The author: Tjita Veny (徐溶佩) & Ru-Ting Yang (楊如婷)
Today we invite Dr. Je-Ruei Liu, professor of the Institute of Biotechnology (IOB) and vice dean of College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, to share his journey of research. With the fast-pace of modern lifestyle, dietary habits are characterized by erratic eating patterns . Malnutrition, unhealthy diet, smoking, stress and so on, are the presentations of unhealthy life lifestyle. Unwanted diseases and afflictions arise from such dietary habits. Obesity is on the rise and has become a chronic problem, along with aging, diabetes, as well as high blood pressure. Another issue in the modern lifestyle is the declining birth rate. More and more people choose to have pets. Yet the number of overweight and obese in our furry family members also is a growing concern. Professor Je-Ruei Liu has been engaged in research on obesity related topics for many years, hoping to apply natural products to delay aging, to reduce pet weight, and to promote healthier diets for our pets.
Dr. Liu’s laboratory has a well-defined focus on the probiotic supplements and food products as pet food additives and supplements. Probiotics are used to not only help digestion, but also serve as biologically active molecules affecting regulatory functions in the host to modulate healthier intestinal microbiome and to and maintain body weight. For example, probiotics can improve innate immune functions and fights viral diseases. Moreover, in recent years, the application of probiotics for metabolism-derived problems and the replacement of antibiotics have also become a new research trend. In the future, gene editing technology can be used to create multifunctional and efficient strains. Dr. Liu also mentioned that in the next ten to twenty years, the use of natural substances for solving the problem of modern society civilization disease will continue to develop. And he hopes that his research will someday benefit more people in the future.
Dr. Liu expects research results can eventually be commercialized, which will benefit more people. As the result, while he devoted himself to education, he often communicated with students hoping to reduce the "gap” between academics and application. He encourages students to study more diversified and applicable research topics because he believes that regardless of future career in academia or industry, many techniques are the same. Therefore, students should accumulate as much knowledges and technical skills as possible at school while closely follow the development of scientific fields. Lastly, an important life lesson that Dr. Liu wants to share with us is that there will be many unexpected events and drawbacks in life, but we need not to be frustrated because these experiences will push us to become more capable and eventually lead us to a better direction.