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Search Program Faculty/Research

Feng Liu, Ph.D.

Liufeng photo


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.

Selected Publications

Liu M, Bai J, He S, Villarreal R, Hu D, Zhang C, Yang X, Liang H, Slaga TJ, Yu Y, Zhou Z, Blenis J, Scherer PE, Dong LQ, Liu F (2014) Grb10 promotes lipolysis and thermogenesis by phosphorylation-dependent feedback inhibition of mTORC1. Cell Metab.;19(6):967-80

Hu F, Wang M, Xiao T, Yin B, He L, Men W, Dong M, Liu F. (2015) miR-30 Promotes Thermogenesis and the Development of Beige Fat by Targeting RIP140. Diabetes. 64, 2056-68

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

Ruan H, Liu F. (2016) Regulation of energy metabolism and maintenance of metabolic homeostasis: the adiponectin story after 20 years. Journal of molecular cell biology. 8(2):91-2.

Cai H, Dong LQ, Liu F. (2016) Recent Advances in Adipose mTOR Signaling and Function: Therapeutic Prospects. Trends in pharmacological sciences. 37(4):303-17.

Hu F, Xu Y, Liu F (2016) Hypothalamic roles of mTOR complex I: integration of nutrient and hormone signals to regulate energy homeostasis. AJP Endocrinol Metab. 310(11):E994-E1002.

Chen, H, Bai, J, Dong, F, Fang, H, Zhang, Y, Meng, W, Liu, B, Luo, Y, Liu, M, Bai, Abdul-Ghani, MA, Li, R, Wu, J, Zeng, R, Zhou, Z, Dong, LQ, Liu, F. (2017) Hepatic DsbA-L protects mice from diet-induced hepatosteatosis and insulin resistance. FASEB J. 31(6):2314-2326.

Meng, M, 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, and Liu, F (2017) Rheb Inhibits Beigeing of White Adipose Tissue via PDE4D5-dependent Down-regulation 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. 2017 Nov 14;114(46):12196-12201



Ph.D., Biochemistry, Iowa State University, 1990

B.S., Biochemistry, Wuhan University, 1982



Phone: 210-567-3097

Research Profile
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Graduate Students

Sijia He