Scientists - Research Faculty

Ruiwu Liu

Ruiwu Liu


Dr. Ruiwu Liu is a Research Professor of Chemistry at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Davis. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in medicinal chemistry from the School of Pharmacy, West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, China, in 1990. His PhD degree in medicinal chemistry was earned in 1995 at the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China. He then joined the faculty of the Institute and spent a year at the Research Center of Taisho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Japan, as a visiting researcher. Dr. Liu joined Dr. Kit Lam’s combinatorial chemistry laboratory as a postdoc at UC Davis in 1999. He was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor at UC Davis in 2004 and promoted to Research Associate Professor and Research Professor in 2010 and 2016, respectively. He is co-director of Combinatorial Chemistry & Chemical Biology Shared Resource at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. His primary research focus has been in methods development for combinatorial chemistry and high throughput screening, and applying these technologies to drug discovery. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and 8 book chapters. In addition, he is an inventor of 6 issued patents.

Expertise and Research Interests

Dr. Liu has extensive experience and expertise in combinatorial chemistry, peptide chemistry, conjugate chemistry, medicinal chemistry, drug discovery and molecular imaging. His major research interests include new technology for combinatorial chemistry and high throughput screening, targeted therapeutics for cancer, and new chemical tools for molecular imaging. Dr. Liu’s current research focuses on 1) development of integrin-targeting imaging and therapeutic agents for cancer treatment; 2) development of neutralizing antiserum and peptides against Zika virus; 3) development of novel galectin-1 inhibitors as a new class of anti-cancer drug; 4) peptide-drug conjugates and protein-drug conjugates.


