Yuanyuan Liu, Ph.D.

Yuanyuan (Kevin) Liu

Stadtman Tenure Track Investigator

Somatosensation and Pain Unit

Building 35A, Room 3E410
35A Convent Dr. MSC 3757
Bethesda, MD 20892
United States

Research Interests

Descending supraspinal pathways integrate signals from multiple brain regions and are the neural basis by which our brain controls our body. As yet, the design principles for such top-down control remain elusive. The mission of our lab is: (1) To decipher supraspinal circuits in somatosensory perception. (2) To investigate the underlying mechanisms of top-down control in chronic pain states. To achieve these goals, we will use a multidisciplinary approach combining intersectional viral-mediated gene manipulation, in vivo imaging, and electrophysiological and single-cell sequencing techniques. Ultimately, our research will help explain how our mental states directly alter normal and pathological somatosensory perception in different contexts or mood states, and will uncover potential targets for treating pain.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Yuanyuan (Kevin) Liu obtained his B.S. degree in biological pharmacy in Nanjing University, China. He received his Ph.D. in Dr. Ben Szaro’s lab at the State University of New York, focusing on the role of an RNA binding protein in axon development and regeneration in Xenopus Laevis. He completed his postdoc training in Dr. Zhigang He’s lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. During his postdoc career, he optimized an elegant, multi-step viral-based intersectional targeting tool, which he used to dissect the role of corticospinal neurons in controlling distinct spinal circuits involved in fine motor control and tactile sensation. He joined NIDCR/NCCIH in 2020 and will continue his work to decipher the supraspinal circuits which control somatosensory perception and pain.

Selected Publications
Last Reviewed on
November 2023