Yang-Yu Liu

Yang-Yu Liu

Assistant Professor, Associate Scientist
Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Yang-Yu Liu is currently an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and an Associate Scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He received his Ph.D. in Physics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, with thesis research focusing on phase transitions in disordered magnets. After that, he held positions as Postdoctoral Research Associate and then Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Complex Network Research at Northeastern University, before he joined HMS and BWH in 2013. The primary goal of his postdoctoral research has been to combine tools from control theory, network science and statistical physics to address fundamental questions pertaining to the control of complex networks. His work on controllability and observability of complex networks have been featured as a cover story in Nature, a cover story in the PNAS, and received broad media coverage.

His current research efforts focus on the study of human microbiome from the community ecology, dynamic systems and control theory perspectives. For example, in February 2016, his group published a paper in PLoS Computational Biology, using a simple ecological model to study the origins and control of enterotypes (or community types) in the human microbiome. In June 2016, his group published a paper in Nature to quantify the universality of human microbial dynamics. In November 2017, his group published a paper in Nature Communications, proposing an elegant method to infer the microbial interactions from steady-state data. In March 2019, he and his collaborators published a paper in Nature Communications, proposing a theoretical framework to control complex microbial communities based on the underlying ecological networks. For more information, please visit http://scholar.harvard.edu/yyl/.