Bing Liu, a computational systems biologist at the University of Pittsburgh who was studying the virus that causes COVID-19, was shot to death in his home on May 2. He was 37 years old.

Bing Liu
University of pittsburgh school of medicine

Police insist Liu’s death had nothing to do with his research on SARS-CoV-2, and instead involved a personal matter. Another man, Hao Gu, was found dead in his car near Liu’s home of an apparent suicide, according to news reports.

The Computational and Systems Biology Department at Pitt, where Liu was an assistant research professor, announced in a statement its mourning of Liu’s death. “Dr. Bing Liu was an outstanding researcher, who has earned the respect and appreciation of many colleagues in the field, and made unique contributions to science,” the statement reads. 

Liu earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the National University of...

Bahar tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Liu had been studying the infection mechanism of SARS-CoV-2. According to the department’s statement, “Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications. We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.”

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