Dr. Liu is Assistant Professor in the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Biophysics and W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research of the UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Liu did his graduate research in the laboratory of Dr. Ronen Marmorstein at the Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania, where he carried out structural and functional studies on the retinoblastoma and p300/CBP tumor suppressor proteins and their regulation by viral oncoproteins. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2007. Dr. Liu was a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Kornberg at Stanford University from 2008 to 2011, where he studied the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.



Nanjing University - China (2000), Biochemistry
Graduate School
University of Pennsylvania (2007), Chemistry

Research Interest

  • Chromatin and nuclear organization
  • Non-coding RNA
  • Structural biology
  • Transcriptional regulation


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Architecture of an RNA polymerase II transcription pre-initiation complex
Murakami K, Elmlund H, Kalisman N, Bushnell DA, Adams CM, Azubel M, Elmlund D, Levi-Kalisman Y, Liu X, Gibbons BJ, Levitt M, Kornberg RD. Science 2013 Nov 342 6159 1238724
Formation and Fate of a Complete 31-Protein RNA Polymerase II Transcription Preinitiation Complex.
Murakami K, Calero G, Brown CR, Liu X, Davis RE, Boeger H, Kornberg RD J. Biol. Chem. 2013 Mar 288 9 6325-32
RNA polymerase II transcription: Structure and mechanism.
Liu X, Bushnell DA, Kornberg RD Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2012 Sep
Tfb6, a previously unidentified subunit of the general transcription factor TFIIH, facilitates dissociation of Ssl2 helicase after transcription initiation.
Murakami K, Gibbons BJ, Davis RE, Nagai S, Liu X, Robinson PJ, Wu T, Kaplan CD, Kornberg RD Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012 Mar 109 13 4816-21
Lock and Key to Transcription: s-DNA Interaction.
Liu X, Bushnell DA, Kornberg RD Cell 2011 Dec 147 6 1218-9
Molecular basis for bre5 cofactor recognition by the ubp3 deubiquitylating enzyme.
Li K, Ossareh-Nazari B, Liu X, Dargemont C, Marmorstein R J. Mol. Biol. 2007 Sep 372 1 194-204

Honors & Awards

  • Rita Allen Scholar
    Rita Allen Foundation (2012)
  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
    Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (2011)
  • W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2011)
  • Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship
    The Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research (2008)
  • Dr. Monica H.M. Shander Award
    The Wistar Institute (2006)