Ning-Ai Liu, MD, PhD

Physician, Endocrinology/Metabolism
Fax:(310) 423-0440

Academic Appointments

Associate Clinical Professor, Medicine

Awards and Activities

Novartis Young Investigator Award2003
NIH Clinical Scientist Development Award2003
Endocrine Society2001
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists2002
Pituitary Society2004

Research Focus

Using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a vertebrate animal model, applying molecular, genetic, and pharmacological studies to understand pituitary development and diseases. Because principal components of genetic programs in fish and human are highly conserved, the studies will provide important clues to uncover genetic mysteries of pituitary disease in humans.

Research Contributions

Using a live transgenic zebrafish model, findings on the ontogeny of corticotroph precursor cells provide novel mechanisms of molecular signal gradients required for morphogenesis of pituitary cell lineages.

Current investigations include:

Characterization of germline transgenic zebrafish at molecular, cellular and pharmacological levels to understand the development and function of pituitary gland. In vivo small molecule screen for potential new therapies for pituitary tumors.

Selected Publications

  1. Liu NA, Ren M, Song J, Ríos Y, Wawrowsky K, Ben-Shlomo A, Lin S, Melmed S: In vivo time-lapse imaging delineates the zebrafish pituitary proopiomelanocortin lineage boundary regulated by FGF3 signal. Dev. Biol., 319(2): 192-200, 2008
  2. Ben-Shlomo A, Pichurin O, Barshop NJ, Wawrowsky KA, Taylor J, Culler MD, Chesnokova V, Liu NA, Melmed S: Selective regulation of somatostatin receptor subtype signaling: evidence for constitutive receptor activation. Mol. Endocrinol., 21(10): 2565-78, 2007
  3. Song J, Kim HJ, Gong Z, Liu NA, Lin S: Vhnf1 acts downstream of Bmp, Fgf, and RA signals to regulate endocrine beta cell development in zebrafish. Dev. Biol., 303(2): 561-75, 2006
  4. Liu NA, Liu Q, Wawrowsky K, Yang Z, Lin S, Melmed S: Prolactin receptor signaling mediates the osmotic response of embryonic zebrafish lactotrophs. Mol. Endocrinol., 20(4): 871-80, 2005
  5. Liu NA, Huang H, Yang Z, Herzog W, Hammerschmidt M, Lin S, Melmed S: Pituitary corticotroph ontogeny and regulation in transgenic zebrafish. Mol. Endocrinol., 17(5): 959-66, 2003
  6. Long Q, Huang H, Shafizadeh E, Liu N, Lin S: Stimulation of erythropoiesis by inhibiting a new hematopoietic death receptor in transgenic zebrafish. Nat. Cell Biol., 2(8): 549-52, 2000
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