Faculty Profile, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan

Faculty Profiles

Ko-Jiunn Liu, Ph.D.

Associate Investigator
National Institute of Cancer Research


Ph.D., Tumor Cell Biology Program and Immunology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA (1994)
B.S., Medical Technology, Taipei Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan (1986)


  • Assistant Investigator (1997-2005), Associate Investigator (2005-present), National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor (2001-present), Taipei Medical University, Taiwan

  • Postdoctoral Fellow (1994-1997), Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, USA

  • Research Assistant (1988-1989), Institute for Chinese Medicine Research, Taipei Medical College, Taiwan


Dr. Liu's research interests are mainly on tumor immunology and cancer
immunotherapy. He is working on the development of dendritic cell-based immunotherapy for cancers and the screening of compounds that can modulate functions of dendritic cells. Another related research is the identification and clinical application of tumor markers and tumor-associated antigens in cancer. Dr. Liu is also interested in the identification of molecular markers and genetic factors in liver cancer. In collaboration with other investigators, Dr. Liu is also working on the
screening of compounds that have anti-angiogenesis capacity.


One of the research directions of the National Institute of Cancer Research is to develop DC-based immunotherapy for advanced cancers in Taiwan. Dr. Liu has been working on projects aiming at this direction. He has planed four stages of development. The first stage of research is to establish procedures for generation and characterization of DCs from normal donors and cancer patients in our laboratory, and perform pre-clinical studies on DCs to prepare for clinical application. The second stage of research is to conduct initial clinical studies with in vitro generated DCs for advanced cancers using known CTL epitopes or autologous tumor cells as the sources of antigen. The third stage of research is to investigate on novel or modified approaches for DC-based therapy with in vitro experiments or animal tumor models in the laboratory. The fourth stage is to translate new approaches developed in their laboratory to clinical applications. They have now completed the first stage of laboratory studies on DC preparation. For the second stage of research, they have completed two pilot phase-I clinical trials of DC-based immunotherapy for advanced colorectal and lung cancers. The results from these two phase-I trials are very encouraging. To continue these researches, he has proposed two phase-II clinical studies to further evaluate the efficacy of such treatment for both cancers. For the third stage of research, they have completed initial studies on the modification of DC-based immunotherapy using in vitro assays and in vivo animal tumor models. Follow-up research of this study is currently in progress. The fourth stage of studies will be their future research goal. He thinks that they are on the road to fulfill the goal of developing and conducting DC-based immunotherapy for advanced cancers in Taiwan, as a collaboration of laboratory researchers and clinical physicians in the Institute and other medical centers.


  1. Liu KJ and Shih NY. The role of enolase in tissue invasion and metastasis of pathogens and tumor cells. Journal of Cancer Molecules, 3(2):45, 2007.

  2. Liu KJ. Dendritic cell, toll-like receptor, and the immune system.Journal of Cancer Molecules, 2(6):213, 2006.

  3. Chang GC, Liu KJ, Hsieh CL, Hu TS, Charoenfuprasert S, Liu HK, Luh KT, Hsu LH, Wu CW, Ting CC, Chen CY, Chen KC, Yang TY, Chou TY, Wang WH, Whang-Peng J and Shih NY. Identification of alpha-enolase as an autoantigen in lung cancer: its overexpression is associated with clinical outcomes. Clinical Cancer Research, 12(19):5747, 2006.

  4. Chang GC, Lan HC, Juang SH, Wu YC, Lee HC, Hung YM, Whang-Peng J and Liu KJ(corresponding author). A Pilot Clinical Trial of Vaccination with Dendritic Cells Pulsed with Autologous Tumor Cells Derived from Malignant Pleural Effusion in Patients with Late-stage Lung Cancer. Cancer, 103(4):763, 2005.

  5. Liu KJ, Wang CC, Chen LT, Cheng AL, Lin DT, Wu YC, Yu WL, Hung YM, Yang HY, Juang SH and Whang-Peng J. Generation of CEA-specific T cell responses in HLA-A*0201 and HLA-A*2402 late-stage colorectal cancer patients after vaccination with dendritic cells loaded with CEA peptides. Clinical Cancer Research, 10(8):2645, 2004.

  6. Liu KJ(corresponding author), Lu LF, Cheng HT, Hung YM, Shiou SR, Whang-Peng J and Juang SH. Concurrent delivery of tumor antigens and activation signals to dendritic cells by irradiated CD40 ligand-transfected tumor cells resulted in efficient activation of specific CD8+ T cells. Cancer Gene Therapy, 11:135, 2004.

  7. Liu KJ, Chen CT, Hu WS, Hung YM, Hsu CY, Chuang BF and Juang SH. Expression of cytoplasmic-domain substituted epeidermal growth factor receptor inhibits tumorigenicity of EGFR-overexpressed human glioblastoma multiforme. International Journal of Oncology, 24(3): 581, 2004.