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

Ryu J, Galan AK, Xin X, Dong F, Abdul-Ghani MA, Zhou L, Wang C, Li C, Holmes BM, Sloane LB, Austad SN, Guo S, Musi N, DeFronzo RA, Deng C, White M.F, Liu F, and Dong LQ. APPL1 potentiates insulin sensitivity by facilitating the binding of IRS1/2 to the insulin receptor. Cell Report. 2014, In press.

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 PE, Dong LQ, Liu F. Grb10 promotes lipolysis and thermogenesis by phosphorylation-dependent feedback inhibition of mTORC1. Cell Metabolism. 2014, In press.

Zhang J, Zhang N, Liu M, Li X, Zhou L, Huang W, Xu Z, Liu J, Musi N, DeFronzo RA, Cunningham JM, Zhou Z, Lu XY, Liu F. Disruption of growth factor receptor-binding protein 10 in the pancreas enhances β-cell proliferation and protects mice from streptozotocin-induced β-cell apoptosis. Diabetes. 2012 Dec;61(12):3189-98.

Liu M, Xiang R, Wilk SA, Zhang N, Sloane LB, Azarnoush K, Zhou L, Chen H, Xiang G, Walter CA, Austad SN, Musi N, DeFronzo RA, Asmis R, Scherer PE, Dong LQ, Liu F. Fat-specific DsbA-L overexpression promotes adiponectin multimerization and protects mice from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Diabetes. 2012 Nov;61(11):2776-86.

Kikani CK, Verona EV, Ryu J, Shen Y, Ye Q, Zheng L, Qian Z, Sakaue H, Nakamura K, Du J, Ji Q, Ogawa W, Sun LZ, Dong LQ, Liu F. Proliferative and antiapoptotic signaling stimulated by nuclear-localized PDK1 results in oncogenesis. Sci Signal. 2012 Nov 6;5(249):ra80.



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