Dr. Nannan Liu, ESA Fellow (2022)

Dr. Nannan Liu, professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, was elected ESA Fellow in 2022. She is nationally and internationally recognized for her research on insect molecular toxicology and insect physiology relating to the development of insecticide resistance in insects.

Liu was born in Beijing, China. She earned her B.S. in entomology from China Agricultural University in 1982. She received her Ph.D. degree in entomology from Cornell University in 1995, where her research, under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Scott, focused on the molecular genetics of insecticide resistance in house flies. After graduation, she was awarded an NIH postdoctoral fellowship to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in heme oxygenase gene regulation in rats at the University of Rochester's School of Medicine and Dentistry (1995-1996). As a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University (1996-1997), her emphasis shifted to the molecular regulation of P450 gene expression and regulation in insecticide resistance of house flies.

Liu joined the faculty of Auburn University in 1997 and is now a full professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. She served as the department chair of entomology and plant pathology at Auburn University from 2014 to 2020. Her research, which has benefitted from strong support from multiple highly competitive sources such as NIH and USDA, as well as diverse sources such as commodity organizations and state and university funding bodies, focuses on molecular toxicology/physiology relating to the development of insecticide resistance in insects, especially mosquitoes and house flies. Liu has published 115 peer-reviewed research articles (h-index 48), six book chapters, two genome database publications, and seven proceedings. Liu has served as the sole editor for the book Recent Advances in Insect Physiology, Toxicology, and Molecular Biology. Liu was honored to have been invited to contribute a review chapter entitled "Insecticide Resistance in Mosquitoes: Impact, Mechanisms, and Research Directions" in the Annual Review of Entomology. Published in 2015, this review has garnered 662 citations as of 2022. Her research accomplishments have been widely recognized, including most recently the ESA Southeastern Branch Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology (2022).

During the course of her career, Liu has served as major advisor for 23 graduate students (17 Ph.D. and six M.S. students) and supervised 15 postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists. Many are now successful researchers/professors in molecular biology, physiology, and toxicology. Liu has also served as the coach for Auburn University's Graduate Student Entomology Game since 2018. Her team was awarded first place in the SEB-ESA Entomology Games in both 2021 and 2022 and placed first in ESA's 2020 National Entomology Games Competition.

Liu has served ESA and SEB-ESA in several roles over the years, including as vice president and president of the Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section of ESA (2014-2016) and as program chair (2009) and co-chair of the Student Award Committee of SEB-ESA (2021 to present).

Liu married her college sweetheart, Dr. Lee Zhang, and they have a son, Anthony, and a daughter, Annie.