We aspire to make innovative discoveries with high impact on biology and medicine!
RNA interference (RNAi) and microRNA pathways broadly regulate genome expression and govern numerous patho/physiological processes. The Liu lab combines classical biochemistry, genetics, and biophysical methods to identify novel factors and characterize their precise roles in the RNAi/microRNA pathways. Our favorite discoveries are R2D2 and C3PO.
Although sleep exists in virtually all animals and is essential for normal brain functions, the molecular underpinnings of sleep regulation is currently unknown. On the other hand, almost nothing is known about human emotions at the molecular level. Fear is a basic emotion that enhances animal survival by triggering the fight, flight, or freezing response to danger. We hope to discover the molecular circuits of sleep and fear by combining mouse forward genetic screening, classical biochemistry, cutting-edge mass spectrometry and neuroscience approaches. We believe that these fundamental discoveries will drive the development of novel medicines for sleep disorders and fear-related mental disorders.