Dr Pentao Liu

Former Senior Group Leader


This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.

This page is no longer being updated and is a historical record of Pentao Liu’s work at the Sanger Institute.

We used various approaches including genetics, genomics and cell biology to study gene functions in normal development and disease such as cancer. We were particularly interested in stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, and lineage choice.

Dr. Liu graduated from Henan Normal University and earned his Master of Science degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences/University of Science and Technology of China.

At Baylor College of Medicine, he studied molecular mechanisms of Charcoal-Marie-Tooth disease in Dr James Lupski’s laboratory. Dr. Liu received his PhD from Baylor College of Medicine under the guidance of Professor Allan Bradley, and completed his postdoctoral training at National Cancer Institute (USA) in the laboratories of Dr. Neal Copeland and Dr. Nancy Jenkins.

Dr. Liu joined the Wellcome Sanger Institute in September 2003. He initiated the high-throughput recombineering for the large-scale mouse mutagenesis programme at the Sanger Institute. Dr. Liu’s laboratory identified the critical roles of transcription factors, Bcl11a and Bcl11b, in hematopoietic stem cells, in lymphocyte development, and in mammary gland development. By mutating Bcl11b, they discovered that T lymphocytes are reprogrammed to a new type of cancer killer cells, ITNKs. Dr. Liu’s lab also identified that BCL11A is an important cancer gene in triple negative breast cancer.

Dr. Liu’s lab also studied pluripotent stem cells, and the mechanisms of reprogramming somatic cells to iPS cells.


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