Dr Joan Liu

Dr Joan Liu

Dr Joan Liu completed her BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences, and PhD in Anatomy (Neuroscience) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Adult Learning and Professional Development from University College London, and she is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in UK. Dr Liu has two previous postdoctoral research posts at the UCL Institute of Neurology where she was funded by the European Commission (developing in-vivo imaging biomarkers for the early diagnosis and evaluation of patients' responses to therapeutic medications), and Medical Research Council (investigation of glial and neuronal regenerative mechanisms in epilepsy).

Dr Liu’s main research interest is in Epilepsy Neuropathology. Currently, she is a collaborator on a Wellcome-funded, five years grant led by UCL investigating Neurodegeneration in Epilepsy.  Dr Liu has over twelve years’ experience of working with human brain tissue, with expertises in single and multiplex RNAscope in situ hybridisation, immunohistochemistry & immunofluorescence, cell culture, histological staining, manual and automated image analysis, bioinformatics  and 'omnic technologies. 

Dr Liu has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Brain, and Annals of Neurology, and she has presented in national and international conferences including British Neuropathological Society, Digital Pathology, and European Congress of Neuropathology.

Publications  ORCID: 0000-0002-0777-5189:

C. Reeves, A. Pradim-Jardim, SM. Sisodiya, M Thom, Joan Y.W. Liu (2018) Spatiotemporal dynamics of PDGFRβ expression in pericytes and glial scar formation in cortical brain injuries in adults. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology. Accepted.  October 2018.

Joan Y.W. Liu, M. Matarin, C. Reeves, A. McEvoy, A. Miserocchi, P. Thompson, SM. Sisodiya, M. Thom. (2018) Doublecortin expressing cell types in temporal lobe epilepsy. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. doi.org/10.1186/s40478-018-0566-5

Patodia S, Somani A, O'Hare M, Venkateswaran R, Joan Y.W. Liu, Michalak Z, Ellis M, Scheffer IE, Diehl B, Sisodiya SM. (2018) The ventrolateral medulla and medullary raphe in sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Brain. 141, 1719-1733. 

Thom, M., Joan Y.W. Liu., Bongaarts, A., Reinten, R. J., Paradiso, B., Jager, H. R et al. (2018). Multinodular and vacuolating neuronal tumours in epilepsy: dysplasia or neoplasia?. Brain Pathology. 28, 155-171

Thom, M., Joan Y.W. Liu., Prabowo, A., Paradiso, B., Jager, R., Reeves, C. et al. (2017). Multinodular and vacuolating neuronal tumours in epilepsy: dysplasia or neoplasia? Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology. 43, 19-20.

Joan Y.W. Liu, Reeves, C., Jacques, T. S., McEvoy, A., Miserocchi, A., Thompson, P., . . . Thom, M. (2017). Nestin- expressing cell types in the temporal lobe and hippocampus: morphology, differentiation and proliferative capacity. Glia. 66, 62-77

Al-Hajri, A., Al-Mughairi, S., Somani, A., An, S., Joan Y.W. Liu, Miserocchi, A., . . . Thom, M. (2017). Pathology–MRI Correlations in Diffuse Low-Grade Epilepsy Associated Tumors. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 76, 1023-1033.

Joan YW Liu, C. Reeves, B. Diehl, A. Coppola, A. Al-Hajri, C. Hoskote, S. al Mughairy, M. Tachrount, M. Groves, Z. Michalak, K. Mills, A.W. McEvoy, A. Miserocchi, S.M Sisodiya, M. Thom (2016) A Novel Pathology in Frontal Lobe Epilepsy with Neuronal Lipofuscin. Annals of Neurology, 80, 882–895. Provided Front Cover Image.


M. Yogarajah, M. Matarin, C. Vollmar, P.Thompson, J. Duncan, M. Symms, A. Moore, Joan Y.W. Liu, M. Thom, V. Van Heyningen, S.M. Sisodiya (2016) PAX6, brain structure and function in human adults: advanced MRI in aniridia. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 3, 314-330.


M. Thom, Joan Y.W. Liu, C. Reeves, V. Stopps, S.M. Sisodiya (2015). A cautionary note in the interpretation of human papillomavirus E6 immunohistochemistry in focal cortical dysplasia. Annals of Neurology, 77 (2), 352-353.


C. Reeves, M. Tachrount, D.L. Thomas, Z. Michalak, Joan YW Liu, M. Ellis, B. Diehl, A. Miserocchi, A.W. McEvoy, S. Eriksson, T. Yousry, M. Thom (2015). Combined Ex Vivo 9.4T MRI and Quantitative Histopathological Study in Normal and Pathological Neocortical Resections in Focal Epilepsy. Brain Pathology, DOI: 10.1111/bpa.12298


A. Prada Jardim., Joan Y.W. Liu, C. Reeves, S.M. Sisodiya, M. Thom (2015). A study of glial differentiation in pericyte-like cells in human cortical injuries. Neuropathology and applied neurobiology, 41, 57-58.


M. Thom, C. Schneider, B. Paradiso, Joan Y.W. Liu, C. Reeves., A. Pardo-Jardim et al. (2015). BRAF V600E mutations in glioneuronal tumours in epilepsy. Neuropathology and applied neurobiology, 41, 41.


C. Reeves, M. Tachrount, D. Thomas, Z. Michalak, Joan Y.W. Liu, M. Ellis et al. (2015). Combined ex-vivo 9.4Tesla MRI and quantitative histopathological study in normal and pathological surgical resections in focal epilepsy. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, 41, 17-18.


