Guanshu Liu, PhD

PI, Associate 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 Assistant 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.

Guanshu Liu, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the F.M. Kirby Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Liu earned his B.S. degree in Chemistry from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 1998, two M.S. degrees in Chemistry from Chinese Academy of Sciences (2001) and Missouri University of Science and Technology (2003), and Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2008.

• His main research interest is to develop new MR molecular imaging technologies for the precision diagnosis and treatment monitoring in cancer and central nervous system diseases. He has more than fifty original research articles, book chapters and review articles, and eight patents or invention discourses.
• The core of his research is to develop “new” (clinically available or useful agents that are never used for imaging) MRI probes and methods using a state-of-the-art MRI contrast mechanism called Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST), which makes a broad spectrum of bioorganic and biocompatible compounds (such as drugs, sugars and natural nutrition…) MRI visible without the need for metallic- or radioactive- labeling.
• His laboratory currently is focusing on the development of highly translatable MRI probes and to explore their applications, in particular, 1) Image-guided drug delivery using CEST theranostics, 2) CEST MRI biosensors for enzymes, pH, receptors, important biomolecules and bacterial cells, and 3) Multifunctional nanoparticles and biomaterials.

Office: Room 400f
Lab: Room 514
707 N. Broadway
Baltimore MD 21205
Phone: (443)923-3847
Fax: (443)923-9505

Yuguo Li, PhD

Research Associate

Dr. Yuguo Li has more than ten years of research experience in chemistry and biomedical imaging. He has received rigorous training on chemical synthesis, molecular assembly, nanoparticle characterization, in vivo small animal fluorescent imaging and MRI.
He is a chemist with plenty of experiences of designing, synthesizing and characterizing of novel MRI contrast agents and radiolabelled nuclear imaging probes for the purpose of molecular imaging. He has also participated in numerous research projects with 30 more papers published in peer-reviewed journals. He has also applied his research experience and skills to molecular imaging (especially MRI imaging) and has built up a solid foundation for interdisciplinary biomedical research in the field of molecular imaging using SPECT, PET and MRI.

Education: Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, Ph.D.
Hobbies: Reading, hiking.

Jia Zhang, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Research Interest: CEST MRI, hydrogel, drug delivery

2006-2012 Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2013-2016 University of Science and Technology of China

Hobby: Cooking

Zheng Han, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Research interest: CEST MRI contrast agents
2011-2017 Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
2007-2011 Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University
Hobbies: Guitar, movie, books

Chuheng Chen

Master student
Research Interest: MR fingerprinting in CEST
Education: BSE- 2017 Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
Hobby: Video games!!

Jiaqi Lu

Master student



2012/9-2016-6 Zhejiang University    Major: Chemistry

2017/9-now     Johns Hopkins University    Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research interest: tumor cell and drug delivery

Hobbies: Piano and Yoga


Zelong Chen

PhD student


2015-present PhD student, Southern Medical University. Research Interest: molecular imaging, tissue engineering

2012              Master of Clinical Medicine. Jin Zhou Medical University. Research Interest: medical imaging and nuclear medicine

2007              Bachelor of Medicine. Jinzhou Medical University.

Hobbies: traveling


Lab alumni

Name Position (year) Current position Email
David Ryoo Master student (2016-2017) PhD student, Georgia Tech
Xiaoli Wang visiting scientist (2015-2016) Professor, Department of Medical Imaging, Weifang Medical University, China
Dexiang Liu visiting scientist (2015-2016) Professor of Radiology, Guangzhou Panyu Central Hospital, China
Huanling Liu visiting scientist (2015-2016) Professor of Radiology, Guangzhou Panyu Central Hospital, China
Hanwei Chen visiting scientist (2015-2016) Professor of Radiology, Guangzhou Panyu Central Hospital, China
Shuixing Zhang visiting scientist (2014-2015) Professor of Radiology, Jinan University, China
Zhiyong Li visiting scientist (2013-2014) Professor of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, China
Jing Liu visiting PhD student Radiology Department, The Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, China