Prof. Ben-Long Liu

Principal Investigator  

Research Direction
1. Molecular and neural basis for affective somatosensation;       2. Neuromodulation of social behaviors by pleasant touch

Contact Information
Address: Institutes of Brain Science, Fudan University, 131 Dong An Rd, Shanghai China 200032

Email: liu_b@fudan.edu.cn

Dr. Ben-Long Liu received his Ph.D. degree in Neurobiology from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 2017. He then worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Center for the Study of Itch and Sensory Disorders at Washington University School of Medicine between 2018 and 2023. He successfully identified the specific neuropeptide and spinal circuit responsible for pleasant touch and showed a broad interest in understanding the neural basis of pain and itch, with publications in Science (2022), JCI Insight (2020), Nature Communications (2020a, b), etc. He joined the Institutes of Brain Science at Fudan University as a principal investigator in June 2023. 

Enrollment Major

Research Work

Somatosensation (touch, pain, itch, etc.), composed of sensory and affective components, is vital for survival, for rapidly responding to environmental change, and for emotional and social functioning. Our lab is interested in revealing the molecular and neural basis of affective (pleasant & aversive) aspects of different somatosensory modalities and the interplay between pleasant touch and social cognition. The main goal is to provide new druggable targets and effective strategies for the prevention and medical intervention of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders with somatosensory impairment.

Selected Publications

1. Liu BL#, Qiao L#, Liu K#, Liu J, Piccinni-Ash TJ, Chen ZF*(2022). Molecular and neural basis of pleasant touch sensation. Science. 376(6592):483-491

2. Liu BL#, Cao QL#, Zhao X, Liu HZ, Zhang YQ*(2020). Inhibition of TRPV1 by SHP-1 in nociceptive primary sensory neurons is critical in PD-L1 analgesia. JCI Insight. 5(20): e137386

3. Barry DM, Liu XT, Liu BL, Liu XY, Gao F, Zeng X, Liu J, Yang Q, Wilhelm S, Yin J, Tao A, Chen ZF*(2020). Exploration of sensory and spinal neurons expressing gastrin-releasing peptide in itch and pain related behaviors. Nat Commun. 11(1):1397

4. Chen S#, Gao XF#, Zhou Y, Liu BL, Liu XY, Zhang Y, Barry DM, Liu K, Jiao Y, Bardoni R, Yu W*, Chen ZF*(2020). A spinal neural circuitry for converting touch to itch sensation. Nat Commun. 11(1):5074

5. Gu XY#, Liu BL#, Zang KK, Yang L, Xu H, Pan HL, Zhao ZQ, Zhang YQ* (2015). Dexmedetomidine inhibits Tetrodotoxin-resistant Na(v)1.8 sodium channel activity through G(i/o)-dependent pathway in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Mol Brain. 8:15

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