Ji-Long Liu    Vice Dean, Professor
InstituteSchool of Life Science and Technology
Research AreaMetabolic Cell Biology; Biology of the Cytoophidium
Contact Info.liujl3@@shanghaitech.edu.cn

Professor Ji-Long Liu obtained a Bachelor degree from Beijing Forestry University in 1992, a Master degree from China Agricultural University in 1995 and a Ph.D. degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Zoology in 2000. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Connecticut from July 2000 to December 2002 and at Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Embryology from January 2003 to August 2007. He set up his laboratory and held a Medical Research Council (MRC) Programme Leader-track position at the University of Oxford in August 2007. He was promoted as a Tenured MRC Programme Leader at the University of Oxford in January 2012 (Tenured Programme Leader is the highest academic position in the UK MRC system). In June 2016, Professor Liu joined the School of Life Science and Technology at ShanghaiTech University as a Tenured Full Professor. Pro. Liu is appointed as Vice Dean in April 2017.

Research Interests
The cytoophidium (plural “cytoophidia”), meaning the cellular snake in Greek, represents a novel type of organelles. In 2010, three groups including us discovered that CTP synthase is compartmentalised into the cytoophidium. Cytoophidia have existed on our planet for at least 3 billion years and are evolutionarily conserved from bacteria to human. Using the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and human cells as prime model systems, we will study the mechanisms by which metabolic enzymes such as CTP synthase and IMP dehydrogenase are compartmentalised within a cell. CTP synthase and IMP dehydrogenase have been attractive targets for developing agents against cancer, virus and parasites. We will investigate how various metabolic enzymes are assembled into cytoophidia and how the cytoophidium and its kind are linked to metabolic regulation and cancer biology.

Selected Publications
1. Liu JL. (2016). The cytoophidium and its kind: Filamentation and compartmentation of metabolic enzymes. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 32:349-72.

2. Aughey GN, Grice SJ and Liu JL. (2016). The interplay between MYC and CTP synthase in DrosophilaPLOS Genetics 12(2):e1005867.

3. Ghosh S, Tibbit C and Liu JL. (2016). Effective knockdown of Drosophila long non-coding RNAs by CRISPR interference. Nucleic Acids Research 44 [Epub on 4 Feb 2016]. 

4. Bassett AR, Tibbit C, Ponting CP and Liu JL. (2013). Highly efficient targeted mutagenesis of Drosophila with the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Cell Reports 4(1):220-8. [Cell Reports Best of 2013]

5. Liu JL. (2010). Intracellular compartmentation of CTP synthase in DrosophilaJournal of Genetics and Genomics 37(5):281-96.

6. Liu JL, Murphy C, Buszczak M, Clatterbuck S, Goodman R and Gall JG. (2006). The Drosophilamelanogaster Cajal body. Journal of Cell Biology 172(6):875-84.