A researcher who was reportedly nearing some “very significant findings” in his work on the coronavirus was found killed at his Pittsburgh-area home, a local TV station reported.
Bing Liu, 37, was fatally shot in his head, neck and torso over the weekend in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, in what police are calling a murder-suicide, according to CBS Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA.
A second man, who police say knew Mr. Liu but did not identify, was found nearby in his car with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Ross Township detectives do not believe there is a suspect loose, KDKA reported.
Mr. Liu was a research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, his department told KDKA on Monday.
“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. We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence,” the department said on its website.
It wasn’t immediately clear what projects Mr. Liu was working on.
But researchers with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine published a paper last month in the Lancet-published EBioMedicine, that a potential coronavirus vaccine has proven effective in mice.
Researchers said they want to start human trials on the potential vaccine — dubbed “PittCoVacc” — as soon as the federal government gives its approval.