Dr. Liu is an Associate Professor in the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and in the Department of Biophysics. He is W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research of the UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Liu did his graduate research with Dr. Ronen Marmorstein at the Wistar Institute and University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2007. Dr. Liu was a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Roger Kornberg at Stanford University from 2008 to 2011. Dr. Liu joined the faculty of UT Southwestern in 2011.

Dr. Liu studies the molecular and biophysical mechanisms of chromatin, epigenetics and transcription in development and disease. A current focus is to understand how the developmentally regulated heterochromatin is established, maintained and inherited. To achieve this goal, the Liu lab uses various research tools, such as biochemical reconstitution, X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, proteomics and next-generation sequencing, to study large assemblies of relevant protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid chromatin complexes.


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

Research Interest

  • Chromatin and Nuclear Organization
  • Epigenetics and Transcription
  • Non-coding RNAs
  • Structural Biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Structural dissection of an interaction between transcription initiation and termination factors implicated in promoter-terminator crosstalk.
Bratkowski M, Unarta IC, Zhu L, Shubbar M, Huang X, Liu X J. Biol. Chem. 2017 Nov
Structural analysis of an active fungal PRC2.
Jiao L, Liu X Nucleus 2016 May 0
Astemizole Arrests the Proliferation of Cancer Cells by Disrupting the EZH2-EED Interaction of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2.
Kong X, Chen L, Jiao L, Jiang X, Lian F, Lu J, Zhu K, Du D, Liu J, Ding H, Zhang N, Shen J, Zheng M, Chen K, Liu X, Jiang H, Luo C J. Med. Chem. 2014 Nov 57 22 9512-21
Catalytic Mechanism of Histone Acetyltransferase p300: From the Proton Transfer to Acetylation Reaction.
Zhang X, Ouyang S, Kong X, Liang Z, Lu J, Zhu K, Zhao D, Zheng M, Jiang H, Liu X, Marmorstein R, Luo C J Phys Chem B 2014 Feb 118 8 2009-19

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)