Guanshu Liu, Ph.D.'s picture
Research Scientist, F.M. Kirby Center
Phone: 443-287-8306
Kennedy Krieger Institute

707 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

Research Departments


Guanshu Liu is an assistant professor in the F.M. Kirby Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He holds a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Guanshu Liu, PhD, is currently a tenure track assistant professor in the F.M. Kirby Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Guanshu Liu earned his doctoral degree in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Then he joined Dr. Peter van Zijl's imaging center at Johns Hopkins University in 2008 as a Research Associate.


The primary goal of my research is to develop novel Magnetic Resonance (MR) molecular imaging techniques to facilitate the development of modern medicine. As a relatively young but revolutionary discipline, MR molecular imaging aims at expanding traditional MRI from a macroscopic anatomical scale to a cellular and subcellular scale on which specific molecular markers can be specifically visualized, characterized and quantified in correspondence to a disease stage or a treatment response. As such, MR molecular imaging plays a key role in translating those discoveries in basic biomedical researches to clinical practices. My current researches mainly focus on the development and applications of a novel MRI technique, so called Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST). We are currently developing a variety of nanoparticle-based CEST imaging probes with low toxicity, high sensitivity and high specificity, and exploring the biomedical applications of these new imaging probes. In addition, we are also interested in exploring the biomedical uses of endogenous CEST contrast. For example, one of ongoing projects in my lab focuses on exploiting the endogenous CEST MRI signal of bacterial organisms for detecting and monitoring bacterial infection in rodent models.

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Research Publications

Xu J, Chan KW, Xu X, Yadav N, Liu Gvan Zijl PC (2017). On-resonance variable delay multipulse scheme for imaging of fast-exchanging protons and semisolid macromolecules. Magn Reson Med. 77(2), 730-739.

Liu G, Ray Banerjee S, Yang X, Yadav N, Lisok A, Jablonska A, Xu J, Li Y, Pomper MG, van Zijl P (2017). A dextran-based probe for the targeted magnetic resonance imaging of tumours expressing prostate-specific membrane antigen. Nat Biomed Eng. 1, 977-982.

Chan KW, Jiang L, Cheng M, Wijnen JP, Liu G, Huang P, van Zijl PCMcMahon MT, Glunde K(2016). CEST-MRI detects metabolite levels altered by breast cancer cell aggressiveness and chemotherapy response. NMR Biomed. 29(6), 806-16.