The Liu Laboratory is a leader in head and neck cancer translational medicine at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/Ontario Cancer Institute, the largest oncology research and treatment facility in Canada.
The major goal of the Liu Lab is to innovate discoveries, which will benefit cancer patients.
Our research is conducted with the highest standards of scientific rigour and integrity, in a collaborative manner, guided by mutual respect, courtesy, and consideration.
The Liu lab is focused on several different aspects of translational molecular oncology, ranging from high-throughput screens to identify novel anti-cancer therapeutics, to developing predictive gene sets for human breast and head & neck cancers, to cancer stem cell investigations. Using robotic high-throughput screens, we have identified novel anti-cancer activities of existing antimicrobials. We are now pursuing the identification of novel radiosensitizers to enhance the anti-cancer properties of ionizing radiation. Using diagnostic human cancer samples, and extracting RNA, we are in the process of conducting global expression analysis of micro-RNA, a novel genetic species, which appears to be a powerful modulator of gene and protein expression in biological systems. Preliminary data are very promising, and in addition to identifying predictive signatures for improving cancer patient management, we are also studying their biological function in preclinical models of human cancers. Finally, we are also interested in understanding how hematopoietic stem cells traffic in response to ionizing radiation, in order to better understand how local radiation therapy contributes to secondary acute myeloid leukemia, a fatal iatrogenic complication in cancer patients.