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Charles Y. Liu, PhD, MD




1333 San Pablo Street, MH B51,
Los Angeles, CA 90033


Charles Y. Liu is a professor of neurological surgery, with joint appointments in neurology, urology, biomedical engineering, and biokinesiology and physical therapy. He directs the USC Neurorestoration Center which aims to develop transformative approaches to restore function to the damaged nervous system. He is engaged in a broad spectrum of efforts that brings together the fields of engineering and medicine to develop systems-level solutions to challenges that lead to human suffering due to loss of nervous system function over the life-span. He is a recognized expert in complex intracranial surgery, epilepsy surgery, neurotrauma, and neurorehabilitation. He has also made key contributions in a large number of internationally visible “first-in-human” applications of transformative technologies to restore neurological function.

Dr. Liu has held numerous leadership positions at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, where he continues to serve as Chair of Neurosurgery. He has had a long-standing association with Caltech, where he is appointed as visiting associate in Biology and Bioengineering. He has worked in close partnership with multiple private and public sector health systems to craft creative solutions to issues related to access to specialty services in underserved communities. For example, he has provided principal leadership in the establishment of the USC Epilepsy Care Consortium, a unique patient-centered partnership for epilepsy care that connects over 20% of the National Association of Epilepsy Centers registered programs in California, including the first and only adult epilepsy center in Central California.

Dr. Liu has made a large number of contributions to the published literature and delivered numerous key-note lectures nationally and internationally. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and directs a large number of collaborative research projects funded by federal and nonfederal agencies, including NIH, NSF, DARPA and PAC-12 Conference. He is also the Head Team Neurosurgeon for the USC Department of Athletics and is the neurosurgical consultant to the Rose Bowl Game.

