Chang C. Liu

Chang C. Liu
Professor and Chancellor’s Fellow of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Director, Center for Synthetic Biology
University of California, Irvine

Miller Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-2012), UC Berkeley
Ph.D. in Chemistry (2009), Scripps Research Institute
B.A. in Chemistry (2005), Harvard

2022 W.M. Keck Foundation Grantee
2022 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists Finalist in Life Sciences
2022 Chancellor’s Fellow, UC Irvine
2022 AIMBE College of Fellows
2021 Distinguished Mid-Career Faculty Award for Research, UC Irvine Academic Senate
2020 NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award
2020 Faculty Excellence in Research Early Career Award, UC Irvine Samueli School of Engineering
2019 Moore Inventor Fellow
2019 Robert W. Vaughan Lectureship, California Institute of Technology
2019 ACS Synthetic Biology Young Innovator Award
2018 Kavli Fellow
2016 Sloan Research Fellow
2015 NIH New Innovator Award
2015 Beckman Young Investigator Award
2015 Dupont Young Professor Award
2009 Miller Research Fellowship
2005 Hertz Foundation Fellowship
2005 NSF Graduate Fellowship

Chang Liu is a 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. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Liu 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, and molecular evolution. His group engineers specialized genetic systems that continuously and rapidly mutate user-selected genes in vivo. These systems allow researchers to evolve proteins 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.