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Xu Liu

Xu Liu

DPhil Student

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the intricate interactions between neurons and cancer cells in the context of colorectal cancer (CRC). As the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, CRC necessitates a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms driving its initiation, progression, and metastasis. My project aims to generate a three-dimensional neuron-containing colon tissue model via an engineering approach. With this innovative model, we seek to investigate the significance of neuronal activities and their impact on cancer cell proliferation, tumour growth, invasion, and metastasis.


Before starting my DPhil at Oxford, I studied in the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences where my research focus was to investigate the role of microglial phagocytic function in Alzheimer's disease. I studied the effects of interleukins and chemokines on microglial functionality in vitro and how this influences the disease progression in vivo. This work provided valuable insights into the potential of these immune signalling molecules in modulating microglial responses and being a therapeutic target of Alzheimer's disease.