MedImmune names new head of research

World-renowned immunologist, Dr. Yong-Jun Liu, to take top research spot at Maryland-based biotech

MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, announced today that Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D. has been named the company’s new head of research, effective Jan. 6, 2014. Dr. Liu currently serves as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at the Baylor Research Institute and Director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research. 

In this role, Dr. Liu will be responsible for driving pre-clinical research in multiple therapeutic areas to help advance drug candidates from discovery to development.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Liu to MedImmune as our new head of research,” said Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, MedImmune. “Scientific leadership is our top priority. We are committed to hiring established leaders who will drive our research engine and progress our efforts to deliver valuable medicines to patients.”

Dr. Liu has extensive translational research experience and is one of the most prolific researchers in immunology globally, with more than 230 published articles in top journals such as Nature, Science, Cell and the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

“Leading MedImmune’s research program is a tremendous opportunity for me to be part of cutting-edge drug discovery. MedImmune stands out as a leader in biologics with its culture of innovation and commitment to addressing unmet medical needs, and I am looking forward to assuming my new role in January,” Dr. Liu said.

Dr. Liu is a graduate of the Norman Bethune University School of Medicine in China and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Previously he was the head of cancer immunology research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center where he built the nation’s leading immunology department as judged by top publications and grants.



About MedImmune
MedImmune is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines.  MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines.  The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers.  For more information, please visit   

Tracy Rossin, MedImmune
(301) 398-1468