Aaron Liu 廖梓宏

  • Scholarship in 2019 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Aaron graduated from Brown University in 2012 with a BSc (Honors) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Following his graduation, he started his career on Wall Street as a buy side biotech analyst. In 2015 he was promoted to portfolio manager at JBT Capital where he delivered a 24.2% return (vs -0.7% in S&P 500). He subsequently transitioned to managing his family office with a focus in biotech, tech and special situations from 2016 and delivered a 45.5% CAGR over the following 5 years.

As a portfolio manager, Aaron noticed that while carbohydrates are responsible for a wide range of structural and signaling roles in biological systems, they are rarely found as motifs in modern therapeutics due to their susceptibility to first-pass metabolism. To overcome this challenge, carbohydrate mimetics are synthetically constructed, where functional groups are installed on the parent carbohydrate motif with the goal of improving in vivo stability against enzyme metabolism and enhancing selectivity for their cognate receptors. However, despite advancements in synthetic organic chemistry, the development of new chemical entities is still confined to a limited chemical space as selective glycosylation strategies are underdeveloped.

Aaron is currently pursuing a PhD degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the department of Chemistry. His research focuses on developing a general, selective and efficient radical C-H functionalization strategy to furnish carbohydrate mimetics.