Dr. Yong-Jian Liu is an assistant professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Liu received his Medical Degree in 1983 at the Nanjing Medical University in China and his MSc in Neurophysiology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in 1988. Dr. Liu began his research career as a postdoctoral fellow on Parkinson's disease studies since 1991 in the laboratory of Dr. Robert H. Edwards then in UCLA and continued his research work as an adjunct assistant professor at UCSF. In 1999, Dr. Liu moved to Pittsburgh to join the Department of Neurology for an independent faculty position. Dr. Liu's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying the selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. His laboratory studies the presynaptic mechanisms involved in the synaptic transmission, with focus on the vesicular transport of dopamine into secretory vesicles and their implication in Parkinson's disease. His laboratory is currently exploring how the impaired neuroprotection by VMAT contributes to the oxidative stress of dopamine neurons and therefore predisposes them to injury during the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease.