Boyi Liu
Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology

Supported by NIH program and Wellcome Trust of UK, I have been working on sensory neurobiology and molecular mechanisms of inflammatory pain and itch for years. My recent work studied the importance of TRPA1 channel in developing allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), which is the cause of occupational skin disease, and accounts for approximately 20% of all work-related health com­plaints. By means of molecular imaging, immunology, pathology and animal behavioral assay, I showed that TRPA1 and substance P (SP) signaling pathway is involved in skin inflammation and pruritus, two major symptoms of ACD, in oxazolone-induced ACD animal models.  I further showed that pharmacological blocking of this TRPA1/SP pathway will greatly attenuate symptoms of ACD. Furthermore, I also found that this pathway also works in a clinical relevant allergen urushiol (allergen of poison ivy, oak, and sumac)-induced ACD.  Moreover, in my previous work, I have gained enough knowledge in the animal behavioral study of menthol induced analgesia and molecular mechanisms underlying bradykinin induced inflammatory pain. These techniques will greatly help me to understand the detailed mechanisms underlying the inflammation and pruritus responses in urushiol-induced ACD described in this proposal.


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