  • Residency in Neurological Surgery, University of Southern California Affiliated Hospitals, 2003
  • Doctor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 1996
  • PhD, Chemical Engineering (Bioengineering), Rice University, 1993
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1987
  • Liu CY(1993). “A Study on the Resistances to Oxygen Transport in the Microcirculation.” D. Thesis, Rice University.
  • Liu CY, Eskin SG, and Hellums JD (1994). The oxygen permeability of cultured endothelial cell monolayers.  Exp. Med. & Biol. 345, 723-730.
  • Liu CY, Udden MM, and Hellums JD (1995). Oxygen transport in thin layers of packed sickle erythrocytes.  Res., 49, 78-96.
  • Apuzzo MLJ and Liu CY(2001). 2001: Things to come.  Neurosurgery49:765-778.
  • Liu CY, Apuzzo MLJ, and Tirrell DA (2003).Engineering of the extracellular matrix: working toward neural stem cell programming and neurorestoration – concept and progress report.  Neurosurgery,52:1154-1167.
  • Liu CY, Westerlund U, Svensson M, Moe MC, Varghese M, Berg-Johnsen J, Apuzzo MLJ, Tirrell DA, and Langmoen IA (2003).Artificial Niches for Stem Cells from Adult Humans – Possibility for Autologous Transplantation Therapy.  Journal of Hematotherapy and Stem Cell Research12(6):689-699.
  • Amar AP, Apuzzo MLJ, Liu CY(2004). Vagus nerve stimulation therapy after failed cranial surgery for intractable epilepsy: Results from the vagus nerve stimulation therapy patient outcome registry. Neurosurgery55(5): 1086-1092.
  • Aho C, Liu CY, Zelman V, Couldwell WT, Weiss MH (2005). Surgical outcomes in treatment of 118 patients with Rathke’s Cleft Cysts.  Journal of Neurosurgery102, 189-193.
  • Kim KA, Wang MY, McNatt S, Pinsky G, Liu CY, Giannotta SL, Apuzzo MLJ (2004). Vector-analysis correlating bullet trajectory to outcome post-civilian through-and-through gunshot wound to the head: using imaging cues to predict fatal outcome.  Neurosurgery57(4):737-746
  • Wang MW, Liu CY(2005) Resorbable polylactic acid interbody spacers with vertebral autograft for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion.  Neurosurgery57(1), 135-140.
  • Heller AC, Amar AP,Liu CY, Apuzzo MLJ (2006).Psychomodulation: The evolution of surgery for disorders of mind and mood.  Neurosurgery, 59(4), 720-739.
  • Zada G, Liu CY, Fishback D, Khalessi A, Singer P, Weiss MH (2007). Diagnosis and management of delayed hyponatremia following transsphenoidal pituitary surgery.  Journal of Neurosurgery106:66-71.
  • Jabbour MN, Elder JB, Samuelson CG, Khashabi S, Hofman FM, Giannotta SL, Liu CY (2008). Aberrant angiogenic characteristics of human brain AVM endothelial cells.  Neurosurgery,64(1), 139-148.
  • Stapleton CJ, Armstrong DL, Zidovetzki R, Liu CY, Giannotta SL, Hofman FM (2011). Thrombospondin-1 modulates the angiogenic phenotype of human cerebral arteriovenous malformation endothelial cells.  Neurosurgery68(5): 1342-1353.
  • Lee, B, Liu CY, Apuzzo MLJA (2013).A Primer on Brain Machine Interfaces: Concepts and Technology – A Key Element in the Future of Functional Restoration.  World Neurosurgery79(3):457-471.
  • Gajaweli N, Lao Y, Apuzzo MLJ, Romano R, Liu CY, Tsao S, Hwang D, Wilkins B, Lepore N, Law M (2013).Neuroimaging changes in the brain in contact versus noncontact sport athletes using diffusion tensor imaging. World Neurosurgery80(6), 824-828.
  • Hsiao MC, Yu PN, Song D, Liu CY, Heck CN, Millett D, Berger TW (2014). An in-vitro seizure model from human hippocampal slices using multi-electrode arrays.  J Neurosci Methods244, 154-63.
  • Flint R, Wang PT, Wright ZA, King CE, Krucoff MO, Schuele SU, Rosenow JM, Hsu FP, Liu CY, Lin JJ, Sazgar M, Millett DE, Shaw SJ, Nenandic Z, Do AH, Slutzky MW (2014). Extracting kinetic information from human motor cortical signals. NeuroImage101, 695-703.
  • Taghva A, Silvetz R, Ring A, Kim KYA, Liu CY, Jin Y (2015). Magnetic resonance therapy improves clinical phenotype and EEG alpha power in posttraumatic stress disorder.  Trauma Monthly, in press.
  • Lee B, Zubair MN, Marquez Y, Lee DM, Kalayjian LA, Heck CN, Liu CY(2015). The NeuroPace RNS System: Initial experience in a single North American institution.  World Neurosurgery84(3), 719-26.
  • Kellis S, Aflalo T, Klaes C, Lee B, Shi Y, Pejsa K, Shanfield K, Hayes-Jackson S, Aisen M, Heck C, Liu CY, Andersen RA (2015). Decoding motor imagery from the posterior parietal cortex of a tetraplegic human.  Science348(6237), 906-10.
