BBS Faculty Member - Judy Lieberman

Judy Lieberman

Department of Pediatrics
Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Childrens Hospital

Boston Children's Hospital
Warren Alpert Bldg., Rm. 255
200 Longwood Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-713-8600
Fax: 617 713-8620
Lab Members: 10 postdoctoral fellows, 1 graduate student
Visit my lab page here.

The Lieberman laboratory studies cytotoxic T lymphocytes and their role in antiviral and tumor immunity. They study the molecular pathways used by killer lymphocytes and their cytotoxic granule proteases, called granzymes, and pore-forming proteins, perforin and granulysin, to induce programmed cell death. They have defined a caspase-independent programmed cell death pathway activated by granzyme A. They found that the DNA-degrading enzyme activated by granzyme A plays a critical role in enabling HIV to evade innate immunity and in protecting us from autoimmune syndromes activated by immune recognition of DNA. Recent work has identified an unexpected role for granzymes in protection against bacteria and parasites.

The Lieberman laboratory has been in the forefront of developing RNAi-based therapeutics and using RNAi for genome-wide screening. They were the first to demonstrate that siRNAs could protect mice from disease. They developed methods to harness RNAi to inhibit herpes and HIV transmission in animal models and are developing strategies for cell-targeted RNAi to treat viral infection, immune disease and cancer. They also investigate the role of endogenous microRNAs in regulating viral infection and cancer.

Last Update: 8/6/2015


Yu F, Yao H, Zhu P, Zhang X, Pan Q, Gong C, Huang Y, Hu X, Su F, Lieberman J* and Song E*. let-7 regulates self-renewal and tumorigenicity of breast cancer cells. Cell 2007; 131:1109-1123.

Yan N, Regalado-Magdos, AD, Stiggelbout B, Lee-Kirsch MA and Lieberman J. The cytosolic exonuclease TREX1 inhibits the innate immune response to human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Nature Immunol 2010; 11:1005-1013.

Huang L, Jin J, Deighan P, Kiner E, McReynolds L and Lieberman J. Efficient and specific gene knockdown by small interfering RNAs produced in bacteria. Nature Biotech 2013; 31:350-356.

Petrocca F, Altschuler G, Tan SM, Mendillo ML, Yan H, Jerry DJ, Kung AL, Hide W, Ince TA and Lieberman J. A genome-wide siRNA screen identifies proteasome addiction as a vulnerability of basal-like triple-negative breast cancer cells. Cancer Cell 2013; 24:182-196.

Walch M, Dotiwala F, Mulik S, Thiery J, Kirchhausen T, Clayberger C, Krensky A, Martinvalet D and Lieberman J. Cytotoxic cells kill intracellular bacteria through granulysin-mediated delivery of granzymes. Cell; 2014 Jun 5;157(6):1309-23

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