Yuzhen Liu

PhD student, Molecular & Cellular Biology at UW

yliue234 [a t] uw.edu





I am a Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD student in the Beliveau Lab. I am interested in developing tools to streamline in situ biomolecule localization and quantification in large volumes of tissues, with the goal of creating 3D biomolecule and cell atlases. These tools include a deep learning-based super-resolution model to increase single-molecule imaging throughput, an object classification model to automate molecular cell typing from multiplexed FISH images, and experimental approaches for multi-modal biomolecule visualization.


Prior to graduate school, I received my Honour’s Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto where I majored in Pharmacology and Biomedical Toxicology. I did an internship at Orion Pharma working on early phase drug screening in castration-resistant prostate cancer. This experience solidified in me the importance of basic research, as target therapies originate from discoveries of molecules that go awry in specific cell types. Inspired to further my understanding of molecular mechanisms underpinning prostate cancer, I worked as a Research Technician at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with Dr. Andrew Hsieh and uncovered the mechanistic link between androgen receptor and pro-proliferative mRNA translation. In basic cancer research, I came to appreciate the intricacies of gene regulation and expression orchestrating the population of cells that make up an organism. In my PhD training, I aim to develop technologies to facilitate the generation of systems-level knowledge of biological processes, and accelerate the knowledge translation to treatment and diagnosis.


PaintSHOP enables the interactive design of transcriptome- and genome-scale oligonucleotide FISH experiments

Hershberg, E.A., Close, J.L., Camplisson, C.K., Attar, S., Chern, R., Liu, Y., Akilesh, S., Nicovich, P.R., Beliveau, B.J.

bioRxiv, https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.05.188797 (2020).  PDF  SI

The androgen receptor regulates a druggable translational regulon in advanced prostate cancer

Liu, Y.*, Horn, J.L.*, Banda, K.*, Goodman, A.Z., Lim, Y., Jana, S., Arora, S., Germanos, A.A., Wen, L., Hardin, W.R., Yang, Y.C., Coleman, I.M., Tharakan, R.G., Cai, E.Y., Uo, T., Pillai, S.P.S., Corey, E., Morrissey, C., Chen, Y., Carver, B.S., Plymate, S.R., Beronja, S., Nelson, P.S., Hsieh, A.C.  [*Co-first authors]

Science Translational Medicine 11, eaaw4993 (2019).  Journal  PDF  SI