Associate Professor, School of Life Science, Tsinghua University
PI, IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University
Office Phone: +86-10-62781539

[Research Focus]

How do molecules form a cell, and how do cells form tissue? Our group is interested in the delicate structures and dynamic processes in cell and developmental biology. Using optical/electron microscopy, biophysical recording, genetic and biochemical experiments, we study the structure, function and formation of cytoskeleton-based complexes in cellular and developmental processes. In some projects, we also work closely with theoretical physicists for cross-scale modeling analysis. Our major model system is fly sensory neurons, but we are also working on other types of cells, including fly germ cells, cultured mammalian cells and vertebrate ciliated cells. By studying specific molecular mechanisms, we hope to understand general rules in the regulations of cell dynamics.

[Education & Experience]

2022-present     PI, IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University 
2019-present     Tenure-track Associate Professor,School of Life Science,Tsinghua University

2015-2019         Max-Planck Partner Group Leader Tsinghua University
2015-2019         Tenure-track Assistant Professor Tsinghua University  
2018-2014         Postdoctoral fellow   MPI-CBG
2003-2007         Ph.D.     Shanghai Jiao Tong University

2003-2007         B.Sc.     Shanghai Jiao Tong University

[Selected Publications]

  • # Sun, L., Cui, L., Liu, Z., Wang, Q., Xue, Z., Wu, M., Sun, T., Mao, D., Ni, J., Pastor-Pareja, J.C., Liang X.* (2021). Katanin p60-like 1 sculpts the cytoskeleton in mechanosensory cilia. Journal of Cell Biology, 220. (Cover featured article & Special collection)
  • Diao, L., Liu, M., Song, Y., Zhang, X., Liang, X.*, and Bao, L.* (2021). alpha1A and alpha1C form microtubules to display distinct properties mainly mediated by their C-terminal tails. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biology 10.1093/jmcb/mjab062
  • # Liao, M., Liang, X., and Howard, J.* (2021). The narrowing of dendrite branches across nodes follows a well-defined scaling law. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118.
  • Li, S., Wan, K.Y., Chen, W., Tao, H., Liang, X.*, and Pan, J*. (2020). Functional exploration of heterotrimeric kinesin-II in IFT and ciliary length control in Chlamydomonas. eLife 9.
  • Song Y., Zhang Y., Pan Y., He J., Wang Y., Chen W., Guo J., Deng H., Xue Y.*, Fang X.*, Liang X.*. The microtubule end-binding affinity of EB1 is enhanced by a dimeric organization that is susceptible to phosphorylation. Journal of Cell Science 2020: jcs.241216.
  • # Sun, L., Gao, Y., He, J., Cui, L., Meissner, J., Verbavatz, J.M., Li, B., Feng, X., and Liang, X.* (2019). Ultrastructural organization of NompC in the mechanoreceptive organelle of Drosophila campaniform mechanoreceptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116, 7343-7352. Highlighted in Faculty 1000
  • Sun, T., Song, Y., Dai, J., Mao, D., Ma, M., Ni, J.Q., Liang, X., and Pastor-Pareja, J.C*. (2019). Spectraplakin Shot Maintains Perinuclear Microtubule Organization in Drosophila Polyploid Cells. Developmental Cell 49, 731-747 e737.
  • Liang, X.* (2019). Microtubule nucleation and dynamic instability in interphase fission yeast. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Biology 11, 941-943.
  • # Liang, X.*, and Howard, J.* (2018). Structural Biology: Piezo Senses Tension through Curvature. Current Biology 28, R357-R359.
  • Feng, S., Song Y., Shen M., Xie S., Li W., Lu Y., Yang Y., Ou G., Zhou J., Wang F., Liu W., Yan X.*, Liang X.* and Zhou T.* (2017). "Microtubule-binding protein FOR20 promotes microtubule depolymerization and cell migration." Cell Discovery 3: 17032.
  • # Liang, X.*, and Howard, J. (2017). Structural Biology: A Force-Sensitive Ion Channel Springs to Life. Current Biology 27, R1017-R1020.