenic bacteria.

Research Interests

  • Structural biology
  • Protein crystallography
  • Electron cryo-microscopy
  • Biochemistry
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Structure, assembly, and dynamics of molecular complexes in viruses and bacteria.

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