Research Faculty


Suling Liu, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor

Lab website:

Campus address:


Research Interests

Education and Training

1997 B.S., Biology, University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui, China
2003 Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
2003-2006 Research Fellow, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI

Honors & Awards

2001 Professional Development Fund Travel Award, Council of Graduate Students of The OHio State University
2002-2003 Coca Cola Critical Difference for Women Dissertation Grant
1999-2003 Graduate Research Associate Scholarship from The Ohio State University
2005-2008 Research Fellowship, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

AACR-Merck Scholar-in-Training Award

2010 AACR-Susan G. Komen Scholar-in-Training Award

Selected Publications (2008-present)

Liu S, Ginestier C, Charafe-Jauffret E, Foco H, Kleer CG, Merajver SD, Dontu G, Wicha MS. BRCA1 regulates human mammary stem/progenitor cell fate. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2008 Feb 5; 105(5):1680-1685. (PMID 18230721)  PMC 2234204.

Wang LS, Huang YW, Liu S, Yan P, Lin YC.  Conjugated linoleic acid induces apoptosis through estrogen receptor alpha in human breast tissue. BMC Cancer, 2008; 8:208. (PMID 18652667)  PMC 2517598.

Luo M, Fan H, Nagy T, Wei H, Wang C, Liu S, Wicha MS, Guan JL.  Mammary epithelial-specific ablation of the focal adhesion kinase suppresses mammary tumorigenesis by affecting mammary cancer stem/progenitor cells. Cancer Res, 2009 Jan 15; 69(2):466-474. (PMID 19147559)  PMC 3039129.

Chang HL, Sugimoto Y, Liu S, Wang LS, Huang YW, Ye W, Lin YC.  Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) regulates estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-alpha) expression and cell apoptosis via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in human breast cancer cells. Anticancer Res, 2009 Aug; 29(8):3195-3205. (PMID 19661335).

Ginestier C, Liu S, Wicha MS.  Getting to the root of BRCA1-deficient breast cancer.  Cell Stem Cell, 2009 Sep 4; 5(3):229-230. (PMID 19733528).

Gur D, Liu S, Shukla A, Pero SC, Wicha MS, Krag DN.  Identification of single chain antibodies to breast cancer stem cells using phage display. Biotechnol Prog, 2009 Nov-Dec; 25(6):1780-1787. (PMID 19899107).

Ginestier C, Liu S, Diebel ME, Korkaya H, Luo M, Brown M, Wicinski J, Cabaud O, Charafe-Jauffret E, Birnbaum D, Guan JL, Dontu G, Wicha MS.  CXCR1 blockade selectively targets human breast cancer stem cells in vitro and in xenografts. J Clin Invest, 2010 Feb; 120(2):485-497. (PMID 20051626)  PMC 2810075.

Li Y, Zhang T, Korkaya H, Liu S, Lee HF, Newman B, Yu Y, Clouthier SG, Schwartz SJ, Wicha MS, Sun D. Sulforaphane, a dietary component of broccoli/broccoli sprouts, inhibits breast cancer stem cells. Clin Cancer Res, 2010 May 1; 16(9):2580-2590. (PMID 20388854) PMC 2862133.

Shu ST, Sugimoto Y, Liu S, Chang HL, Ye W, Wang LS, Huang YW, Yan P, Lin YC. Function and regulatory mechanisms of the candidate tumor suppressor receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase gamma (PTPRG) in breast cancer cells. Anticancer Res, 2010 Jun; 30(6):1937-1946. (PMID 20651337).

Kakarala M, Brenner DE, Korkaya H, Cheng C, Tazi K, Ginestier C, Liu S, Dontu G, Wicha MS. Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2010 Aug; 122(3):777-785. (PMID 19898931)  PMC 3039120.

Liu S, Wicha MS. Targeting breast cancer stem cells. J Clin Oncol, 2010 Sep 1; 28(25):4006-4012. (PMID 20498387).

Liu S, Ginestier C, Ou SJ, Clouthier SG, Patel SH, Monville F, Korkaya H, Heath A, Dutcher J, Kleer CG, Jung Y, Dontu G, Taichman R, Wicha MS.  Breast cancer stem cells are regulated by mesenchymal stem cells through cytokine networks. Cancer Res, 2011 Jan 15; 71(2):614-624. (PMID 21224357)  PMC 3100554.

Korkaya H, Liu S, Wicha MS.  Breast cancer stem cells, cytokine networks, and the tumor microenvironment. J Clin Invest, 2011 Oct; 121(10):3804-3809. (PMID 21965337)  PMC 3223613.

Korkaya H, Liu S, Wicha MS.  Regulation of cancer stem cells by cytokine networks: attacking cancer's inflammatory roots. Clin Cancer Res, 2011 Oct 1; 17(19):6125-6129. (PMID 21685479) PMC 3312242.

Kryczek I, Liu S, Roh M, Vatan L, Szeliga W, Wei S, Banerjee M, Mao Y, Kotarski J, Wicha MS, Liu R, Zou W.  Expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase and CD133 defines ovarian cancer stem cells. Int J Cancer, 2012 Jan 1; 130(1):29-39. (PMID 21480217) PMC 3164893.

Wu J, Liu S, Liu G, Dombkowski A, Abrams J, Martin-Trevino R, Wicha MS, Ethier SP, Yang ZQ. Identification and functional analysis of 9p24 amplified genes in human breast cancer. Oncogene, 2012 Jan 19; 31(3):333-341. (PMID 21666724).

Liu S, Clouthier SG, Wicha MS.  Role of microRNAs in the regulation of breast cancer stem cells. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia, 2012 Mar; 17(1):15-21. (PMID 22331423).

Korkaya H, Kim GI, Davis A, Malik F, Henry NL, Ithimakin S, Quraishi AA, Tawakkol N, D'Angelo R, Paulson AK, Chung S, Luther T, Paholak HJ, Liu S, Hassan KA, Zen Q, Clouthier SG, Wicha MS.  Activation of an IL6 inflammatory loop mediates trastuzumab resistance in HER2+ breast cancer by expanding the cancer stem cell population. Mol Cell, 2012 Aug 24; 47(4):570-584. (PMID 22819326)  PMC 3432419.

Liu S, Patel SH, Ginestier C, Ibarra I, Martin-Trevino R, Bai S, McDermott SP, Shang L, Ke J, Ou SJ, Heath A, Zhang KJ, Korkaya H, Clouthier SG, Charafe-Jauffret E, Birnbaum D, Hannon GJ, Wicha MS.  MicroRNA93 regulates proliferation and differentiation of normal and malignant breast stem cells. PLoS Genet, 2012; 8(6):e1002751. (PMID 22685420)  PMC 3369932.

Luo M, Zhao X, Chen S, Liu S, Wicha MS, Guan JL.  Distinct FAK activities determine progenitor and mammary stem cell characteristics. Cancer Res, 2013 Jul 5. (PMID 23832665).