HOUSTON (October 31, 2011)

UTHealth and The Mischer Neuroscience Institute Strengthen Stem Cell Therapy Program with the Addition of an Internationally Recognized Stem Cell Expert

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, announced the appointment of Ying Liu MD, PhD as Assistant Professor with The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth and Research Scientist at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann.

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, announced the appointment of Ying Liu MD, PhD as Assistant Professor with The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth and Research Scientist at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann.

Liu joins the stem cell therapy group at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute where she will focus on using stem cells from patients' own tissue to model central nervous system development and diseases. Her focus will be to find practical solutions for patients who suffer immobility due to injury to the spinal cord from disease or trauma. Liu studied medicine at Peking University Health Science Center in China where she specialized in the molecular diagnosis of leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Receiving her doctorate in Neurobiology and Anatomy from the University of Utah, Liu also researched Oncological Sciences as a doctoral candidate. Subsequently, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the U.S. National Institute on Aging and National Institutes of Health. Liu most recently held positions both as an assistant project scientist at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and professional scientific collaborator at the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Dr. Jeanne Loring's lab at the Scripp's Research Institute. She is a recognized member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research since 2004 and the Society for Neuroscience since 2002. She is currently an associate editor for the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cell Studies (PAGEPress).

"We are thrilled to have Dr. Liu come on board as a valuable researcher in our neurological studies," said Qi-Lin Cao, MD, associate professor with The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth and lead investigator for studies in adult stem cell modification. "Research shows that the modification of adult stem cells, transplanted into an injured spinal cord can help restore the electrical pathways associated with movement. Her expertise and unique interests and skills will add strength to the ongoing advancements in adult stem cell therapy and bring a new dynamic to our team."

Chief of Neurosurgery for Memorial Herman-Texas Medical Center, Dong Kim, MD also noted, "Gifted researchers like Dr. Liu are the sort of additions UTHealth and the Mischer Neuroscience Institute can expect to continue to gain as we maintain and expand our position as the premier neuroscience center in Texas." Kim, who is also director of the Mischer Neuroscience Institute and professor and chair for The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth added, "Our breakthroughs in neuroscience have allowed us to recruit internationally recognized professionals in their field such as my colleague Dr. Ying Liu."

Liu is new to Texas and recently settled near the Houston Galleria area.