Dr. med. Hanhan Liu finished her medical studies at Tongji University in Shanghai in June 2013. After that, she worked for 2 years as an Ophthalmology resident at the Ophthalmology Department of Shanghai East Hospital and finished her master thesis.
Immediately after her master’s thesis in 2015, Dr. Hanhan Liu applied as a doctoral student in Univ.-Prof. Dr. Verena Prokosch`s work group neuroprotection at the University Eye Hospital in Mainz. Dr. Hanhan Liu successfully completed her doctorate on the subject of „Neuroprotection from hydrogen sulfide in glaucoma“ with magna cum laude.
Her highly ranked publication in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science was the first to demonstrate that H2S provides dose-dependent protection in different animal models of glaucoma, both in vitro and in vivo, and the underlying mechanisms of the protective effect of H2S is related to the regulation of iron metabolism, mitochondrial dynamics and vascular functions. For this work, Dr. Hanhan Liu received the Glaucoma Research Award from the German Ophthalmology Association (DOG) in 2018. She continued to work on the topic and published five peer-reviewed papers as first author on the subject of H2S and neuroprotection in glaucoma. For the paper “Mitochondrial Changes and Aging in Glaucoma” she received the Paper of the Month in April 2020 from the World Glaucoma Association.
Last October, Dr. Hanhan Liu followed Prof. Prokosch’s professorship to the University Eye Clinic of Cologne and started her follow-up project “Hydrogen Sulfide: an experimental study of its properties on neuroprotective treatment strategies in glaucoma” as a postdoc in Prokosch’s work group neuroprotection in glaucoma.
In this project, they expect to shed light on the pathophysiology of glaucoma and to better understand the protective mechanism of H2S in retinal neurodegeneration. Researches into the protective mechanism of H2S will open up the possibility of novel, neuroprotective treatment strategies for glaucoma.
In January 2021, Dr. Hanhan Liu won the scientific prize of the Rheinisch-Westfälischer Augenärzte association for this project.
After a significant boost to her expertise in basic research, Dr. Hanhan Liu will continue her training as a specialist in ophthalmology at the University Eye Clinic of Cologne. It will be undeniably challenging to work in the clinic and still maintain the scientific track.
The Cologne Clinician Scientist program provides the perfect opportunity for young clinician-scientists to optimally balance their resources on clinical work and research at the same time. In the course of CCSP, she will be working under the supervision and mentoring of both Prof. Dr. Prokosch and Prof. Dr. Claus Cursiefen.