  • Atenello F, Amar AP, Liu C, Apuzzo ML (2015). Theoretical basis for vagus nerve stimulation.  Prog Neurol Surg29, 20-8.
  • Klaes C, Kellis S, Aflalo T, Lee B, Pejsa K, Shanfield K, Hayes-Jackson S, Aisen M, Heck C, Liu C, Andersen R (2015). Hand shape representations in the human posterior parietal cortex.  J Neuroscience35(46), 15466-15476.
  • Wang PT, King CE, McCrimmon CM, Lin JJ, Sazgar M, Hsu FPK, Shaw SJ, Millett DE, Chui LA, Liu CY, Do AH, Nenadic Z (2016). Comparison of decoding resolution of standard and high-density electrocorticogram electrodes.   J Neural Engineering13(2), pp. 026016.
  • Kawata K, Liu CY, Tierney RT, Langford D (2016). Blood biomarkers for brain injury: What are we measuring?  Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews68, pp 460-473.
  • Liu CY, Russin J, Heck C, Kawata K, Adiga R, Yen W, Lambert J, Stear B, Law M, Marquez Y, Crino P, Millett D, Langford D (2016).Dysregulation of PINCH signaling in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience36, pp 43-52.
  • Karimi-Bidhendi A, Malekzadeh-Arasteh O, Lee MC, McCrimmon CM, Wang PT, Mahajan A, Liu CY, Nenadic Z, Do A, Heydari P (2017). CMOS Ultralow power brain signal acquisition front-ends: Design and human testing.  IEEE Trans. Biomed. Circuits and Systems (TBioCAS), 11(5): 1111-1122.
  • Wang PT, McCrimmon CM, King CE, Shaw SJ, Millett DE, Gong H, Chui LA, Liu CY, Nenadic Z, Do A (2017).Characterization of electrocorticogram high-gamma signal in response to varying upper extremity movement velocity. Brain Structure & Function,222(8): 3705-3748.
  • McCrimmon CM, Wang PT, Heydari P, Nguyen A, Shaw S, Gong H, Chui LA, Liu CY, Nenadic, Z, Do A (2017).Electrocorticographic encoding of human gait in the leg primary motor cortex.  Cerebral Cortex28(8):2752-2762.
  • McCoy E, Eftekhary N, Nwosu K, Fukunaga, D, Liu CY, Rolfe K (2017). ASIA A (sensory and motor complete) is not different than ASIA B (sensory incomplete, motor complete) in gunshot related spinal cord injury.  The Spine Journal17(12):1846-1849.
  • Smith J, Armacost M, Ensign E, Shaw S, Jimenez N, Millett D, Liu C, Heck C (2018). Epilepsy surgery in underserved Hispanics improves depression, anxiety, and quality of life.  Epilepsy and Behavior83:1-6.
  • Harvey RL, , Edwards D, Duning K, Fregni F, Stein J, Laine J, Rogers LM, Vox F, Durand-Sanchez A, Brockbrader M, Goldstein LB, Francisco GE, Kinney CL, Liu CY, and on behalf of the NICHE Trial Investigators (2018).  The NICHE Study: A randomized sham controlled clinical trial of navigated low-frequency rTMS to the non-injured hemisphere combined with upper limb rehabilitation 3-12 months post-stroke.  Stroke,49(9):2138-2146.
  • Armenta Salas M, Bashford L, Kellis S, Jafari M, Jo HC, Kramer D, Shanfield K, Pejsa K, Lee B, Liu C, Andersen RA (2018). Proprioceptive and cutaneous sensations in humans elicited by intracortical microstimulation.  ELife,7:e32904.
  • Lee B, Kramer D, Armenta M, Kellis S, Brown D, Dobreya T, Klaes C, Heck C, Liu C, Andersen R (2018).Engineering artificial somatosensation through cortical stimulation in humans.  Frontiers Systems Neuroscience12:24.
  • Barbaro M, Chesney K, Kramer D, Kellis S, Peng T, Blumenfeld Z, Gogia AS, Lee MB, Greenwood J, Nune G, Kalayjian LA, Heck CN, Liu C, Lee B (2019). Dual NeuroPace responsive neurostimulator system implants for epilepsy. J Neurosurg, in press.
  • Kramer D, Kellis S, Barbaro M, Armenta-Salas M, Nune G, Liu C, Andersen R, Lee B (2019). Technical considerations for generating somatosensation via cortical stimulation in a closed-loop sensory/motor brain-computer interface system in humans.  J Clin Neurosci, accepted.
  • Shah S, Haghi BA, Kellis S, Bashford L, Kramer D, Lee B, Liu CY, Andersen R, Emami A (2019). Decoding kinematics from human parietal cortex using neural networks.  9thIntl. IEEE/EMBS Conf. on Neural Eng. (NER), accepted.
  • Vaidya M, Flint RD, Wang PT, Barry A, Li Y, Ghassemi M, Tomic G, Yao J, Carmona C, Mugler EM, Driver S, Brkic N, Ripley D, Liu C, Kamper D, Do AH, Slutzky (2019). Hemicraniectomy in TBI: A noninvasive platform to investigate high gamma activity for brain machine interface.  IEEE Transactions in Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, accepted.
  • Kramer D, Barbaro MF, Lee M, Peng T, Nune G, Liu CY, Kellis S, Lee B (2019). Electrocorticographic changes in field potentials following natural somatosensory percepts in humans.  Exp Brain Res, accepted.