Chang Liu | AIChE

Chang Liu

Professor and Chancellor's Fellow
University of California, Irvine

Chang Liu is Professor and Chancellor’s Fellow of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and the Director of the Center for Synthetic Biology at UC Irvine. Liu graduated from Harvard in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and carried out his PhD at the Scripps Research Institute. His PhD work, done in the laboratory of Peter Schultz, focused on expanding bacterial genetic codes for the co-translational incorporation of post-translational modifications and using expanded genetic codes in the evolution of novel protein function. From 2009-2012, Liu was a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley where he worked with Adam Arkin on the predictable design of complex regulatory systems using the special properties of RNA switches. In 2013, Liu started his lab at UC Irvine. Liu’s research is in the fields of synthetic biology, protein engineering, chemical biology, and directed evolution. His group engineers orthogonal genetic systems that continuously and rapidly mutate chosen genes in vivo. These systems surpass the mutational speed limits of host genomes to enable gene evolution at unprecedented speed, scale, and depth in order to engineer new protein functions, probe the rules of evolution, and understand the fundamental sequence-function relationships governing proteins and other macromolecules. These systems also allow researchers to record transient information as heritable mutations in order to track animal and cancer development at high cellular resolution.