I was born and grew up in Wuhan, China. I obtained my B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Wuhan University. I received my Ph.D. training with Professor Steve Elledge at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston), where I studied the DNA damage checkpoints and developed a novel cloning method called UPS. I went on to do my postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Xiaodong Wang, from whom I learn the art of classical biochemistry. I joined the faculty at UT Southwestern in 2004. My research group currently focuses on understanding the molecular circuits of RNAi/microRNA and sleep regulation by combining genetics and biochemistry.   


Wuhan University (1992), Biochemistry
Graduate School
Baylor College of Medicine (2001), Cell Biology

Research Interest

  • Molecular Mechanism of Fear in Mammals
  • Molecular Mechanism of Sleep in Mammals
  • Molecular Mechanisms of RNA Interference and MicroRNAs


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Sjogren Syndrome Antigen B (SSB)/La promotes global microRNA expression by binding microRNA precursors through stem-loop recognition.
C. Liang, K. Xiong, K.E. Szulwuch, Y. Zhang, Z. Wang, J. Peng, M. Fu, P. Jing, H.I. Suzuki, Q. Liu. J Biol Chem 2013 288 723-36
Autoantigen La promotes RNAi, antiviral response, and transposon silencing by facilitating multi-turnover RISC catalysis.
Y. Liu, H. Tan, H. Tian, C. Liang, S. Chen, Q. Liu. Mol. Cell 2011 44: 502-508
Structure of C3PO and mechanism of human RISC activation.
X. Ye, N. Huang, Y. Liu, Z. Paroo, C. Huerta, P. Li, S. Chen, Q. Liu*, H. Zhang* (co-corresponding authors) Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011 18: 650-657
The functional anatomy of Drosophiila microRNA-generating enzyme
X. Ye, P. Zain, and Q. Liu J. Biol. Chem. July 2007 282 (39) 28373-28378

Honors & Awards

  • Damon Runyon Scholar Award
  • Deborah and W.A. "Tex" Moncrief, Jr. Scholar in Medical Research