LIU Chang

LIU Chang

Ph.D, Principle investigator
Integrated neural mechanism of sleep and memory
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Sleep and memory are time-dependent, complex, and important physiological functions. Memory and sleep are inextricably linked: cognitive deficits are often associated with sleep disorders (such as Alzheimer's disease), and sleep abnormalities can cause functional deficits at the molecular, cellular, physiological, and cognitive levels. Although memory formation has been shown impaired after sleep deprivation, more evidence support memory consolidation is attributed to sleep. However, the spatiotemporal co-regulation of memory coding and sleep is still difficult, and the biological basis of sleep and memory, especially the integrated circuit mechanism is still unclear. To study the molecular and cellular basis of the interaction between sleep and memory, and to explore new targets and strategies for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for sleep disorders and cognitive decline, we use Drosophila melanogaster as the primary animal model and apply multidisciplinary approaches, including behavioral, genetic, anatomical, and imaging techniques, and utilize cross-cutting and advanced scientific research platforms to investigate the same questions through cross-species validation.


Chang Liu, Ph.D., Principle Investigator, doctoral supervisor, the 100 Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Chang Liu earned her Ph.D. from the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany, and a postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis University. In 2019, she returned to China to start her laboratory, and has been engaged in investigating neural circuits and molecular mechanisms of sleep and memory, as well as new targets and strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders and cognitive decline. She published in Nature, Current Biology, the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Psychiatric research and other journals as the first/corresponding author. She has been leading many projects supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Program, and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province. She has applied 15 patents, and 9 have been authorized (including 1 transferred). She was elected as a standing committee member of the Sleep Physiology and Pharmacology Professional Committee of the Chinese Sleep Research Association, a standing committee member of the Biorhythm of the Chinese Cell Biology Society, a director of the Shenzhen Brain Science Society, a trustee of the Neuroregulation Professional Committee of the Shenzhen Medical Doctor Association, and a young editorial board member of the journal Neuroscience Bulletin.

Selected publications

  1. Wei Yan, Hai Lin, Junwei Yu, Timothy D. Wiggin, Litao Wu, Zhiqiang Meng, Chang Liu*, Leslie C. Griffith*. Subtype-specific roles of ellipsoid body ring neurons in sleep regulation in Drosophila. the Journal of Neuroscience, 2023, 43(5):764–786
  2. Hualong Wang, Guiqin Chen, Eun Hee Ahn, Yiyuan Xia, Seong Su Kang, Xia Liu, Chang Liu, Ming-Hu Han, Shengdi Chen*, Keqiang Ye*. C/EBPβ/AEP is age-dependently activated in Parkinson’s disease and mediates α-Synuclein in the gut and brain. npj Parkinson's Disease, 2023, 9(1):1;
  3. Wei Yan, Zhiqiang Meng*, Chang Liu*. Selective memory consolidation of the binary compound in feature discrimination tasks in Apis mellifera. Progress in Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2022, 49(7):1358-1368
  4. Zhiqiang Meng*, Qing Li, Yuanye Ma, Chang Liu*. Transcranial current stimulation of the frontal-parietal-temporal brain areas reduces cigarette consumption in abstinent heroin users. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2022 doi:
  5. Xin Jin, Yao Tian, Zi Chao Zhang, Pengyu Gu, Chang Liu, Junhai Han*. A subset of DN1p neurons integrates thermosensory inputs to promote wakefulness via CNMa signaling. Current Biology, 2021, 24;31(10):2075-2087.e6.
  6. Timothy D. Wiggin, Patricia R. Goodwin, Nathan C. Donelson, Chang Liu, Kien Trinh, Subhabrata Sanyal, Leslie C. Griffith*. Covert sleep-related biological processes are revealed by probabilistic analysis in Drosophila. PNAS, 2020, 117(18)10024-10034
  7. Chang Liu*, Zhiqiang Meng#, Timothy D. Wiggin#, Junwei Yu, Fang Guo, Martha Reed, Yunpeng Zhang, Michael Rosbash, 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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