LIU Chang

LIU Chang

Ph.D, Principle investigator
Investigates neural mechanisms of sleep, learning and memory
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Sleep, learning and memory are complex phenomena that are of great importance for survival. Although the quantity and quality of sleep have a profound impact on learning and memory, the exact mechanisms are not known. Daily learning experience was suggested to be helpful to improve sleep. However, the interaction mechanism between the two systems is rarely understood. Dysfunctions in sleep and cognition are usually associated with neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. To investigate the molecular and cellular basis of the interaction between sleep and memory, we will employ fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as the animal model and apply multidisciplinary approach, including behavioral, genetic, anatomical and imaging techniques. We will also take the advantage of the platforms of BCBDI to study the same questions through cross-species verification.

Positions available in the Liu Lab at SIAT
The lab has open positions for ambitious and highly motivated postdoctoral research fellows, a research associate/assistant, and graduate/master students to investigate the molecular mechanisms and neural circuits of sleep and cognition as well as exploring novel biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis underlying Alzheimer’s disease. Candidate’s CV and two referees’ contact information should be sent to


2019- now , Principle Investigator, SIAT CAS
2012-2019, Postdoctoral Fellow, Brandeis University
2007-2012, Ph.D. candidate, Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS Joint Ph.D. candidate, Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology
2004-2007, Research Assistant, Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS
2003-2004, Biology teacher, Shijiazhuang No. 2 Middle School
1999-2003, BSc in Biology, Hebei Normal University

Selected publications

1.Timothy D. Wiggin, Patricia R. Goodwin, Nathan C. Donelson, Chang Liu, Kien Trinh, Subhabrata Sanyal, Leslie C. Griffith*. State-Switching Probability Reveals Sleep-Related Biological Drives in Drosophila, 2020, PNAS, accepted.

2.Chang Liu*, Zhiqiang Meng#, Timothy D. Wiggin#, Junwei Yu, Martha L. Reed, Fang Guo, Yunpeng Zhang, Michael Roshbash, Leslie C. Griffith*. A serotonin-modulated circuit controls sleep architecture to regulate cognitive function independent of total sleep in Drosophila. Current Biology, 2019, 29(21):3635-3646.

3.Peter Bronk, Elena A. Kuklin, Srinivas Corur-Shandilya, Chang Liu, Timothy D. Wiggin, Martha L. Reed, Eve Marder, Leslie C. Griffith*. Regulation of Eag by calcium/calmodulin controls presynaptic excitability in Drosophila. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2018,119 (5): 1665-1680

4.Chang Liu, Paula R. Haynes, Nathan C. Donelson, Shani Aharon, Leslie C. Griffith*. Sleep in populations of Drosophila melanogaster. eNeuro, 2015, 2 (4) e0071-15.2015

5.Chang Liu, Pierre-Yves Plaçais, Nobuhiro Yamagata, Barret D. Pfeiffer, Yoshinori Aso,Anja B. Friedrich, Igor Siwanowicz, Gerald M. Rubin, Thomas Préat, Hiromu Tanimoto*. A subset of dopamine neurons signals reward for odour memory in Drosophila. Nature, 2012, 488(7412):512-6

6.Zhiqiang Meng#, Chang Liu#, Xintian Hu*, Yuanye Ma*. Somatosensory cortices are required for morphine-induced conditioned place preference in rats. PLoS ONE, 2009, 4(11):e7742 (#co-first author)