Professor Liao received his B.S. degree from National Taiwan University and Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison. After working as a research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, he started his academic career at Texas A&M University in 1990 and moved to University of California, Los Angeles in 1997. He was Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Chair Professor and Department Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering until 2016. He has served as President of Academia Sinica in Taiwan since June 2016.
Professor Liao is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Academician of Academia Sinica in Taiwan. He also received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2010), the White House “Champion of Change” for innovations in renewable energy (2012), the ENI Renewable Energy Prize bestowed by the President of Italy in 2013, and the 2014 National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science.
His research has focused on metabolism, including its biochemistry, regulation and redesign. Currently, his projects include design and engineering biochemical pathways for CO2 fixation and production of fuels and chemicals.