Guanshu Liu, Ph.D., M.S.

Headshot of Guanshu Liu
  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science


Dr. Guanshu Liu is an Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, and he holds a joint appointment as an Associate Professor with the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging. Dr. Liu’s research focuses on the development of magnetic resonance (MR) molecular imaging techniques.

Dr. Liu received a B.S. in applied chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1998, an M.S. in photochemistry and photobiology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2001, and an M.S. in analytical chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla in 2003. After completing his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in 2008, he joined the Johns Hopkins staff as a research associate. more


  • Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions



  • Ph.D.; Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) (2008)
  • M.S.; Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) (2001)
  • M.S.; University of Missouri (Rolla) (Missouri) (2003)
  • B.S.; University of Science and Technology of China (China) (1998)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Liu’s current research projects focus on the development and applications of a novel MRI technique, chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST). His team is currently developing a variety of nanoparticle-based CEST imaging probes with low toxicity, high sensitivity and high specificity, and exploring the biomedical applications of these new imaging probes. In addition, the team is also interested in exploring the biomedical uses of endogenous CEST contrast; one of their ongoing projects examines the use of the endogenous CEST MRI signal of bacterial organisms to detect and monitor bacterial infection in rodent models.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Bar-Shir A, Liu G, Greenberg MM, Bulte JW, Gilad AA. “Synthesis of a probe for monitoring HSV1-tk reporter gene expression using chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI.” Nat Protoc. 2013 Dec;8(12):2380-91. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2013.140. Epub 2013 Oct 31

Bar-Shir A, Liu G, Chan KW, Oskolkov N, Song X, Yadav NN, Walczak P, McMahon MT, van Zijl PC, Bulte JW, Gilad AA. “Human protamine-1 as an MRI reporter gene based on chemical exchange.” ACS Chem Biol. 2013 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print].

Liu G, Bettegowda C, Qiao Y, Staedtke V, Chan KW, Bai R, Li Y, Riggins GJ, Kinzler KW, Bulte JW, McMahon MT, Gilad AA, Vogelstein B, Zhou S, van Zijl PC. “Noninvasive imaging of infection after treatment with tumor-homing bacteria using Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) MRI.” Magn Reson Med. 2013 Dec;70(6):1690-8. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24955. Epub 2013 Oct 7

Bar-Shir A, Gilad AA, Chan KW, Liu G, van Zijl PC, Bulte JW, McMahon MT. “Metal ion sensing using ion chemical exchange saturation transfer 19F magnetic resonance imaging.” J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Aug 21;135(33):12164-7. doi: 10.1021/ja403542g. Epub 2013 Aug 6

Yang X, Song X, Li Y, Liu G, Ray Banerjee S, Pomper MG, McMahon MT. “Salicylic acid and analogues as diaCEST MRI contrast agents with highly shifted exchangeable proton frequencies.” Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2013 Jul 29;52(31):8116-9. doi: 10.1002/anie.201302764. Epub 2013 Jun 21. No abstract available

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