Zhihui Liu, Ph.D.

Zhihui Liu, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist

Team Member of:

Dr. Liu’s research interest is in the field of cancer biology, in particular to obtain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in neuroblastoma (NB) tumorigenesis and progression. His main focus is to investigate the transcriptional dysregulation that contribute to the malignancy of NB. Through high-throughput screening of dysregulated transcription factors and epigenetic regulators in NB, Dr. Liu aims to identify novel therapeutic targets that could benefit the NB patients.

Areas of Expertise

1) cancer biology, 2) pediatric cancer neuroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, 3) transcriptional regulation, 4) bioinformatics

Contact Info

Zhihui Liu, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10-CRC, Room 1W-5816
Bethesda, MD 20892-1105
Ph: 240-858-3857

Dr. Liu’s research interest is in the field of cancer biology, in particular, to obtain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the tumorigenesis of neuroblastoma (NB) and rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). His studies focus on the transcriptional dysregulation occur in these cancers. Dr. Liu identified that the zinc finger transcription factor CASZ1 plays an important role in inducing NB cell differentiation and suppressing NB growth. In addition to NB, Dr. Liu found that CASZ1 induces skeletal myogenesis and RMS differentiation through forming a feed-forward loop with MYOD and MYOG. Moreover, Dr. Liu is using cutting-edge techniques such as ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, Hi-C and single cell RNA-seq to screen dysregulated transcription factors and epigenetic regulators that contribute to NB tumorigenesis, which could help to develop novel therapies and benefit NB patients whose disease is unresponsive to current treatments.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Selected Publications

  1. 1. Liu Z, Zhang X, Lei H, Lam N, Yockey O, Xu M, Mendoza A, Hernandez E, Wei JS, Khan J, Yohe ME, Shern JF and Thiele CJ.
    Nat Commun. 11: 2020. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Veschi V, Liu Z, Voss TC, Ozbun L, Gryder B, Yan C, Hu Y, Ma A, Jin J, Mazur SJ, Lam N, Souza BK, Giannini G, Hager GL, Arrowsmith CH, Khan J, Appella E and Thiele CJ.
    Cancer Cell. 31: 50-63, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Liu Z, Lam N, Wang E, Virden RA, Pawel B, Attiyeh EF, Maris JM and Thiele CJ.
    Oncogene. 36: 97-108, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Liu Z, Li W, Ma X, Ding N, Spallotta F, Southon E, Tessarollo L, Gaetano C, Mukouyama YS and Thiele CJ.
    J Biol Chem. 289: 29801-16, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Liu Z, Yang X, Li Z, McMahon C, Sizer C, Barenboim-Stapleton L, Bliskovsky V, Mock B, Ried T, London WB, Maris J, Khan J, Thiele CJ .
    Cell Death Differ. 18: 1174-83, 2011. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Zhihui Liu received his B.S. in biochemistry from Nanjing University. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2004. After graduation Dr. Liu joined the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the NCI as a visiting fellow in Dr. Carol Thiele’s laboratory. He currently works with Dr. Thiele in the Pediatric Oncology Branch as an Associate Scientist.