  • 2014  Zhang H, Li Y, Lin TY, Xiao K, Haddad AS, Henderson PT, Jonas BA, Chen M, Xiao W, Liu R, Lam KS, Pan CX. Nanomicelle formulation modifies the pharmacokinetic profiles and cardiac toxicity of daunorubicin. Nanomedicine, 9(12): 1807-1820.
  • 2014  Chu CH, Wang LY, Hsu KC, Chen CC, Cheng HH, Wang SM, Wu CM, Chen TJ, Li LT, Liu R, Hung CL, Yang JM, Kung HJ, Wang WC. KDM4B as a Target for Prostate Cancer: Structural Analysis and Selective Inhibition by a Novel Inhibitor. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 57: 5975-5985.
  • 2014  Guo W, Liu R, Bhardwaj G, Yang JC, Changou C, Ma A-H, Mazloom A, Chintapalli S, Xiao K, Xiao W, Kumaresan P, Sanchez E, Yeh C-T, Evans CP, Patterson R, Lam KS and Kung H-J. Targeting Btk/Etk of prostate cancer cells by a novel dual inhibitor. Cell Death and Disease, 5: e1409.
  • 2015  Lac D, Feng S, Bhardwaj G, Le H, Tran J, Xing L, Fung G, Liu R, Cheng H, Lam KS. Covalent Chemical Ligation Strategy for Mono- and Polyclonal Immunoglobulins at Their Nucleotide Binding Sites. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 27(1): 159−169.
  • 2016  Xiao W, Li T, Bononi FC, Lac D, Kekessie IA, Liu Y, Sanchez E, Mazloom A, Ma A-H, Lin J, Tran J, Yang K, Lam KS, Liu R. Discovery and characterization of a high-affinity and high-specificity peptide ligand LXY30 for in vivo targeting of α3 integrin-expressing human tumors. EJNMMI Research, 6(1): 1-18.
  • 2016  Yao W, Lay YE, Kot A, Liu R, Zhang H, Chen H, Lam K, Lane NE. Improved Mobilization of Exogenous Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Bone for Fracture Healing and Sex Difference. Stem Cells, 34(10): 2587-2600.
  • 2016  Guo S, He X, Chen Q, Yang G, Yao K, Dong P, Ye Y, Chen D, Zhang Z, Qin Z, Liu Z, Li Z, Xue Y, Zhang M, Liu R, Zhou F, Han H. The effect of preoperative apolipoprotein A-I on the prognosis of surgical renal cell carcinoma. Medicine (Baltimore), 95(12): e3147.
  • 2016  Liu R, Li X, Xiao W, Lam KS. Tumor-targeting peptides from combinatorial libraries. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 110-111: 13-37.
  • 2017  Hao D., Xiao W., Liu R., Kumar P., Li Y., Zhou P., Guo F., Farmer D.L., Lam K.S., Wang F., Wang A. Discovery and characterization of a potent and specific peptide ligand targeting endothelial progenitor cells and endothelial cells for tissue regeneration. ACS Chemical Biology, 12(4): 1075–1086.
  • 2017  Leung N, Wai C, Ho M, Liu R, Lam KS, Wang J, Shu SA, Chu KH, Leung P. Screening and identification of mimotopes of the major shrimp allergen Tropomyosin using one bead one compound peptide libraries. Cellular & Molecular Immunology, 14(3): 308–318.
  • 2017  Trans DJ, Bai R, Addison JB, Liu R, Hamel E, Coleman MA, Henderson PT. Synthesis of two fluorescent GTPγS molecules and their biological relevance. Nucleosides Nucleotides Nucleic Acids, 36(6): 379–391.
  • 2017  Carney RP, Thillier Y, Kiss Z, Sahabi A, Heleno Campos JC, Knudson A, Liu R, Olivos D, Saunders M, Tian L, Lam KS. Combinatorial library screening with liposomes for discovery of membrane active peptides. ACS Combinatorial Science, 19(5): 299-307.
  • 2017  Shih TC, Liu R, Fung G, Bhardwaj G, Ghosh PM, Lam KS. A novel galectin-1 inhibitor discovered through one-bead two-compound library potentiates the antitumor effects of paclitaxel in vivo. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 16(7): 1212-1223.
  • 2017  Liu R, Li X, Lam KS. Combinatorial chemistry in drug discovery. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 38: 117-126.
  • 2017  Tang Y, Thillier Y, Liu R, Li X, Lam KS, Gao T. Single-bead quantification of peptide loading distribution for one-bead one-compound library synthesis using confocal Raman spectroscopy. Analytical Chemistry, 89(13): 7000-7008.
  • 2017  Carney RP, Hazari S, Rojalin T, Knudson A, Gao T, Tang Y, Liu R, Viitala T, Yliperttula M, Lam KS. Targeting tumor‐associated exosomes with integrin‐binding peptides. Advanced Biosystems, 1(5): 1600038.
  • 2017  He X, Guo S, Chen D, Yang G, Chen X, Zhang Y, He Q, Qin Z, Liu Z, Xue Y, Zhang M, Liu R, Zhou F, Han H, Yao K. Preoperative albumin to globulin ratio (AGR) as prognostic factor in renal cell carcinoma. Journal of Cancer, 8(2): 258-265.
