Jian Liu


Ph.D.   Washington University,  St. Louis, MO,  Neurosciences,  1997

M.S.   University of Nebraska-Lincoln,  Lincoln, NE,  Genetics & Molecular Biology,  1990

B.S.   Fudan University,  Shanghai, China,  Microbiology,  1988


Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (August, 2009 - Present), Suzhou, China-PRC.

Interim Deputy Head, Department of Biological Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (September, 2011 - February, 2012), Suzhou, China-PRC.

Associate Scientist/Principal Investigator, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute (January, 2003 - August, 2009), San Francisco, CA, United States of America.

Postdoctoral fellow, the Laboratory of Don W. Cleveland, PhD, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of California, San Diego (July, 1998 - December, 2002), San Diego, CA, United States of America.

Research Associate, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (January, 1991 - June, 1991), Lincoln, NE, United States of America.

Researcher, the laboratory of Genetics, Suzhou Psychiatric Hospital (July, 1988 - October, 1988), Suzhou, China-PRC.

Professional Service Activities 

Invited Lecture

2011:  Mini-Symposium, CNS-JNS symposium on motor neuron disease and glia, the 9th Biennial Conference of the Chinese Neuroscience Society, Zhengzhou, China-PRC (National).

2008:  Plenary lecture, 19th International Symposium on ALS/MND, Birmingham, United Kingdom (International).

Professional Memberships 

Women in Neuroscience, 1997-2009

Society for Neuroscience, 1992-present

Honors and Awards 

2000:  Postdoctoral Fellowship, Spinal Cord Research Foundation.  

2000-2002, $50,000/year

1989:  School of Biological Sciences Awards for Outstanding Endeavor and Promise, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.  1989, 1990. School of Biological Sciences Awards for Outstanding Endeavor and Promise in the Field of Life Science.

Research Interests 

Research Interests

  • The laboratory of Dr. Jian Liu is interested in the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, specifically the motor neuron disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.
  • The research is focused on understanding two cellular events that can contribute to disease mechanisms when in pathological states using two genetic models: SOD1 and TDP-43-mediated ALS. In the SOD1 model, we are interested in determining whether carbonic anhydrase (CA1), a potential protein involved in ALS pathology can modulate ER-stress responses and synaptic vesicle recycling. In the TDP-43 model, we are interested in understanding how disruption of TDP-43 nucleocytoplasmic transport homeostasis at the nuclear pore complex (NPC) can lead to motor neuron death


Liu, J., Akhavan, A., Lu, M., Lingappa, R. V., An, J., Bowser, R (2010).  Carbonic anhydrase I is.   Int. J. Mol. Sci (11), 4051-4062.

Gruzman, A., Wood, L. W., Alpert, E., Prasad, D. M., Miller, G. R., Rothstein, J.D., Bowser, R., Hamilton, R.L., Wood, T.D., Cleveland, D.W., Lingappa, V.R., and Liu, J. (2007).  Common molecular signature in SOD1 for both sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.   Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci (104), 12524-12529.

Liu, J., Shinobu, A. L., Ward, M. C., Young, D., & Cleveland, W. D. (2005).  Elevation of the Hsp70 chaperone does not effect toxicity in mouse models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.   J. Neurochem (93), 875-882.

Liu, J., Lillo, C., Jonsson, A. P., Vande, C. V., Ward, M. C., Miller, T.M., Subramaniam, J.R., Rothstein, J.D., Marklund, S., Andersen, P.M., Brännström, T., Gredel, O., Wong, P.C., Williams, D.S., and Cleveland, D.W (2004).  Toxicity of familial ALS-linked SOD1 mutants from selective recruitment to spinal mitochondria.   Neuron (43), 5-17.

O'Malley, L. K., Liu, J., Ltharius, J., & Holtz, W. (2003).  Targeted expression of Bcl-2 attenuates MPP+ but not 6-OHDA induced cell death in dopaminergic neurons.   Neurobiol. Dis (14), 43-51.

Howland, S. D., Liu, J., She, Y., Goad, B., Margakis, J. N., Kim, B., Erickson, J., Kulik, J., DeVito, L., Psaltis, G., DeGennaro, L.J., Howland, D.S., Cleveland, D.W., and Rothstein, J.D. (2002).  Focal loss of the glutamate transporter EAAT2 in a transgenic rat model of mutant SOD1-mediated Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).   Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci (99), 1604-1609.

