Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
With a background of Medicine (Hebei Medical University, China), Medical Biotechnology (Masters, Flinders University) and Medical Science (PhD, University of Adelaide), I am a basic and translational cardiovascular researcher, undertaking a wide range of clinical and basic science research projects.
My current research relates to three areas:- (i) Chemotherapy induced cardiotoxicity, (ii) B-type natriuretic peptide physiology and pathophysiology in heart failure, and (iii) Mechanistic interactions of inflammatory activation and glycocalyx shedding in cardiovascular disease.
Topic 1: Chemotherapy induced cardiotoxicity
Cancer now affects more than 1 in 3 people in their lifetime and along with cardiovascular disease, they are the two leading causes of death. Cancer outcomes contribute to improve due to earlier detection and newer targeted therapies, with chemotherapy and immunotherapy playing prominent roles in treating many forms of cancer. Recently, substantial improvements in outcomes among patients treated for most cancers have been recorded, but virtually all the agents utilized can cause permanent and potentially fatal heart damage (cardiotoxicity). If this process is left unchecked, it can sometimes cause severe heart failure. Although this is rare (under 1 in 20 patients), heart failure is a serious illness that can be difficult to treat, with a high mortality rate. At this stage, the exact mechanism of drug-induced cardiotoxicity remains unclear.
We are currently running a clinical trial recruiting cancer patients attending QEH Oncology clinics and receiving chemotherapy to study the potential usefulness of certain biomarkers to early identify patients at risk of developing heart failure and help us guide future treatment. We have also established a cell-culture model of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity in human cardiac myocytes and aim to use this to evaluate (1) the mechanisms associated with damage to the heart cells and (2) potential cardio protective treatment options.
We are also planning to start setting up a clinical Cardio-Oncology Registry, to evaluate tumor-related and cardiovascular outcomes in all patients considered for cancer chemo- or immuno-therapy.
Topic 2: Impaired BNP anti-inflammatory effects in acute heart failure: interactions with viral infections and pharmacotherapy.
Acute heart failure (AHF) represents a very common cause of admission to hospitals and indeed to
intensive care units. With a progressive increase in numbers of patients in the community with chronic
heart failure, this is an increasingly important problem.
B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a hormone released from the heart which releases blood vessels and
helps to resolve inflammation: the latter is a major feature of AHF. I have previously shown that in
patients with AHF, the anti-inflammatory effects of BNP are defective, but that they recover over the
next few weeks as patients are treated.
Very recently, researchers (mainly in Melbourne) have shown that the influenza virus induces, and
thrives in, and environment of high levels of inflammation. Thus would help to explain why influenza
often causes AHF, but no specific treatment is available.
We propose to study patients admitted to hospital with AHF with/without viral infections, and:-
(1) determine whether impairment of BNP response is particularly marked in the presence of viral
(2) identify optimal strategies for rapid restoration of BNP response.
The results should assist in the management of patients with AHF
Date Position Institution name 2017 - 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide 2015 - 2016 Technical Officer The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Language Competency Chinese (Mandarin) Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
Date Institution name Country Title 2011 - 2015 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia PhD 2008 - 2009 Flinders University, Adelaide Australia Masters
Year Citation 2021 Chen, D., Untaru, R., Liu, S., Assadi-Khansari, B., Croft, A., Kelly, C., . . . Sverdlov, A. (2021). Follistatin-like 3 (FSTL3) levels are increased in acute heart failure patients. In EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL Vol. 42 (pp. 1039). OXFORD UNIV PRESS. 2018 Goh, V. J., Woolley, C., Awford, A., Procter, N., Chong, C. -R., Liu, S., . . . Horowitz, J. (2018). Atrial Fibrillation Ablation May Suppress Systemic Inflammatory Activation by Inhibiting Thioredoxin Interacting Protein Expression. In Circulation. 2016 Vol. 134 (pp. 8 pages). New Orleans, LA: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2017 Nguyen, T. H., Stansborough, J., Ong, G. J., Surikow, S., Frenneaux, M. P., & Horowitz, J. D. (2017). Implications of "Secondary" Takotsubo Syndrome on Short and Longterm Event Rates. In CIRCULATION Vol. 136 (pp. 2 pages). Anaheim, CA: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2016 Liu, S., Assadi-Khansari, B., Ajaero, C., Chua, S. J., Horowitz, J. D., Ngo, D. T., & Sverdlov, A. L. (2016). Follistatin-Like 3 is Elevated In Acute Heart Failure Patients. In CIRCULATION Vol. 134 (pp. 7 pages). Pentagon City, VA: LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS.
