- 2017 – present Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pomona College
- 2015-2016 Visiting Associate of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology
- 2012 – 2017 Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Pomona College
- 2009 – 2012 Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Drew University
- 2006 – 2009 IRACDA/TEACRS Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine
- 2006 Ph.D., Chemistry, Harvard University
- 2000 B.A. with High Honors, Biochemistry, Swarthmore College
Courses that I currently teach (Spring 2018):
- CHEM 112 PO – Analyzing Scientific Literature
- CHEM 115 PO – Biochemistry
My research interests:
My research group is interested in studying RNA as genetic regulatory elements and applying RNA as a tool for studying chemistry and biology. If you are interested in doing research at the interface of chemistry and biology, please contact Prof. Liu.
The central dogma of molecular biology describes a scheme in which DNA, containing heritable genetic information, directs the translation of proteins through RNA. According to this framework, which serves as a cornerstone of many biochemistry and molecular biology courses, RNA is a transient species that serves as a mere messenger. Thus, the study of RNA has historically been limited to its supporting role (as mRNA, tRNA, rRNA) when DNA is translated into protein. Research advances in the past few decades, however, have uncovered catalytic RNAs, molecules that behave like protein enzymes, and small, regulatory RNAs that directly silence gene expression through a process called RNA interference (RNAi). These discoveries indicate that DNA and proteins may actually represent evolutionary descendents of an “RNA world”. New roles for RNA are frequently being uncovered, many with implications in human health. It is now evident that the study of RNA is applicable to many scientific fields including microbial pathogenesis, biochemical technology, cancer research, and evolutionary chemistry and biology. Click here to find out more about the Liu Group’s research interests.