Cindy M. Liu, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Chief Medical Officer of Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at the George Washington Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington D.C.
Dr. Liu is trained in molecular microbiology, microbial ecology, clinical pathology (laboratory medicine), and clinical epidemiology. It is her career mission to help medicine to shift infectious disease and public health practices based on our understanding of the human microbiome, and importantly, to move beyond empiric antibiotic use in order to combat antibiotic resistance.
To achieve her career mission, Dr. Liu works on several research projects that are funded through the NIH and other governmental agencies and foundations. Her research projects are highly multidisciplinary and involves team members and collaborators that range from molecular microbiologists, bioinformaticists, immunologists, clinicians, and epidemiologists to individuals working on communications and behavioral research as well.
Dr. Liu’s team uses innovative, multi-disciplinary methods to:
1. Evaluate the role of host-associated microbial communities on pathogen transmission and on host susceptibility to colonization and infection by pathogens ranging from HIV, Staphylococcus aureus, to extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC);
2. Determine the contribution of environmental reservoirs (particularly of food and food animals) to the colonization and infection by antibiotic-resistant pathogens in humans; and
3. Develop novel strategies (such as probiotics) for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
As the Chief Medical Officer of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington, a recent addition to Dr. Liu’s research foci is on outpatient antimicrobial stewardship. This project seeks to improve antimicrobial stewardship in retail healthcare sectors (e.g., urgent care, telemedicine, etc.) through a collaboration with industrial partners, the Urgent Care Association of America, and Dr. Rana Hamdy, the Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at Children's National Medical Center.