Philip K. Liu
Neural cell targeting in vivo by synthetic nucleic acids with antisense sequence complimentary to mRNA and their use for gene activity detection have advanced our understanding for molecular mechanisms of stem cell therapy since the discovery of double-helical DNA in the 1950\'s. However, cerebral gene activity is rarely done except in biopsy and advanced brain tumor. His most important scholarship in his research career brings molecular biology into living brains: his colleagues under his guidance have developed state of the art in vivo gene transcript targeting Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI).
His research interest is to develop in vivo cell targeting by imaging specific gene transcript or protein in vivo using magnetic resonance image (MRI). Specifically, he planed to use gene targeted MRI to measure changes in deltaFosB and histone deacetylase 5 associated with chronic exposure to amphetamine in live mice. Because mRNA sequence is conserved from rodent to human, the technology can be translated to non-human primates prior to application in humans. His expertise, leadership and motivation was necessary to successfully carry out the proposed work which are outlined here. He has a broad background in gene targeting technology, with specific training and expertise in research areas. Working as a graduate student under Dr. CC Chang and Dr. JE Trosko, he received valuable exposure to the epigenetic theory of carcinogenesis. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, he intensified his training under Dr. LA Loeb, with whom he learned the mutator theory of cancer and aging. He carried out DNA polymerase purification and gene transfer for the mutator phenotype under a National Research Service Award, and later, a New Investigator Award from NCI. At the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH, he taught graduate students (Assistant Professor) and expanded his research as PI of an NSF research grant to include cell cloning of a mutant rodent cell line that under-produces DNA polymerase. He also imaged ongoing DNA repair and quantification of DNA polymerase in cell culture conditions. At the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, he worked as Technical Director of the DNA Diagnostic Laboratory. At Baylor College of Medicine, he established himself in neuroscience as PI on an Established Investigator grant funded by the American Heart Association. It was with this project that he laid the groundwork for gene transcript targeting technology, by developing effective antisense strategies in live rodents for gene knockdown, mRNA binding and cell targeting in the living brains of rats.