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Faculty Profile

Xinli LiuXinli Liu

Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics
Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate Director, Institute for Drug Education and Research

University of Houston College of Pharmacy
Health 2, Room 7048
4349 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Houston, TX 77204-5037

Contact: - 832-842-8390 - Fax: 713-743-1884


Dr. Liu is an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics at UH. Prior to 2016, she was an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Dr. Liu's research interest is to develop molecularly targeted drug delivery systems, such as nanoparticles, nanoconjugates and prodrugs, to improve tumor specific delivery of small molecule anticancer drugs and biologics (RNAs, peptides, and antibodies) to target cancer metastasis. My research uses pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles and employs multidisciplinary approaches, including nanotechnology, chemical synthesis, cancer biology, and imaging methods, mass spectrometry, and PK modeling to study the disposition and efficacy of the nanotherapeutics in preclinical cancer models.

Currently, Liu lab research focuses on two main areas: 1) rational design and development of novel nanoparticles and nanoconjugates that can overcome various physiological and biological barriers (such as blood brain barrier), selectively accumulate at specific anatomical locations such as CNS and bone, efficiently target cancer metastasis, and eradicate tumor cells without harming normal cells; and 2) preclinical evaluations of novel drug combination and drug delivery systems that can overcome multidrug resistance in cancer and infectious diseases.

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (2007)
  • Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (2004)
  • B.S., Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, P.R. China (1999)

  • Ku Z, Xie X, Hinton P, Liu X, Ye X, Muruato A, Ng D, Biswas S, Zou J, Liu Y, Pandya D, Menachery V, Rahman S, Cao Y, Deng H, Xiong W, Carlin K, Liu J, Su H, Haanes E, Keyt B, Zhang N, Carroll S, Shi P, An Z. Nasal delivery of an IgM offers broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Nature. 2021, Jul; 595(7869):718-723. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03673-2. PMID: 34082438.
  • Bigley AB, Spade S, Agha NH, Biswas S, Tang S, Malik MH, Dai L, Masoumi S, Patiño-Escobar B, Hale M, DiPierro G, Martell R, Hann B, Shah N, Wiita AP, Liu X. FcεRIγ-negative NK cells persist in vivo and enhance efficacy of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in multiple myeloma. Blood Adv. 2021 Aug 10;5(15):3021-3031. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002440. PMID: 34357379; PMCID: PMC8361460.
  • Zhou X, Smith QR, Liu X. Brain penetrating peptides and peptide-drug conjugates to overcome the blood-brain barrier and target CNS diseases. Wiley WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2021 Jan 20:e1695. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1695. PubMed PMID: 33470550.
  • La-Beck NM, Liu X, Shmeeda H, Shudde C, Gabizon AA. Repurposing amino-bisphosphonates by liposome formulation for a new role in cancer treatment. Semin Cancer Biol. 2019 Dec 23. pii: S1044-579X(19)30396-7. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.12.001.
  • Fofaria NM, Qhattal, HS, Liu, X, Srivastava S. Nanoemulsion formulations for anti-cancer agent piplartine-characterization, toxicological, pharmacokinetics and efficacy studies. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2016 Feb 10;498(1-2):12-22. PubMed PMID: 26642946
  • Liu X. Bone site-specific delivery of siRNA. J Biomed Res. 2016 Jul;30(4):264-71. doi: 10.7555/JBR.30.20150110. Epub 2015 Nov 18. PMID: 26642236
  • Qhattal HS, Hye T, Alali A, Liu X. Hyaluronan Polymer Length, Grafting Density, and Surface Poly(ethylene glycol) Coating Influence in Vivo Circulation and Tumor Targeting of Hyaluronan-Grafted Liposomes. ACS Nano, 2014;8(6):5423-40. PubMed PMID: 24806526
  • Mittapalli RK, Liu X, Adkins CE, Nounou MI, Bohn KA, Terrell TB, Qhattal HS, Geldenhuys WJ, Palmieri D, Steeg PS, Smith QR, Lockman PR. Paclitaxel-hyaluronic nanoconjugates prolong overall survival in a preclinical brain metastases of breast cancer model. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2013; 12(11):2389-99. PubMed PMID: 24002934
  • Wang X, Wu E, Wu J, Wang TL, Hsieh HP, Liu X. An antimitotic and antivascular agent BPR0L075 overcomes multidrug resistance and induces mitotic catastrophe in paclitaxel-resistant ovarian cancer cells. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e65686. PubMed PMID: 23762410
  • Liu L, Beck H, Wang X, Hsieh H, Mason RP, Liu X. Tubulin-destabilizing agent BPR0L075 induces vascular-disruption in human breast cancer mammary fat pad xenografts. PLoS One. 2012, 7(8):e43314. PubMed PMID: 22937031
  • Qhattal HS, Liu X. Characterization of CD44-mediated cancer cell uptake and intracellular distribution of hyaluronan-grafted liposomes. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 2011, 8(4):1233-46. PubMed PMID: 21696190
  • Liu X, Lovell MA, Lynn BC. Detection and quantification of endogenous cyclic DNA adducts derived from trans-4-hydroxy-2-nonenal in human brain tissue by isotope dilution capillary liquid chromatography nanoelectrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of the Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2006, May, 19(5): 710-8. PubMed PMID: 16696574
  • Liu X, Lovell MA, Lynn BC. Development of a method for quantification of acrolein-deoxyguanosine adducts in DNA using isotope dilution-capillary LC/MS/MS and its application to human brain tissue. Analytical Chemistry. 2005, Sep 15; 77(18): 5985-9. PubMed PMID: 16159131
  • Liu X, Zhang, J, Song L, Lynn BC, Burke TG. Degradation of camptothecin-20(S)-glycinate ester prodrug under physiological conditions. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2004, Sep 3; 35(5):1113-25. PubMed PMID: 15336358
  • Liu X, Lynn BC, Zhang J, Song L, Bom D, Du W, Curran DP, Burke TG. A versatile prodrug approach for liposomal core-loading of water-insoluble camptothecin anticancer drugs. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2002 Jul 3; 124(26):7650-1. PubMed PMID: 12083906