Year Citation 2019 Liu, S., & Horowitz, J. (2019). N-acetylcysteine reverses peroxynitrite and hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis of human myocardial cells. Poster session presented at the meeting of Abstracts of the 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo of the American College of Cardiology (ACC.19), as published in Journal of the American College Of Cardiology. New Orleans, LA: Elsevier.
2019 Liu, S., Nguyen, T., Imam, H., Heresztyn, T., Stafford, I., Chirkov, Y., & Horowitz, J. (2019). Coronary artery spasm: a consequence of impaired nitric oxide/hydrogen sulphide signalling?. Poster session presented at the meeting of EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL. Paris, FRANCE: OXFORD UNIV PRESS. 2019 Nguyen, T., Liu, S., Imam, H., Heresztyn, T., Stafford, I., Chirkov, Y., & Horowitz, J. (2019). Pathogenesis of symptomatic crises in patients with coronary artery spasm: evidence for acute damage to vascular glycocalyx and to circulating platelets. Poster session presented at the meeting of EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL. Paris, FRANCE: OXFORD UNIV PRESS. 2017 Procter, N. E. K., Pasupathy, S., Stafford, I., Heresztyn, T., Liu, S., Selvanayagam, J., . . . Horowitz, J. D. (2017). Glycocalyx shedding in acute myocardial infarction: interactions with reperfusion and n-acetylcysteine therapy. Poster session presented at the meeting of EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL. OXFORD UNIV PRESS. 2016 Nguyen, T., Liu, S., Ong, G., Stafford, I., Frenneaux, M., & Horowitz, J. (2016). Glycocalyx shedding is markedly increased during the acute phase of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Poster session presented at the meeting of Abstracts of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions and Resuscitation Science Symposium 2016, as published in Circulation. New Orleans, LA: American Heart Association. 2015 Liu, S., Ngo, D. T., Chong, C. R., Chan, W. P., Horowitz, J. D., & Chirkov, Y. Y. (2015). Tachyphylaxis to the anti-inflammatory effects of BNP in acute heart failure:-potential response to therapy. Poster session presented at the meeting of EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HEART FAILURE. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2014 Liu, S., Ngo, D., Chong, C. -R., Chirkov, Y., Stewart, S., & Horowitz, J. (2014). Mechanisms of BNP interactions with neutrophil superoxide release: attenuation in acute and chronic heart failure. Poster session presented at the meeting of Global Heart. 2013 Liu, S., Ngo, D., Chirkov, Y., Stewart, S., & Horowitz, J. (2013). Impaired B-type natriuretic peptide effets on neutrophil burst in heart failure patients. Poster session presented at the meeting of Abstracts of the American Heart Association 2013 Scientific Sessions and Resuscitation Science Symposium, as publshed in Circulation. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association. 2013 Chong, C., Liu, S., Licari, G., Chirkov, Y., Ngo, D., & Horowitz, J. (2013). Reversal of acute hyperglycemia restores tissue responsiveness to nitric oxide and improves endothelial progenitor cell function without downregulating platelet thioredoxin interacting protein. Poster session presented at the meeting of Abstracts of the American Heart Association 2013 Scientific Sessions and Resuscitation Science Symposium, as publshed in Circulation. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association. 2012 Liu, S., Ngo, D. T., Chirkov, Y. Y., Sheikh, A. R., Licari, G., Stewart, S., & Horowitz, J. D. (2012). Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) Suppresses Neutrophil Superoxide Release: Attenuation in Patients with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Poster session presented at the meeting of CIRCULATION. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS.
Other Supervision Activities
Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name 2017 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Chemotherapy induced cardiotoxicity Basil Hetzel Institute Honours Dongqing Chen
Date Role Membership Country 2019 - ongoing Member European Society of Cardiology France 2019 - ongoing Member ESC Council on Stroke France 2012 - ongoing Member CSANZ Australia
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