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Yi-Shiuan Liu

Yi-Shiuan Liu

AppointmentAssistant Professor

LabStem Cell Physiology and Mechanobiology Lab



University of Virginia / USA

Tel:  +886-3-2118800 ext 5095


Research website

Research interests:

Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells of stromal origin and can be derived from a variety of different sources. MSCs are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into diverse specialized cell types. Under proper chemical or physical stimulation, MSCs can differentiate into functional hepatocyte-like, osteoblast-like, or neuron-like cells. Evidence shows that the therapeutic effects of MSC transplantation on damaged tissues is through paracrine factors. In addition, with immunomodulatory properties and low immunogenicity, multipotent MSCs provide a great potential in cell therapy and regenerative medicine.

Our research is focused on the regulation of growth and differentiation of MSCs, as well as the application of MSCs in cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The research themes are:

(1) The effects of biomechanical forces on directed differentiation of stem cells, and the mechanotransduction related to stem cell differentiation.

Recently, we identified Transient receptor potential melastatin 7 (TRPM7) as one of the mechanosensors expressed in MSCs in response to shear stress and a mediator for osteogenic differentiation. TRPM7 is known to be involved in many cellular processes including Mg2+ homeostasis, cell growth, adhesion and migration, as well as cancer progression. It is a calcium permeable nonselective cation channel fused with a magnesium-sensitive kinase domain and forms a complex with cytoskeleton. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of TRPM7 related to mechanotransduction in MSCs remain elusive. The regulatory mechanism of TRPM7 and related mechanosensors upon extracellular mechanical stimuli as well as the downstream epigenetic modification of MSCs are under investigation.

(2) Development of microfluidic biochips for cell culture and drug screening.

Microfluidic devices not only can provide better control over many system parameters, such as chemical and oxygen gradients, that are not easily fine-tuned in static cultures or in bioreactors, the devices also can provide the complex biomechanical microenvironment of living tissues to be recapitulated in vitro, such as fluid shear stress and cell patterning. Culturing stem cells in lineage-specific biomechanical microenvironments on microfluidic devices has been shown to be beneficial in promoting differentiation. I am currently developing microfluidic vessels-on-chips co-culture system to study the effects of MSCs on vascular calcification under fluid flow.

(3)    Characterization of mesenchymal stem cells and optimization of the protocols for future therapeutic applications.

In addition to the chemical and physical factors that modulate MSCs’ proliferation and differentiation, we are also establishing machine learning models to predict differentiation potential or immunomodulation property by MSCs’ phenotypes.

List of Publications (2010-present):

1.        Kuo SW, Rimando MG, Liu YS#, Lee OK#. (2017) Intermittent Administration of Parathyroid Hormone 1-34 Enhances Osteogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Regulating Protein Kinase Cδ. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 18: 2221. (# corresponding authors) (IF 3.2, CHEMISTRY, MULTIDISCIPLINARY 54/166)

2.        Tsao YT, Shih YY, Liu YA, Liu YS#, Lee OK#. (2017) SLC41A1 regulates the interaction of magnesium and mesenchymal stromal cells during osteogenic differentiation. Stem Cell Res. Ther. 8:39. (# corresponding authors) (IF 4.2, MEDICINE, RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL 23/128)

3.          Tsao YT, Huang YJ, Wu HH, Liu YA, Liu YS#, Lee OK#. (2017) Osteocalcin mediates biomineralization during osteogenic maturation in human mesenchymal stromal cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 18: 159. (# corresponding authors) (IF 3.2, CHEMISTRY, MULTIDISCIPLINARY 54/166)

4.        Rimando MG, Wu HH, Liu YA, Lee CW, Kuo SW, Lo YP, Tseng KF#, Liu YS#, Lee OK#.  (2016) Glucocorticoid receptor and Histone deacetylase 6 mediate the differential effect of dexamethasone during osteogenesis of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Sci. Rep. 6:37371. (# corresponding authors) (IF 4.3, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES 10/64)

5.        Yen MH, Wu YY, Liu YS, Rimando MG, Ho JH, Lee OK. (2016) Efficient generation of hepatic cells from mesenchymal stromal cells by an innovative bio-microfluidic cell culture device. Stem Cell Res. Ther. 7:120. (Featured Article. IF 4.2, MEDICINE, RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL 23/128)

6.        Chen YQ*, Liu YS*, Liu YA, Wu YC, Chiou A, Lee OK. (2016) Bio- chemical and physical characterizations of mesenchymal stromal cells along the time course of directed differentiation. Sci. Rep. 6:31547 (*equal contribution) (IF4.3, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES 10/64)

7.        Hsieh WT, Liu YS, Rimando MG, Lin KH, Lee OK. (2016) Matrix geometry and stiffness cooperatively regulate osteogenesis of mesenchymal stromal cells. Acta Biomaterialia. 32:210. (IF 6.3, ENGINEERING, BIOMEDICAL 3/77)

8.        Lo YP, Liu YS, Rimando MG, Ho JH, Lin KH, Lee OK. (2016) Three-dimensional spherical spatial boundary conditions differentially regulate osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells. Sci. Rep. 6:21253. (IF 4.3, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES 10/64)

9.        Liu YS, Liu YA, Huang CJ, Yen MH, Tseng CT, Chien S, Lee OK. (2015) Mechanosensitive TRPM7 mediates shear stress and modulates osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells through Osterix pathway. Sci. Rep. 5:16522. (IF 4.3, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES 10/64)

10.    Teng NY*, Liu YS*, Wu HH, Liu YA, Ho JH, Lee OK. (2015) Promotion of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition by Rac1 inhibition with small molecules accelerates hepatic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells. Tissue Eng. Part A. 21:1444. (*equal contribution) (IF 3.5, BIOTECHNOLOGY & APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY 43/160)

11.    Ha MA, Smith GJ, Cichocki JA, Fan L, Liu YS, Caceres AI, Jordt SE, Morris JB. (2015) Menthol attenuates respiratory irritation and elevates blood cotinine in cigarette smoke exposed mice. PloS One 10: e0117128. (IF 2.8, MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES 15/64)

12.    Liu YS and Lee OK. (2014) In search of the pivot point of mechanotransduction: Mechanosensing of stem cells. Cell Transplant. 23:1. (IF 3.0, MEDICINE, RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTAL 43/128)


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