  • 2017  Guo S, He X, Chen Q, Yang G, Yao K, Dong P, Ye Y, Chen D, Zhang Z, Qin Z, Liu Z, Xue Y, Zhang M, Liu R, Zhou F, Han H. The C-reactive protein/albumin ratio, a validated prognostic score, predicts outcome of surgical renal cell carcinoma patients. BMC Cancer, 17(1): 171.
  • 2018  Li J, Carney RP, Liu R, Fan J, Zhao S, Chen Y, Lam KS, Pan T. Microfluidic print-to-synthesis platform for efficient preparation and screening of combinatorial peptide microarrays. Analytical Chemistry, 90(9): 5833–5840.
  • 2018  Shih TC, Liu R, Wu CT, Li X, Xiao W, Deng X, Kiss Z, Wang T, Chen X, Carney RP, Kung HJ, Duan Y, Ghosh PM, Lam KS. Targeting Galectin-1 impairs castration-resistant prostate cancer progression and invasion. Clinical Cancer Research, Epub ahead of print: doi: 10.1158/1078-04.
  • 2018  Liu Y, Yang F, Xiao W, Liu R, Zhang H, Li C, Ajena YH, Lam KS, Leung JW. Discovery of specific targeting ligands as the biomarkers for colorectal cancer. Colorectal Cancer, Epub ahead of print: doi:10.2217/crc-2017.
  • 2003  Lam KS, Lehman AL, Song A, Doan N, Enstrom AM, Maxwell J, Liu R: Synthesis and Screening of "One-Bead One-Compound" Combinatorial Peptide Libraries, Methods in Enzymology, Vol. 369, pp. 298-322.
  • 2003  Liu R, Marik J, Lam KS: Design, Synthesis, Screening, and Decoding of Encoded One-Bead One-Compound Peptidomimetic and Small Molecule Combinatorial Libraries, Methods in Enzymology, Vol. 369, pp. 271-287.
  • 2005  Liu R, Lam KS: Peptide and Non-Peptide Combinatorial Libraries, R.A. Meyers, (ed), Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Vol. 10, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, pp. 147-176.
  • 2006  Lam KS, Liu R, Marik J, Kumaresan PR: From One-Bead One-Compound Combinatorial Libraries to Chemical Microarrays, M. Ozkan & M. J. Heller, (ed), BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology, Vol. II, Springer Publisher, New York. pp. 283-308.
  • 2008  Liu R, Lam KS: Peptide Combinatorial Libraries, Wiley Encyclopedia Chemical Biology, John Wiley & Sons, 1-13.
  • 2009  Liu R, Aina OH, Onofiok E, Lam KS: The "one-bead one-compound" combinatorial approach to identifying molecular imaging probes. Chapter 32, Weissleder R, Gambhir SS, Ross BD, Rehemtulla A, (ed), Molecular Imaging: Principles and Practice, BC Decker Publisher, Hamilton (Canada). pp. 481-496.
  • 2012  Liu R, Xiao K, Luo J, Lam KS: Development of Cancer-Targeting Ligands and Ligand–Drug Conjugates, Kratz F, Senter P, Steinhagen H, (ed), Drug Delivery in Oncology: From Research Concepts to Cancer Therapy, Vol. 1, Wiley-VCH, pp. 121-168.
  • 2015  Liu R, ShihT-C, Deng X, Anwar L, Ahadi S, Kumaresan P, Lam KS: Design, synthesis and application of OB2C combinatorial peptide and peptidomimetic libraries, Derda R, (ed), Book "Peptide Libraries" in "Methods in Molecular Biology" series, Vol. 1248, Springer, pp. 3-22.
  • 2017  Liu R, Li X, Shih TC, Lee JS, Lam KS: Peptide Therapeutics: Oncology, Srivastava V, (ed), in Drug Discovery Series No. 59. Peptide-based Drug Discovery: Challenges and New Therapeutics, Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 278-325.
  • Guo J, Wang W, Fang H, Yin D, Li C, Liu R. Dehydrogenated falcate micromelum costusic alcohol derivative as medicine for preventing or treating cerebral retrogressive lesion.
    Chinese patent CN 1322525 filed May 12, 2000, issued Nov 21, 2001
  • Guo J, Wang W, Fang H, Yin D, Sun S, Liu R, Li C, Liu H, Wang D. Preparation of agarofuran derivatives as anxiolytics and antidepressants.
    World patent US 6486201 filed Nov 19, 1999, issued Nov 26, 2002
  • Lam KS, Liu R, Peng L. Alpha4 beta1 integrin ligands for imaging and therapy.
    U.S. patent US 7576175 filed May 26, 2005, issued Aug 18, 2009
  • Jin L-W, Lam KS, Liu R, Hong H-S, Maezawa I. A-beta binding small molecules for treatment and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
    World patent US 8168800 filed Oct 31, 2008, issued May 1, 2012
  • Carpenter R, Andrei M, Liu R, Lam KS, Kurth M. Heterocyclic ligands for integrin imaging and therapy.
    World patent US 8486370 filed Sep 7, 2007, issued Jul 16, 2013
  • Lam KS, Liu R, Yao W, Lane N. LLP2A-bisphosphonate conjugates for osteoporosis treatment.
    U.S. patent 9,119,884 filed Oct 28, 2013, issued Sep 1, 2015

