Da Zhi Liu, Ph.D., UC DavisDa Zhi Liu, Ph.D.

Associate Adjunct Professor

Med Neuroscience Building
1515 Newton Court, Rm 510D
Davis, CA 95618
(530) 754-5004


Research Interests

Dr. Liu’s research leverages the technologies and knowledge currently used in cancer research, such as oncogene inhibition (e.g. Src) or tumor suppressor elevation (e.g. miR-122), to develop new approaches for treatment of neurological diseases, including ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, and vascular cognitive impairment. Liu and colleagues developed the novel concept of “aberrant cell cycle diseases” that reveals the two different types of diseases − neurological diseases and cancers − are sharing the same mechanism: aberrant cell cycle re-entry. This is because aberrant cell cycle re-entry is related not only to tumor growth in cancers, but also to neuronal death in neurological diseases. This concept provides theoretical framework for Liu’s current research using cancer elements to study neurological diseases, and paves the way to explore neural regulation in cancers.


Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, China
PhD., Neuro-Pharmacology, 2005

Post-Graduate Education

University of California, Davis,
Davis, California
Post doc, Neuroscience, 2006-2010

Professional Memberships

Society for Neuroscience

American Heart Association

Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

Recent Publications

Liu DZ, Ander BP. Cell Cycle Inhibition without Disruption of Neurogenesis is a Strategy for Treatment of Aberrant Cell Cycle Diseases: an Update.ScientificWorldJournal. 2012; 2012:491737. PMID: 22547985. Review.

Liu DZ,, Ander BP, Tian Y, Stamova B, Jickling G, Davis RR, Sharp FR. Integrated analysis of mRNA and microRNA expression in mature neurons, neural progenitor cells and neuroblastoma cells. Gene, 2012; 495:120-127. PMID: 22244746

Liu DZ. Mutations in Tumor Suppressor Genes: Links between Cancers and Autism Spectrum Disorders? Journal of Cytology & Histology. 2013; 5:e109. Editorial

Liu DZ. Aberrant cell cycle re-entry: Links between Cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. JSM Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia. 2014; 1(2):1006. Editorial

Stamova B, Jickling GC, Ander BP, Zhan X, Liu D, Turner R, Ho C, Khoury JC, Bushnell C, Pancioli A, Jauch EC, Broderick JP, Sharp FR. Gene expression in peripheral immune cells following cardioembolic stroke is sexually dimorphic. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 18;9(7):e102550. PMID: 25036109

Jickling GC, Ander BP, Zhan X, Noblett D, Stamova B, Liu D. microRNA Expression in Peripheral Blood Cells following Acute Ischemic Stroke and Their Predicted GeneTargets. PLos One. 2014 Jun 9;9(6):e99283. PMID: 24911610

Zhan X, Jickling GC, Ander BP, Liu D, Stamova B, Cox C, Jin LW, DeCarli C, Sharp FR. Myelin injury and degraded myelin vesicles in Alzheimer's disease. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2014 Mar;11(3):232-8. PMID: 24484278

Liu DZ, Sharp FR, Van KC, Ander BP, Ghiasvand R, Stamova B, Zhan X, Jickling GC, Lyeth BG. Inhibition of Src Family Kinases Protects Hippocampal Neurons and Improves Cognitive Function after Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2014 Jul 15;31(14):1268-76. PMID: 24428562

Liu DZ, Jickling GC, Ander BP, Hull H, Zhan X, Cox C, Shroff N, Dykstra-Aiello C, Stamova B, Sharp FR. Elevating microRNA-122 in blood improves outcomes after temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2016;36(8):1374-83. PMID:26661204