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 treatment and research facility in Canada. The major goal of the 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. In addition, the lab leads projects in breast and cervical cancer.

Our Research

We focus on several aspects of translational molecular oncology, including the development of biomarkers for head and neck cancers, high-throughput screens to identify novel anti-cancer therapeutics, and stem cell regenerative therapy. Using DNA, RNA, and protein extracted from diagnostic human cancer samples, we are in the process of conducting multi-omic global expression analyses. Preliminary data are very promising, and in addition to identifying multi-dimensional predictive/prognostic signatures for improving cancer patient management, we are also studying their related pathways and biological functions in preclinical models of human cancers. Automated robotic screens are being used to identify corresponding novel anti-cancer compounds, and characterization of these potential new therapeutics is underway. We are also interested in understanding how adipose derived stem cells may aid in tissue regeneration after treatment with ionizing radiation. Finally, our lab is working to unravel the mechanisms and identify therapeutic strategies of radiation fibrosis and lymphedema; two important late normal tissue toxicities with significant functional morbidity.

Our Team