COVID-19 Researcher ‘On the verge of… significant findings’ Found Dead, Police Say Murder Not Related To Work

A man who authorities said was fatally shot Saturday at his Ross Township, Pennsylvania home was a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where he “was on the verge of making significant findings” in his research on the novel coronavirus, his department said.

“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,” the department said in a written statement. “We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence.”

The department added that “his loss will be felt throughout the entire scientific community.”

Police told Pittsburgh’s ABC-affiliate WTAE that they believe the professor, 37-year-old Dr. Bing Liu, was murdered inside his townhouse by Hao Gu, 46, who then went outside to his vehicle and committed suicide. Police say Liu’s death is believed to be a homicide.

Investigators said Wednesday that Liu and Gu knew each other and that the “suspected murder-suicide was a result of a lengthy dispute regarding an intimate partner.”

“We have found zero evidence that this tragic event has anything to do with employment at the University of Pittsburgh, any work being conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and the current health crisis affecting the United States and the world,” Ross Township Det. Brian Kolhepp told WTAE. He said their review has been sent to federal authorities.

In early April, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine announced that they had developed a potential vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine, which is transmitted through a small skin patch, would allow the user to build immunity to the novel coronavirus that is causing a global pandemic.

The Pittsburgh Coronavirus Vaccine is called PittCoVacc. It showed positive results when tested on mice and is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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