Yuru Liu

    Email Address: yuruliu@uic.edu
    College: Medicine Department: Pharmacology
    Title: Associate Professor
    Office: COMRB 4093 Phone: 312-996-1202
    Webpage: http://mcph.uic.edu/liu
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    The normal alveolar epithelium is composed of two types of cells: flat type I cells, which comprise 95% of the gas-exchange surface, and cuboidal type II cells that secrete pulmonary surfactant. Injury of alveoli activates programs in potent type II cells that result in proliferation and differentiation into type I cells leading to alveolar barrier repair. Thus, type II cells function as “facultative stem cells” that have a crucial role in repair of the alveolar surface. We use mouse models such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infection-induced lung injury to define sub-population of type II cells for the progenitor cell function. We also use genetic models to define the proteins responsible for transition of type II cells to type I cells required for recovery from lung injury. We are currently focusing on two areas: 1) The factors that regulate stem cell functions of type II cell. 2) The consequences of functionally disrupting activated type II cells in the mechanism of chronic lung diseases.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week:

    Qualifications of a Student:

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