While Dr. Fang Liu, Senior Scientist and Tapscott Chair in Schizophrenia, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, spends most of her time these days in the lab examining protein molecules, she began her career in medicine as a pediatrician. It was in those doctor’s offices diagnosing and treating children that she started to dream about how she could change the lives of these young patients for the better.
“You have to have a dream first,” says Dr. Liu. “I was not a scientist before I joined CAMH. But even at that time, my dream was to one day make a perfect drug: a drug without side-effects.”
But Dr. Liu learned shortly after entering the world of neuroscience that big dreams are sometimes met with fierce resistance.
In the early 2000’s when she began taking a closer look at how two types of receptors in the brain known as a ‘receptor complex’ work together, she believed that they could play a role in mental illness. But when she submitted her first scientific paper on this paradigm-shifting concept, a famous international scientist sent her a one-sentence peer review commentary: “In general, I don’t believe it.”