Feng Liu




Feng Liu, Ph.D.

Professor of Pharmacology

Personal Statement:

View a video introduction to Dr. Liu’s lab
The major focus of our research effort concerns the mechanisms of obesity-induced metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which is a serious disease that affects 8.3% of the population in the United States. Currently we are using molecular biology, biochemical, and cell biology approaches as well as tissue-specific transgenic and knockout mouse models to identify and characterize key molecules involved in the regulation of glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis. Particularly we are interested in how obesity leads to adipocyte dysregulation and how adipose tissue dysfunction affects whole body energy homeostasis. It is our hope that better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the crosstalk between adipose tissues and other tissues will generate important information for the development of new therapeutic drugs for the treatment of obesity-associated disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and aging.


Ph.D., Iowa State University


  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • insulin and adipokine signal transduction and regulation

Lab Members

Juli Bai, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Huan Cai, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dongqing Yin
Research Lab Tech-Assoc

Sijia He
IBMS Phys/Pharm Graduate Student


Liu, M., Bai, J., He, S., Villarreal, R., Hu, D., Zhang, CT, , Yang, X., Liang, H., Slaga, T., Yu, H., Zhou, Z., Blenis, J., Scherer, P., E., Dong, L.Q., and Liu, F. (2014)  Grb10 Promotes Lipolysis and Thermogenesis by Phosphorylation-dependent Feedback Inhibition of mTORC1. Cell Metabolism, 9(6):967-80.
Liu M, Chen H, Wei L, Hu D, Dong K, Jia W, Dong LQ, Liu F. (2015) Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localization is critical for DsbA-L protein to suppress ER stress and adiponectin down-regulation in adipocytes. J Biol Chem.; 290(16):10143-8. 
Hu F, Wang M, Xiao T, Yin B, He L, Meng W, Dong M, Liu F. (2015) miR-30 promotes thermogenesis and the development of beige fat by targeting RIP140. Diabetes; 64(6):2056-68. 
Meng W, Liang X, Chen H, Luo H, Bai J, Li G, Zhang Q, Xiao T, He S, Zhang Y, Xu Z, Xiao B, Liu M, Hu F, Liu F. (2017) Rheb Inhibits Beiging of White Adipose Tissue via PDE4D5-Dependent Downregulation of the cAMP-PKA Signaling Pathway. Diabetes; 66(5):1198-1213. 
Bai J, Cervantes C, Liu J, He S, Zhou H, Zhang B, Cai H, Yin D, Hu D, Li Z, Chen H, Gao X, Wang F, O’Connor JC, Xu Y, Liu M, Dong LQ, Liu F. (2017) DsbA-L prevents obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance by suppressing the mtDNA release-activated cGAS-cGAMP-STING pathway. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(46):12196-12201. ​