Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide autologous materials for patients, which theoretically omit the need for immune suppression. We have optimized the more clinically relevant, integration-free hiPSC generation protocol and performed directed differentiation of patient-specific iPSCs into neural stem cells, neuronal and glial progenitors, as well as mature cell types for disease modeling, transplantation studies, neural regeneration and repair, and drug screening and testing. The highly efficient CRISPR gene editing tool adapted in the lab allows for quick creation of neural lineage reporters and multigene activation for lineage induction. These neural lineage specific cells are applied to in-depth study of signal transduction in disease and development. Our research projects include (1) generation of clinically relevant iPSCs for therapeutics uses; (2) identification of optimal neural lineage progenitors for cell-based therapy in spinal cord injury; (3) Down syndrome disease modeling using patient derived iPSCs and neural populations; and (4) molecular changes in gene expression regulatory networks in glioblastoma.
Dr. Ying Liu is an Associate Professor of Center for Translational Science at the Florida International University (FIU). Dr. Liu is a fellowship-trained investigator. She earned her medical degree at Peking University Health Science Center in China. She received her Ph.D. in neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah, where she investigated the development of glia and glial precursors. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in gene targeting in human embryonic stem cells at the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.
Before joining FIU, Dr. Liu was an Associate Professor at the McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She also worked as an assistant project scientist at the University of California, San Diego, with a concomitant appointment as a professional scientific collaborator at the Scripps Research Institute. She has held clinical and research positions at the Peking University First Hospital in China and was senior scientist for primary and stem cell systems at Invitrogen, a division of Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Dr. Liu’s research has been presented and published widely. She has co-authored articles that have appeared in Nature Communications, Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids, Cell Stem Cell, Stem Cells, Nature Protocols, Nature Genetics, among other journals. Her long-term goal as an investigator is to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of neural differentiation with the aim of translating this knowledge into novel therapeutic strategies for neural repair and protection.
- Xue H, Wu S, Papadeas ST, Spusta S, Swistowska AM, MacArthur CC, Mattson MP, Maragakis NJ, Capecchi MR, Rao MS, Zeng X, Liu, Y. (2009) A targeted neuroglial reporter line generated by homologous recombination in human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells. 27(8):1836-46. PMID:19544414 PMCID: PMC2741170
- MacArthur CC, Xue H, Van Hoof D, Lieu PT, Dudas M, Fontes A, Swistowski A, Touboul T, Seerke R, Laurent LC, Loring JF, German MS, Zeng X, Rao MS, Lakshmipathy U, Chesnut JD, Liu Y. (2012) Chromatin insulator elements block transgene silencing in engineered human embryonic stem cell lines at a defined chromosome 13 locus. Stem Cells Dev. 21(2):191-205. PMCID: PMC3258440
- Li S, Xue H, Wu J, Rao MS, Kim DH, Deng W, Liu Y. (2015) Human induced pluripotent stem cell NEUROG2 dual knockin reporter lines generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 System. Stem Cells Dev. 24(24):2925-42. PMID:26414932 PMCID:PMC4683556
- Li S, Zhang A, Xue H, Li D, Liu Y. (2017) One-step piggyBac transposon-based CRISPR/Cas9 activation of multiple genes. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 8:64-76. PMID: 28918057 PMCID:PMC5485764
- Liu Y*, Zheng Y, Li S, Xue H, Schmitt K, Hergenroeder GW, Wu J, Zhang Y, Kim DH, Cao Q*. (2017) Human neural progenitors derived from integration-free iPSCs for SCI therapy. Stem Cell Res. 19:55-64. (*corresponding authors) PMID:28073086 PMCID:PMC5629634
- Xu R, Brawner AT, Li S, Liu J, Kim H, Xue H, Pang ZP, Kim W, Hart RP, Liu Y, Jiang P. (2019) Reversing abnormal neural development by inhibiting OLIG2 in Down syndrome human iPSC brain organoids and neuronal mouse chimeras. Cell Stem Cell. 2019 Jun 6;24(6):908-926.e8. PMID:31130512
- Li D, Li S, Xue AZ, Smith Callahan LA, Liu Y. Expression of SREBP2 and cholesterol metabolism related genes in TCGA glioma cohorts. Medicine. 2020 Mar;99(12):e18815. PMID: 32195924; PMCID: PMC7220679.
- Xiong F, Wang R, Lee JH, Li S, Chen SF, Liao Z, Hasani LA, Nguyen PT, Zhu X, Krakowiak J, Lee DF, Han L, Tsai KL, Liu Y, Li W. RNA m6A modification orchestrates a LINE-1-host interaction that facilitates retrotransposition and contributes to long gene vulnerability. Cell Res. 2021 Aug;31(8):861-885. PMID: 34108665; PMCID: PMC8324889.