Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine - Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program

CBMP Faculty

Yuan Liu, Ph.D.

Image - Yuan Liu
Title: Assistant Professor, Aging Institute
Department: UPMC Aging Institute and Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine
Email: liuy13@upmc.edu
PubMed: Link
Dept / Lab Webpage: https://profiles.dom.pitt.edu/paccm/faculty_info.aspx/Liu6596

CBMP groups: Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics, Membrane Traffic of Proteins and Lipids, Cell Communication, Signaling and Ion Channel Biology

Research Interests

The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is a complex, hierarchical, and regulated cellular system that dominates selective protein degradation to modulate the abundance and activity of proteins in the cell. The majority of proteins are controlled by the UPS through the ATP-dependent enzymatic cascade, including the ubiquitin activating enzyme (E1), the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme (E2), and the ubiquitin ligase (E3). Dr. Liu has a long-standing research interest in UPS, especially ubiquitin ligase E3s. Dr. Liu’s PhD and postdoctoral studies focused on the regulatory mechanisms of protein ubiquitylation and degradation. At Pitt, Dr. Liu’s research interest has recently expanded to ubiquitylation regulating mitochondrial function and autophagy in inflammation, neurodegeneration, etc. The mechanistic study of ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation also leads to small molecule therapeutics development targeting aging related diseases. The ongoing projects in Dr. Liu’s laboratory include: developing Fbxo7 inhibitor to protect neuron from mitochondrial damage induced cell death; developing AMPK activator to boost autophagy and treat metabolic diseases such as NAFLD. These small molecule compounds have been currently testing in several neurodegenerative disease models such as Huntington Disease, Parkinson Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Research professionals are welcomed to join Dr. Liu’s research team. Students, Postdocs and research scientists who are interested in the program should contact Dr. Liu at liuy13@upmc.edu with CV and three reference contacts.