Chang C. Liu

Picture of Chang C. Liu
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
School of Biological Sciences
Professor, Chemistry
School of Physical Sciences
B.A., Harvard College, 2005, Chemistry
Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute, 2009, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Phone: (949) 824-8534
University of California, Irvine
4064 ISEB
419 South Circle View Dr.
Mail Code: 2715
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Directed evolution, Synthetic Biology, Genetic Engineering, DNA replication
Miller Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley, 2009-2012
Research Abstract
My research group engineers specialized genetic systems that go beyond what nature’s genetic systems can do. We are especially interested in creating living cells that dramatically accelerate the speed of evolution, that reinterpret the genetic code, and that can record transient information as heritable genetic mutations. We apply these cells to the discovery of useful biomolecules, biopolymers, and therapeutics; the study of molecular evolution; cell and developmental biology; and the creation of synthetic life. Our research spans the fields of genetic engineering, synthetic biology, chemical biology, cell biology, and directed evolution.

Key questions that guide our research include: What does the map between macromolecular sequence and function look like? How are nearly-infinite high dimensional sequence spaces, such as those defining RNA and protein function, productively searched? How does a gene’s evolutionary past shape its future? How does a cell’s past experiences influence its developmental future?
Awards and Honors
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 Frontiers of Science 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
Professional Societies
American Chemical Society
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Protein Society
Society for Biological Engineering
Graduate Programs
Biomedical Engineering
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
Mathematical and Computational Biology
Research Centers
Center for Synthetic Biology
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