Zhenhua Liu

Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor
Campus Address: 
209 Chenoweth

B.S., Hunan Agricultural University, Hunan, P.R.C.; M.S., China Agricultural University, Beijing, P.R.C.; M.S., Auburn University; Ph.D., Auburn University; Postdoctoral, Tufts-New England Medical Center and Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Nutrition, Epigenetics, Obesity, Inflammation, Cancer

Research Description: 

Diet and lifestyle are modifiable factors which play prominent roles in public health. My laboratory investigates how those factors and their metabolically-related gene variants interact to mediate the development of chronic diseases. Particularly, my research centralizes on the nutritional modulation of the Wnt-signaling pathway as it tightly relates to many chronic diseases including cancer and obesity-associated medical complications. Currently, my laboratory focuses on Nutritional Epigenetics and Obesity-associated Inflammation in the context of the regulation of Wnt pathway and the prevention of cancer. We utilize cell culture and animals, biochemical & molecular techniques, as well as functional genomics and systems biology approaches to understand the etiology of human chronic diseases. The ultimate goal of my laboratory is to integrate our biological findings with dietary and lifestyle strategies to diminish the burden of chronic diseases in our society.

Key Publications: 

Liu Z, Tammen SA, Friso S and Choi SW. 2013. Crosstalk between microRNAs and Epigenetics: From the Nutritional Perspective. In microRNAs in Toxicology and Medicine (ed Sahu SC), 319-340. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. New York, NY.

Liu, Z., Brooks, R. S., Ciappio, E. D., Bennett, G., Crott, J. W., Mason, J. B. TNF-α induced alterations in the Wnt signaling cascade: a potential mechanism for obesity-associated colorectal tumorigenesis. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 23: 1207-13.

Protiva, P., Mason, J. B.,  Liu, Z., Hopkins, M. E., Nelson, C., Marshall, J. R., Lambrecht, R. W., Pendyala, S., Kopelovich, L., Kim, M., Kleinstein, S. H., Laird, P. W., Lipkin, M., Holt, P. R. 2011. Altered Folate Availability Modifies the Molecular Environment of the Human Colorectum: Implications for Colorectal Carcinogenesis. Cancer Prevention Research. 4:530-43. PMID:21321062

Liu, Z., Ciappio, E. D., Crott, J. W., Brook, R. S., Mason, J. B. 2011. Mild inadequacy in multiple one-carbon vitamins elevates Wnt-signaling and promotes intestinal tumorigenesis in the BAT-LacZ×Apc1638N mouse model. FASEB Journal. 25:3136-3145. PMCID: PMC3157689

Flood, A., Mason, J. B., Liu, Z., Cash, B. D., Schatzkin, A., Schoenfeld, P. S., Cross, A. J. 2011. Concentration of folate in colorectal tissue biopsies predicts prevalence of adenomatous polyps. Gut, 60:66-72. PMID: 21068136.

Liu, Z., Choi, S. W., Crott, J. W., Keyes, M. K., Jang, H., Smith, D. E., Kim, M. Laird, P. W., Bronson, R., Mason, J. B. 2007. Mild depletion of dietary folate combined with other B-vitamins alters multiple components of the Wnt pathway in the mouse colon. Journal of Nutrition, 137: 2701-2708.

Zhenhua Liu Curriculum Vitae