Click here to close Hello! We notice that you are using Internet Explorer, which is not supported by Xenbase and may cause the site to display incorrectly. We suggest using a current version of Chrome, FireFox, or Safari.


Liu Lab

Research Interests

Genetics and embryonic development: the neural crest contribution to the cranial skeleton

Research Area

In any intricate developmental process, the encoded genes are interpreted as myriad intercellular and intracellular interactions, all of which must occur at the right time and place. With this in mind, we are developing new methods to block or alter the activities of individual proteins in a drug-dependent manner. Our goal is to expand the repertoire of molecular tools available to developmental biologists. The biological problem that we are interested in is the development of the neural crest and its derivatives, including the craniofacial skeleton. At present, we are developing chemical tools to study the roles of GSK-3 and Wnt signaling in development. We are using two model systems, the frog Xenopus laevis and the mouse. Xenopus embryos are abundant and live in an aquatic environment, allowing easy manipulation and drug accessibility; thus, we are using Xenopus to study early patterning and to rapidly test new tools. We then adapt these tools to mammalian systems. In the mouse, we are currently studying the development of the bony skull, using conventional and drug-dependent alleles of GSK-3β.

Current Members

Liu, Karen J. (Principal Investigator/Director)


Institution: King's College London

King's College London
Dept of Craniofacial Development
Floor 27, Guy's Tower
Guy's Hospital
SE1 9RT, United Kingdom

Web Page:

General/Lab Fax: +44 (0)20 7188 1674

Phone: +44 (0)20 7188 8035