M. Thom, Joan Y.W. Liu, C. Reeves, M. Matarin, S.M. Sisodiya. (2015). Distribution of nestin and doublecortin expressing cells in temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. Neuropathology and applied neurobiology, 41, 17.


Joan Y.W. Liu, M. Ellis, H. Brooke-Ball, J. de Tisi, S.H. Eriksson, S. Brandner, S.M. Sisodiya, M. Thom. 2014. High-throughput, automated quantification of white matter neurons in mild malformation of cortical development in epilepsy. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2:72.


Joan Y.W. Liu, C. Reeves, Z. Michalak,  A. Coppola, B. Diehl, S.M. Sisodiya, M. Thom. 2014. Evidence for mTOR pathway activation in a spectrum of epilepsy-associated pathologies. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2:71.


Joan Y.W. Liu, C. Reeves, B. Diehl, A. Coppola, A. McEvoy, S.M. Sisodiya, M. Thom. 2014. Novel pathology features in MRI negative cortical dysplasia in frontal lobe epilepsy. Neuropathology and applied neurobiology. 19-20.


M. Bauer, R. Karch, M. Zeitlinger, Joan Y.W. Liu, M. J. Koepp, M. Asselin, S. M. Sisodiya et al. 2014. In-vivo P-glycoprotein-function before and after epilepsy surgery. Neurology. 83(15):1326-31


M. Feldmann*, M.C. Asselin*, Joan Y.W. Liu, S. Wang, A. McMahon, J, Anton-Rodriguez, S.M. Sisodiya, and M.J. Koepp. 2013. P-glycoprotein expression and function in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy: a case-control study. The Lancet Neurology. 8; 777-85. *co-first authors.


M. Thom, M. Kensche, J. Maynard, Joan Y.W. Liu, C. Reeves, J. Goc, D. Marsdon, D. Fluegel, J. Foong. Interictal psychosis following temporal lobe surgery: dentate gyrus pathology. 2014. Psychol Med. 44(14):3037-49.


C. Shepherd, Joan Y.W. Liu, J. Goc, L. Martinian, T.S. Jacques, S.M. Sisodiya, and M. Thom. 2013. A quantitative study of white matter hypomyelination and oligodendroglial maturation in focal cortical dysplasia type II. Epilepsia. 54; 898-908.


R. Bandopadhyay, Joan, Y.W. Liu, S.M. Sisodiya, M. Thom, M. 2013. A comparative study of the dentate gyrus in hippocampal sclerosis in epilepsy and dementia. Neuropathology and applied neurobiology. 40(2):177-90.


Joan Y.W. Liu, M. Thom, C.B. Catarino, L. Martinian, D. Figarella-Branger, F. Bartolomei, M. Koepp, S.M. Sisodiya. 2012. Neuropathology of the Blood-Brain Barrier and Pharmacoresistance in Human Epilepsy. Brain.135; 3115-3133.


Joan Y.W. Liu, D. Kasperavičiūtė, L. Martinian, Maria Thom, Sanjay Sisodiya. 2012. Neuropathology of 16p13.11 Deletion in Epilepsy. PLoS One. 7;e34813.


A. Feast, L. Martinian, Joan Y.W. Liu, C.B. Catarino, M. Thom, and S.M. Sisodiya. 2012. Investigation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in hippocampal sclerosis: a post mortem study. Epilepsia. 53; 1349-1359.


M. Thom, I. Liagkouras, L. Martinian, Joan Y.W. Liu, C.B. Catarino, and S.M. Sisodiya. 2012. Variability of sclerosis along the longitudinal hippocampal axis in epilepsy: A post mortem study. Epilepsy Research. 102;45-49.


M. Thom, Joan Y.W. Liu, P. Thompson, R. Phadke, M. Narkiewicz, L. Martinian, et al. 2011. Neurofibrillary tangle pathology and Braak staging in chronic epilepsy in relation to traumatic brain injury and hippocampal sclerosis: a post-mortem study. Brain. 134; 2969-81.


C.B. Catarino, Joan Y.W. Liu, I. Liagkouras, V.S. Gibbons, R.W. Labrum, R. Ellis, et al. 2011. Dravet syndrome as epileptic encephalopathy: evidence from long-term course and neuropathology. Brain. 134; 2982-3010.


Joan Y.W. Liu, C.B. Catarino, I. Liagkouras, R. Labrum, M. Davis, C. Woodward, and S.M. Sisodiya. 2011. Neuropathology of Dravet syndrome. Neuropathology and applied neurobiology. 37; 25-26.


Joan Y.W. Liu, L. Martinian, M.Thom, S.M. Sisodiya. 2010. Immunolabeling recovery in archival, post-mortem, human brain tissue using modified antigen retrieval and the catalyzed signal amplification system. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 190; 49-56.


Joan Y.W. Liu, E.W. Mee, P.Bergin, H.H. Teoh, B. Connor, M. Dragunow, R.L. Faull. 2008. Doublecortin expression in the normal and epileptic adult human brain. European Journal of Neuroscience. 28; 2254-2265.


Joan Y.W. Liu, E.W. Mee, P.Bergin, H.H. Teoh, B. Connor, M. Dragunow, R.L. Faull. 2007. Adult neurogenesis in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: a review of recent animal and human studies. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 8; 187-94.


A.S. Tattersfield, R.J. Croon, Joan Y.W. Liu, A. Kells, R.L.M. Faull and B. Connor. 2004. Neurogenesis in the Striatum of the Quinolinic Acid Lesion Model of Huntington’s Disease. Neuroscience. 127; 319-332.