Dr. Liu was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He obtained a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997 with an emphasis in Neurobiology. He was the only graduate in his class to receive an Outstanding Service award for his contributions to the Department. During his time at Berkeley, he was an active competitor in taekwondo and was nationally ranked at the collegiate level. In 2001, he received his medical degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He completed a residency in neurological surgery at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR, in 2008, during which he performed nearly 200 skull base procedures under the tutelage of Drs. Kim Burchiel and Johnny Delashaw. The hospital named him Outstanding Consultant of the Year in 2005. During his residency, he spent two years in the laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Patricia Hurn investigating the role of the hormonal milieu and its effects on neuroprotection in ischemia. He was awarded the Basic Science Award for his scientific contributions at the Western Neurosurgical Society 2007 annual meeting.
Following his post-graduate training, he completed a two-year fellowship in neurointerventional surgery under Dr. Stanley Barnwell at the Dotter Interventional Institute in Portland, OR, while maintaining a busy general neurosurgical practice as a member of the neurosurgical faculty at the Oregon Health & Science University.
In addition to performing nearly 500 surgical procedures a year, Dr. Liu has an active research interest in cerebrovascular neurosurgery, particularly in the clinical prevention and attenuation of vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage and the molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection in ischemia. He has pioneered minimally-invasive treatments for devastating, difficult to treat conditions, such as intracerebral hemorrhage and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. He was the principal investigator on several trials here at the University of Virginia investigating the genetics of intracranial aneurysms and the surgical treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage. He also has a keen interest in device and technology development in the endovascular arena and is the principal investigator on several device trials. In addition to having been funded by the Department of Defense to test a non-invasive transcutaneous brain perfusion monitor in the past, he is also investigating applications of near infrared spectroscopy in this area. He is a strong proponent of the use of Internet technologies in medical and surgical education and is considered by many in the neurosurgical community as one of the leaders in the field. He continues to actively participate in Internet authoring and technology development.