December 03, 2020
Congratulations, Dr. Liu!
November 10, 2020
We published one manuscript "Harnessing the power of an X-ray laser for serial crystallography of membrane proteins crystallized in lipidic cubic phase" on IUCrJ, please check the publication link for more details.
September 16, 2020
We published one manuscript "Serial Crystallography for Structure-Based Drug Discovery" on Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, please check the publication link for more details.
August 19, 2020
We published one manuscript "Structural Basis of the Activation of Heterotrimeric Gs-Protein by Isoproterenol-Bound β1-Adrenergic Receptor" on Molecular Cell, please check the publication link for more details.
April 24, 2019
We published two side by side manuscripts on Nature, "Structural basis of ligand recognition at the human MT1 melatonin receptor." and "XFEL structures of the human MT2 melatonin receptor reveal the basis of subtype selectivity".
Dr. Wei Liu joined the School of Molecular Sciences and Biodesign Institute at ASU in 2015. He came to ASU from the Scripps Research Institute and the Ohio State University, where he spent over a decade developing new tools for studying the structure and function of membrane proteins with a focus on GPCRs involved in cancer.
Dr. Liu earned a B.S. in pharmacology from Wuhan University in China in 2002 and a Ph.D. in biophysics from the Ohio State University in 2007 under the mentorship of Prof. Martin Caffrey, which ignited his passion for studying membrane proteins and developing lipidic cubic phase (LCP) technology. He then joined the lab of Prof. Raymond Stevens and Prof. Vadim Cherezov at the Scripps Research Institute where he played a critical role in solving the first high-resolution structure of human adenosine A2A receptor with a novel fusion protein (BRIL) at 1.8 angstrom resolution, by far the highest resolution of all human membrane protein structures and was highlighted by Science Magazine. The scientific insights and technical advances from this initial work were used by Dr. Liu and colleagues to solve the structures of 10 additional unique human GPCRs. These structures have enhanced our understanding of how GPCR folding has evolved to bind such a large and diverse pool of natural ligands.
More recently, Dr. Liu has applied his LCP crystallization methods for studying GPCRs using X-ray free electron lasers (XFEL), which does not require sample freezing, has the potential to minimize radiation damage (if any) during data collection due to the ultrashort (femtosecond) pulse duration, and only requires relatively small crystals making it much more accessible for many GPCRs recalcitrant to crystallization. Dr. Liu solved the first human membrane protein and GPCR structure using XFEL, the human serotonin 5-HT2B receptor. Associate Professor Liu’s growing body of work now encompasses over 60 peer reviewed publications, including 15 in Nature, Science and Cell journals with over 12,000 citations.