Naikui Liu, MD, PhD, is an associate research professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and a member of the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Group in Stark Neurosciences Research at Indiana University School of Medicine. He first joined IU School of Medicine faculty in 2007.
Dr. Liu has received extensive training in both medical and basic sciences, holding an MD and a PhD, and he completed a postdoctoral training. Dr Liu has more than 35 years of experience in medical research and has been working in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) for more than 20 years and in traumatic brain injury (TBI) for over 15 years. His research has appeared in more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Annals of Neurology, Experimental Neurology, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Nature, Journal of Neurotrauma, Glia, Journal of Neuroscience Research, PLoS ONE, Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, Brain Research and Cell Death and Disease.
An editorial comment by Dr. Linda Noble, former president of the Neurotrauma Society, in the journal Annals of Neurology (2006) described one of the studies by Liu and his colleagues concerning phospholipase A2(PLA2) as a novel target for therapeutic intervention of spinal cord injury.
Dr. Liu's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying SCI and TBI, as well as neuroprotection and recovery of function following injuries to the central nervous system (CNS). The goal is to develop a novel repair strategy to improve anatomical reorganization and functional recovery after traumatic CNS injuries. Dr. Liu’s lab is currently working on four projects: exploring the critical roles and mechanisms of alterations in mitochondrial lipids in mediating secondary injury after SCI; investigating the role of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 in the pathogenesis of SCI and TBI; studying the role of glucose oxidation in the pathogenesis of SCI; and determining the nNOS-PSD95 protein complex as a novel therapeutic target for traumatic brain injury.