Tsung Chieh Shih


PhD   University of California, Davis, USA   2011 – 2014
MS   National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan   2001 – 2003


  1. TC Shih, R Liu, CT Wu, X Li, W Xiao, X Deng, S Kiss, T Wang, X Chen, R Carney, HJ Kung, Y Duan, PM Ghosh, KS Lam. Targeting Galectin-1 impairs castration-resistant prostate cancer progression and invasion. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 (In press)
  2. TC Shih, S Kiss, R Carney, X Deng, R Liu, PM Ghosh, KS Lam. Galectin-1 Inhibition by LLS2 Induces Cell Apoptosis Through the Suppression of Ras Pathway in Human Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors. Cell Death Dis. 2018
  3. R Liu, X Li, TC Shih, JS Lee, KS Lam. Peptide Therapeutics: Oncology. Peptide-based Drug Discovery. 2017;278-325
  4. TC Shih, R Liu, G Fung, G Bhardwaj, PM Ghosh, KS Lam. A Novel Galectin-1 Inhibitor Discovered through One-Bead-Two-Compounds Library Potentiates the Anti-tumor Effects of Paclitaxel in vivo. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2017;16:1212-1223
  5. SC Tsai, CC Lin, TC Shih, RJ Tseng, MC Yu, Y Lin Jr, SY Hsieh. The miR‐200b–ZEB1 circuit regulates diverse stemness of human hepatocellular carcinoma. Molecular Carcinogenesis. 2017; 56:2035-2047
  6. S Mori, N Hatori, N Kawaguchi, Y Hamada, TC Shih, CY Wu, KS Lam, N Matsuura, H Yamamoto, YK Takada, Y Takada. The integrin-binding defective FGF2 mutants potently suppress FGF2 signalling and angiogenesis. Bioscience Reports. 2017;37pii: BSR20170173
  7. R Liu, TC Shih, X Deng, L Anwar, S Ahadi, P Kumaresan, KS Lam. Design, synthesis, and application of OB2C combinatorial peptide and peptidomimetic libraries. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2015;1248:3-22
  8. TC Shih, YJ Tien. CJ Wen, TS Yeh, MC Yu, CH Huang, YS Lee, TC Yen, SY Hsieh. MicroRNA-214 downregulation contributes to tumor angiogenesis via inducing secretion of hepatoma-derived growth factor in human hepatoma. Journal of Hepatology. 2012 57:584-91
  9. SY Hsieh, JR He, CY Hsu, WJ Chen, R Bera, KY Lin, TC Shih, MC Yu, YJ Lin, CJ Chang, WH Weng, SF Huang. Neuregulin/erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 3 autocrine loop contributes to invasion and early recurrence of human hepatoma. Hepatology. 2011 53:504-16.
  10. TC Shih, SY Hsieh, YY Hsieh, TC Chen, CY Yeh, CJ Lin, DY Lin, CT Chiu. Aberrant activation of nuclear factor of activated T cell 2 in lamina propria mononuclear cells in ulcerative colitis. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2008 14:1759-67
  11. SY Hsieh, TC Shih, CY Yeh, CJ Lin, YY Chou, YS Lee. Comparative proteomic studies on the pathogenesis of human ulcerative colitis. Proteomics. 2006; 6:5322-31
  12. SY Hsieh, WY Chen, TC Shih, JY Yeh, JT Jeng. Dys-regulation of clusterin in human hepatoma is not associated with tumorigenesis but is secondary to cell response to external tresses. Mol Carcinog. 2005; 43:100-7
  13. TC Lo, TC Shih, CF Lin, HW Chen, TH Lin. Complete genomic sequence of the temperate bacteriophage PhiAT3 isolated from Lactobacillus casei ATCC 393. Virology. 2005; 339:42-55
Wenwu Xiao

