Location: Morilak Lab



Jing Liu, Ph.D.


Personal Statement:

My research interest is to understand the neurobiology underlying stress-related psychiatric disorders with particular attention to the mechanisms of cognitive behavioral psychotherapies and the function roles of adipose tissue-derived hormones. Techniques used include virus-based optogenetics to manipulate activated neurons or synapses; electrophysiology to assess plasticity in ascending and descending corticolimbic circuits; immunohistochemistry; western blots; stereotaxic surgeries, confocal microscopy; as well as the animal models related to stress, cognitive flexibility, anxiety, depression et al.


Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica Chinese Academy of Sciences
P.R. China


• stress • cognition
• cognitive behavioral therapy • depression
• anxiety • HPA
• adipocytes • prefrontal cortex


Awards & Accomplishments

NARSAD Young Investigator Grant Award (2013-2015)


Liu J, Guo M, Lu XY (2015) Leptin/LepRb in the Ventral Tegmental Area Mediates Anxiety-Related Behaviors Int J Neuropsychopharmacol Oct 5;19(2) pii: pyv115. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyv115.
Liu, J., Garza, JC., Li, W. and Lu, XY. (2013) Melanocortin-4 receptor in the medial amygdala regulates emotional stress-induced anxiety-like behavior, anorexia and corticosterone secretion. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol Feb;16(1):105-20
Liu, J., Guo, M., Cheng, SY., Liu, M., Zhang, D., Ding, J., Scherer, P., Liu, F. and Lu, XY. (2012) Adiponectin is critical in determining susceptibility to depressive behaviors and has antidepressant-like activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA Jul 24;109(30):12248-53
Liu, J., Perez, S., Zhang, W., Lodge, D. and Lu, XY. (2011) Selective deletion of the leptin receptor in dopamine neurons produces anxiogenic-like behavior and increases dopaminergic activity in amygdala. Mol Psychiatry Oct;16(10):1024-38
Liu, J., Garza, JC., Bronner, J., Kim, CS., Zhang, W. and Lu, XY. (2010) Acute administration of leptin produces anxiolytic-like effects: A comparison with fluoxetine. Psychopharmacology Jan;207(4):535-45