Subranmaniam, R. J., Lyons, E. W., Liu, J., Brtnikas, B. T., Rothstein, J., Price, D.L., Cleveland, D.W., Gitlin, J.D., and Wong, P.C. (2002).  Mutant SOD1 causes motor neuron disease independent of CCS-mediated copper loading.   Nat. Neurosci (5), 301-307.

Kato, N. S., Nakashima, K., Horiuchi, S., Nagai, R., Cleveland, W. D., Liu, J., Hirano, A., Takikawa, M., Kato, M., Nakano, I., Sakoka, S., Asayama, K., and Ohama, E. (2001).  Formation of advanced glycation end-product-modified superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) is one of the mechanisms responsible for inclusions common to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients with SOD1 gene mutations and transgenic mice expressing human.   Neuropathol (21), 67-81.

Cleveland, W. D. & Liu, J. (2000).  Oxidation versus aggregation-how do SOD1 mutants cause ALS?   Nature Med (6), 1320-1321.

Jackson-Lewis, V., Vila, M., Djaldetti, R., Guegan, C., Liberatore, G., Liu, J., O'Malley, K.L., Burke, R.E., and Przedborski, S. (2000).  Developmental cell death in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra of mice.   J. Comp. Neurol (424), 476-488.

Williamson, L. T., Corson, B. L., Huang, L., Burlingame, A., Liu, J., Buijn, L.I., Cleveland, D.W., Beckman, J.S., Crow, J.P., and Estévez, A.G. (2000).  Toxicity of ALS-linked SOD1 mutants.   Science (288), 399.

Liu, J., Merlie, P. J., Todd, D. R., & O'Malley, L. K. (1997).  Identification of cell type-specific promoter elements associated with the rat tyrosine hydroxylase gene using transgenic founder analysis.   Mol. Brain Res (50), 33-42.

Burnett, E. M., Liu, J., & Conway, T. (1992).  Molecular characterization of the Zymomonas mobilis enolase (eno) gene.   J. Bacteriol (174), 6548-6553.

Barnell, O. W., Liu, J., Hesman, L. T., O'Neill, C. M., & Conway, T. (1992).  The Zymomonas mobilis glf, zwf, edd, and glk genes from an operon: Localization of the promoter and identification of a conserved sequence in the regulatory region.   J. Bacteriol (174), 2816-2823.

Zembrzuski, B., Chilco, P., Liu, S.-L, Liu, J., Conway, T., Scopes, R. K. (1992).  The fructokinase gene from Zymomonas mobilis: Cloning, sequencing, expression and structural comparison with other hexose kinases.   J. Bacteriol (174), 3455-3460.

Liu, J., Barnell, O. W., & Conway, T. (1992).  The polycistronic mRNA of the Zymomonas mobilis glf-zwf-edd-glk operon is subject to complex transcript processing.   J. Bacteriol (174), 2824-2833.

Conway, T., Fliege, R., Jones-Kilpatric, D., Liu, J., Barnell, O. W., Egan, S. E. (1991).  Cloning, characterization, and expression of the Zymomonas mobilis eda gene that encodes 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate aldolase of the Entner-Doudoroff pathway.   Mol. Microbiol (5), 2901-2911.

Chen, Q. Y. & Liu, J. (1989).  Secretion of foreign proteins in Escherichia coli.   Prog. Biochem. Biophy (16), 36-41.

Research Grants 


2010 [Year 3 of 3]: Liu, J. Investigation of the role of carbonic anhydrase I in ALS pathology, Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation China. 01/01/11-11/30/14
Total: ¥350,000.

2010 [Year 3 of 3]: Liu, J. Investigation of Nuclear Transport Machinery of TDP-43 in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Principal Investigator, Research Development Fund.

2006 [Year 1 of 3]: Liu, J. Identification of Protein Biomarkers for ALS, Principal Investigator, National Inst. of Health (NIH).

Total: $440,344

2005 [Year 1 of 3]: Liu, J. Mechanisms of spinal cord mitochondria dysfunction in mutant SOD1-mediated ALS, Principal Investigator, The ALS Association. 2/1/2005–1/31/2008  
Total: $233,057.