Karenliu:Lab Members

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The Liu Lab Department of Craniofacial Biology Kings College London
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Principal Investigator

Dr. Karen J. Liu


2007-present King's College London, Department of Craniofacial Development: Lecturer
2003-2006 Stanford University Medical School: Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Mike Longaker and Dr. Jerry Crabtree
1997-2003 University of California, Berkeley: PhD with Dr. Richard Harland
1995-1997 Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons: Technician with Dr. Argiris Efstratiadis
1992-1995 Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Architects (formerly I.M.Pei & Partners)
1988-1992 Columbia College, Columbia University: BA, English/Architecture

Link to Nature "Authors" profile


Two fully funded (BBSRC & Wellcome Trust) postdoctoral positions are currently available in the lab. Informal inquiries may be made to Dr. Karen Liu.

Project 1: BBSRC-Selective Chemical Intervention in Biological Systems

Title: Using chemical tools to study Wnt signalling in neural development

Summary: We are adapting a novel drug-dependent conditional system to the study of Wnt signalling. This project has two goals, first, to provide additional chemical tools for the study of Wnts and second, to use these tools to define the subcellular and temporal requirements of Wnts during patterning of the neurectoderm. We are developing tools in which activation of target proteins will be regulated temporally and spatially using small molecules specifically designed to have minimal off-target effects.

Project 2: Wellcome Trust

Title: Signal transduction by GSK-3beta in craniofacial development

Summary: Congenital malformations of the craniofacial skeleton are among the most frequent developmental anomalies affecting live births. Common defects can include cleft palate and premature or delayed fusion of cranial sutures (craniosynostosis and cleidocranial dysplasia, respectively). GSK-3β, a kinase implicated in a number of important signaling pathways, is required for proper development of the craniofacial skeleton, including the palate and skull vault. We will use genetic analysis and novel protein regulation techniques to study the roles of GSK-3β in skull formation. Understanding this requirement will shed light on signalling events involved in craniofacial development and thus illuminate the mechanistic causes of these birth defects.

Related Projects

Postdocs interested in working in the lab are welcome to discuss potential projects and fellowship applications. Informal inquiries may be made at any time to Dr. Karen Liu.


Triona Bolger (arriving Fall 2007)