Research professor involved in COVID-19 project found shot to death in Pittsburgh

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WHTM) — The Department of Computational and Systems Technology at the Pitt School of Medicine announced, Bing Liu, 37, a research assistant professor, was found dead in his home on May 2.

According to the Post-Gazette, police believe a man shot Liu inside his home multiple times. That same man, who has yet to be identified, was found dead in a nearby car from an apparent self-inflicted wound. A potential motive isn’t yet clear, and the investigation is ongoing.

The University Times says Liu had been working on a project related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Computational and Systems Technology described Liu as an “outstanding researcher, who has earned the respect and appreciation of many colleagues in the field, and made unique contributions to science. His area of expertise was computational modeling and analysis of biological systems dynamics. He had developed high-performance computing techniques and advanced machine-learning approaches for modeling the time evolution of complex cellular interactions, Bayesian network models and methods, and statistical model checking and sensitivity analyses.”

“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,” according to the Department of Computational and Systems Technology.

The department says they will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence. He has worked at Pitt since 2014 and prior to that was a post-doctoral fellow in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University.

The University also issued a statement: “The University of Pittsburgh is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Bing Liu, a prolific researcher and admired colleague at Pitt. The University extends our deepest sympathies to Liu’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”

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