Wenwu Xiao

  1. Integrin targeted therapy is of great interest for the treatment and prevention of many type of cancer since integrin receptors usually are highly expressed on tumor cell surface. I have screened several cancer cells such as breast cancer, glioblastoma and lung cancer using the “one-bead one-compound” combinatorial chemistry invented by Dr. Lam two decades ago, and identified several tumor specific peptide ligands such as LXY1, LXY3, and LXY4 targeting α3β1 integrin, LXW7 targeting αvβ3 integrin. These ligands have been further optimized via structure-activity relation study to harvest higher affinity ligands LXY30 and LXW64, targeting α3β1 and αvβ3 integrin, respectively. These ligands have the ability to deliver fluorescence dye to tumor site in both orthotopic and subcutaneous xenografts mouse models, and demonstrated their potential to be developed as tumor imaging or targeting drug delivery reagents. I am the main investigator to conduct these projects with the help of chemists on beads libraries design and synthesis.
  1. Xiao W, Yao N, Lam KS. Near-infrared optical imaging in glioblastoma xenograft with ligand targeting a3 integrin. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging. 2009 Jan; 36(1):94-103. Epub 2008 Aug 19. PMCID: PMC2842018.
  2. Yao N*, Xiao W*, Wang X, Marik J, Park SH, Lam KS. Discovery of Targeting Ligands for Breast Cancer Cells Using OBOC Combinatorial Method. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2009 Jan 8; 52(1):126-33. (*:equally contributed to this paper). PMCID: PMC2836207
  3. Xiao W, Wang Y, Lau EY et al. The use of OBOC combinatorial library technology to discover high-affinity alpha v beta 3 integrin and cancer targeting RGD ligands with a build-in handle. Mol Cancer Ther. 2010 Feb;15(2):232-40. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0544. PMID:26719578
  4. Xiao W, Li T, Bononi F, Lac D, Kekessie I, Liu Y, Sanchez E, Mazloom A, Ma A-H, Lin J, Tran J, Yang K, Lam K, Liu R. Discovery and characterization of a high affinity and specificity peptide ligand LXY30 for in vivo targeting of α3β1 integrin-expressing human tumors. EJNMMI Research, 2016 Dec;6(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s13550-016-0165-z. PMID: 26922417


  1. Nanotechnology has been used for improving drug delivery and treatment efficacy in a variety of diseases, including cancers. A novel nanotherapeutic platform based on three biocompatible building blocks: polyethylene glycol (PEG), cholic acid (CA, a facial amphiphilic molecule), and lysine, was invented in our laboratory. It is unique in its small size (17-60 nm), which has better tumor targeting property and drug delivery to the tumor sites through the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect compared to larger size nanoparticles. This type of nanomicelle is not toxic in vitro and in vivo, and is capable of encapsulating hydrophobic reagents such as chemotherapeutic drugs, small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors and near-infra red dye DiD. Disulfide or catechol-boronic cross linking approach were included in the system to prevent premature release of drugs during circulation due to the dissociation of the nanomicelle in the presence of lipoproteins. This nanoplatform has demonstrated superior cancer drug delivery capability. With the building blocks modified with porphyrin, its potential in photo dynamic therapy (PPT), photo thermal therapy (PTT) and multiplex imaging was further expanded. It is believed that the novel nanomicelle system would be a promising theranostic tool for cancer imaging, tumor drug delivery and therapy. I was involved in the nanoparticle related projects in our lab as a biologist to test in vitro cell toxicity, drug metabolism, in vivo targeting optical imaging and cancer therapeutic effect on animal xenografts model.
  1. Li Y*, Xiao W*, Xiao K, Berti L, Luo J, Tseng HP, Fung G, Lam KS. Well-Defined, Reversible Boronate Crosslinked Nanocarriers for Targeted Drug Delivery in Response to Acidic pH Values and cis-Diols.Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2012 Jan 17. doi: 10.1002/anie.201107144. [Epub ahead of print] (*:equally contributed to this paper)
  2. Xiao W, Luo J, Jain T, Riggs J, Tseng H, Henderson PT , Cherry SR, Rowland D, Lam KS. The biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of a telodendrimer micellar paclitaxel nano-formulation in an ovarian cancer mouse xenograft model. International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012;7:1587-97. Epub 2012 Mar 27.
  3. Li Y, Lin TY, Luo Y, Liu Q, Xiao W, Guo W, Lac D, Zhang H, Feng C, Wachsmann-Hogiu S, Walton JH, Cherry SR, Rowland DJ, Kukis D, Pan C, Lam KS. A smart and versatile theranostic nanomedicine platform based on nanoporphyrin. Nat Commun. 2014 Aug 26;5:4712. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5712.
  4. Xiao W, Suby N, Xiao K, Lin TY, Al Awwad N, Lam KS, Li Y. Extremely long tumor retention, multi-responsive boronate crosslinked micelles with superior therapeutic efficacy for ovarian cancer. J Control Release. 2017 Aug 25;264:169-179. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2017.08.028. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28847739