Dr. Jen Liou received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), under the mentorship of Dr. Arthur Weiss, for her work on dissecting signaling transduction events in lymphocyte activation using biochemical and genetic approaches. During her postdoctoral training under Dr. Tobias Meyer at Stanford University, Dr. Liou studied cellular signaling using systems biology and quantitative live-cell imaging approaches.

She collaborated with four colleagues and generated an siRNA library targeting 2,304 human signaling proteins. She used this library to address a long-standing question in lymphocyte activation and calcium signaling: the molecular mechanism underlying store-operated calcium (SOC) signaling.

Dr. Liou identified STIM1/2 as the calcium sensors in the endoplasmic reticulum for SOC signaling and characterized the activation mechanisms of STIM1/2. Her work represented a major breakthrough that set the direction of many laboratories in the field.

An article in the Summer 2009 edition of Stanford Medicine, "Anatomy of an Experiment: Chasing Down the Cell’s Gatekeepers" describes Dr. Liou’s research.


National Taiwan University (1992), Zoology
Graduate School
National Taiwan University (1994), Zoology
Graduate School
University of California-San F (2001), Biology

Research Interest

  • Calcium Signaling
  • Inter-organelle communication
  • Live-Cell Imaging and High-Resolution Microscopy
  • Membrane Contact Sites and Junctions
  • Non-vesicular Lipid Transport
  • Phosphoinositide Metabolism


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

ER-Plasma Membrane Junctions: Why and How Do We Study Them?
Chang CL, Chen YJ, Liou J Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2017 May
Homeostatic Regulation of the PI(4,5)P2-Ca(2+) Signaling System at ER-PM Junctions.
Chang CL, Liou J Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2016 Feb
Molecular mechanisms of inter-organelle ER-PM contact sites.
Henne WM, Liou J, Emr SD Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 2015 May 35 123-130
Unveiling physiological functions of extended synaptotagmins.
Liou J, Chang CL Cell Cycle 2015 Mar 14 6 799-800

Honors & Awards

  • Endowed Scholar in Biomedical Research
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2009)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Cell Biology