Dr. Liu is trained as an enzymologist and her research focuses on accelerating the identification of new therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. She has worked on a variety of enzyme targets in neurodegeneration, especially in kinases (protein regulators) such as LRRK2 and cdk5. Her recent research on LRRK2 has revealed that the G2019S mutation increases kinase activity by stabilizing the active structure of LRRK2. Through this work, the first DFG-out inhibitor (noncompetitive inhibitor of ATP, cellular energy) of LRRK2 was also identified. Dr. Liu is confident that her expertise will prove successful in accomplishing the proposed research plan.