About us

Research in our group is aimed at uncovering the causes of and developing therapeutics for gut and bladder diseases. 

In our gut research, we investigate gastrointestinal diseases (e.g., ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease and slow transit constipation) using human disease specimens. Our long-term collaboration with colorectal surgeons has resulted in establishing a unique human tissue bank with a large number of control and disease colon specimens. The tissue bank and our newly developed ex-vivo human colitis model allow us to directly explore mechanisms behind colonic diseases, study disease development and find effective drugs targeting these diseases.  

In our bladder research, using the porcine bladder, the best model for the human bladder, we have established both ex vivo and urothelial cell models of cystitis, which is a painful chronic bladder condition. Using these models, we have provided strong evidence for the role of purinergic P2X7 receptors in the process of bladder inflammation and the blockade of P2X7 receptors being of therapeutic potential. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a term for infections that involve any part of the urinary tract, causing considerable morbidity. UTIs are highly prevalent. Antibiotic resistance UTIs are on the rise globally, making them very hard to treat. Therefore, we intend to look for nonantibiotic alternatives to treat and prevent UTIs. 


Associate Professor of Pharmacology Lu Liu
Associate Professor of Pharmacology

T:  +61 2 90655578
E:  Lu.Liu@unsw.edu.au

opens in a new window
Honorary Professor

E:  e.burcher@unsw.edu.au

opens in a new window
Research Assistant

E:  i.markus@unsw.edu.au

opens in a new window


  • Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors in the human colon and bladder: in health and disease
  • Nonantibiotic management of urinary tract infection
  • Purinergic signalling in the colon and bladder in health and disease



  • Professor Kate Moore (St George Hospital)
  • A/Prof Kylie Mansfield (University of Wollongong)



  • Jenane Konesan (PhD)
  • Sichong Meng (Honours)
  • Travis Pavlovski (Honours)
  • Jenny Wang (Honours)