Shujun Liu, PhD

Assistant Director for Research
Cancer Epigenetics & Experimental Therapeutics


Shujun Liu is a Professor and Leader of Cancer Epigenetics & Experimental Therapeutics research section at the Hormel Institute University of Minnesota. Dr. Liu received his undergraduate training in Biological Sciences from Chongqing Normal University and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Liu did his post-doctoral work at the Department of Radiology and Neurobiotechnology Center at the Ohio State University (OSU). Prior to joining OSU, Dr. Liu was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Liu’s research programs focus on a translational approach to investigate the causes and the roles of receptor tyrosine kinases and epigenetics (DNA, mRNA and non-histone protein methylation) in cancer pathogenesis and drug resistance under normal physiological or obese conditions. He has authored more than 100 publications.


Chongqing Normal University
Chongqing, China; Biology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing, China; Molecular Genetics
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing, China; Molecular Genetics
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio; Molecular Biology

Professional memberships

Sigma Xi full membership
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
The American Society of Hematology (ASH)
The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)

Research Interests

Molecular mechanisms of obesity-leukemia association
Crosstalk between tyrosine kinase signaling and DNA hypermethylation in cancer pathogenesis
Role of aberrant epigenetics, particularly N⁶-Methyladenosine, in drug resistance
Lysine methylation of non-histone proteins in leukemogenesis

Selected Publications

  • Dou L, Yan F, Pang J, Zheng D, Li D, Gao L, Wang L, Xu Y, Shi J, Wang Q, Zhou L, Shen N, Singh P, Wang L, Li Y, Gao Y, Liu T, Chen C, Al-Kali A, Litzow M, Chi Y, Bode A, Liu C, Huang H, Liu D, Marcucci G, Liu S,* Yu L. Protein Lysine 43 Methylation by EZH1 Promotes AML1-ETO Transcriptional Repression in Leukemia. Nature Communications. 2019 (accepted). (*Corresponding author and Lead contact).
  • Yan F, Al-Kali A, Zhang Z, Liu J, Pang J, Zhao N, He C, Litzow M, Liu S. A dynamic N6-methyladenosine methylome regulates intrinsic and acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Cell Research. 2018 Nov;28(11):1062-1076.
  • Hao J, Yan F, Zhang Y, Triplett A, Zhang Y, Schultz D, Sun Y, Zeng J, Silverstein K, Zheng Q, Bernlohr D, Cleary M, Egilmez N, Sauter E, Liu S*, Suttles J*, Li B*. Expression of adipocyte/macrophage fatty acid binding protein in tumor associated macrophages promotes breast cancer progression. Cancer Research. 2018 May 1;78(9):2343-2355. (*Corresponding Author)
  • Yan F, Shen N, Pang J, Zhao N, Zhang Y, Bode A, Al-Kali A, Litzow M, Li B, Liu S. A Vicious Loop of Fatty Acid-Binding Protein 4 and DNA Methyltransferase 1 Promotes Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Acts as a Therapeutic Target. Leukemia.  2017 Oct 10.
  • Yan F, Shen N, Pang J, Zhao N, Deng B, Li B, Yang Y, Yang P, Molina J, Liu S. A Regulatory Circuit Composed of DNA Methyltransferases and Receptor Tyrosine Kinases Controls Lung Cancer Cell Aggressiveness. Oncogene.  2017 Dec 14;36(50):6919-6928.
  • Shen N, Yan F, Pang J, Zhao N, Gangat N, Wu L, Bode A, Al-Kali A, Litzow M, Liu S. Inactivation of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases Reverts Aberrant DNA Methylation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Clinical Cancer Research. 2017 Oct 15;23(20):6254-6266. (Cover Article)
  • Yan F, Shen N, Pang J, Zhang Y, Rao E, Bode A, Al-Kali A, Zhang D, Litzow M, Li B, Liu S. Fatty Acid Binding Protein FABP4 Mechanistically Links Obesity with Aggressive AML by Enhancing Aberrant DNA Methylation in AML Cells. Leukemia.  2017 Jun;31(6):1434-1442.
  • Yan F, Pang J, Peng Y, Molina J, Yang P, Liu S. Elevated Cellular PD1/PD-L1 Expression Confers Acquired Resistance to Cisplatin in Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 9;11(9):e0162925. (Featured in PLOS journal and included in the PLOS Editor’s Picks Collection, Cancer Immunotherapy)
  • Gao X, Yan F, Lin J, Gao L, Lu X, Wei S, Shen N, Pang J, Ning Q, Komeno Y, Deng A, Xu Y, Shi J, Li Y, Zhang D, Nervi C, *Liu S, Yu L. AML1/ETO Cooperates with HIF1α to Promote Leukemogenesis through DNMT3a Transactivation. Leukemia.  2015 Aug;29(8):1730-40. (*Corresponding Author/Lead Contact)
  • Liu S. Epigenetics Advancing Personalized Nanomedicine in Cancer Therapy. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 2012 Oct;64(13):1532-43.
  • Mishra A, Liu S, Santhanam R, Deanna S, Jackie J, Yang X, Wu L, Chandler J, Wu, Y, Heerema N, Chan K, Perrotti D, Zhang J, Pierluigi P, Garzon R, Racke F, Hickey C, Lee R, Marcucci G, Caligiuri M. Aberrant Overexpression of IL-15 Initiates Large Granular Lymphocyte Leukemia through Chromosomal Instability and DNA Hypermethylation. Cancer Cell. 2012 Nov 13;22(5):645-55.
  • *Liu S, Wu L, Pang J, Santhanam R, Schwind S, Wu Y, Hickey C, Yu J, Becker H, Maharry K, Radmacher M, Li CL, Whitman S, Eiring A, Briesewitz R, Caligiuri M, Byrd J, Croce C, Bloomfield C, Perrotti D, Garzon R, *Marcucci G. Sp1/NFkB/HDAC/miR-29b Regulatory Network in KIT-driven Myeloid Leukemia. Cancer Cell. 2010 Apr 13;17(4):333-47. (*Corresponding Author)

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