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Zhirong LIU


College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, PKU;

Member of Center for Quantitative BiologyPKU




B.Sc. in Physics, Tsinghua University, 1997
Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics, Tsinghua University, 2001






Research interests:


To utilize theoretical approaches and simulation tools to reveal the physical and chemical principles underlying the biological molecules and process.


Academic  Work experiences:

2007.7-present: Associate professor, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University.
2003-2007: Postdoctor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto. (Protein folding, DNA conformational statistics and related energetics.)
2002-2003: Visiting Scientist, Center for Advanced Study, Tsinghua University. (Theory of polarization in crystalline insulators.)
2001-2002: Postdoctoral Guest Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Metals Research. (Spinodal decomposition and nanostructure in alloy thin films.)


Selected publications:


    1. Yongqi Huang, Huaiqing Cao, and Zhirong Liu*. Three-dimensional domain swapping in the protein structure space. Proteins: Struct. Funct. Bioinform. 80, 1610 (2012).
    2. Jinying Wang, Zhongfan Liu, and Zhirong Liu*. First-principles study of the transport behavior of zigzag graphene nanoribbons tailored by strain. AIP Adv. 2, 012103 (2012).
    3. Mingmei Yang, Lin Zhou, Jinying Wang, Zhongfan Liu*, and Zhirong Liu*. Evolutionary chlorination of graphene: from charge-transfer complex to covalent bonding and non-bonding. J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 844 (2012).
    4. Hue Sun Chan, Zhuqing Zhang, Stefan Wallin, and Zhirong Liu. Cooperativity, local-nonlocal coupling, and nonnative interactions: principles of protein folding from coarse-grained models. Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 62, 301 (2011).
    5. Yongqi Huang and Zhirong Liu*. Anchoring intrinsically disordered proteins to multiple targets: lessons from N-terminus of the p53 protein. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 12, 1410 (2011).
    6. Fangping Ouyang, Shenglin Peng, Zhongfan Liu*, and Zhirong Liu*. Bandgap opening in graphene antidot lattices: the missing half. ACS Nano 5, 4023 (2011).
    7. Yongqi Huang and Zhirong Liu*. Smoothing molecular interactions: the “kinetic buffer” effect of intrinsically disordered proteins. Proteins: Struct. Funct. Bioinform.78, 3251 (2010).
    8. Zhirong Liu, Lynn Zechiedrich, and Hue Sun Chan. Action at hooked or twisted–hooked DNA juxtapositions rationalizes unlinking preference of type-2 topoisomerases. J. Mol. Biol. 400, 963 (2010).
    9. Yongqi Huang and Zhirong Liu*. Nonnative interactions in coupled folding and binding processes of intrinsically disordered proteins. PLoS ONE 5, e15375 (2010).
    10. Yang Li, Xiaowei Jiang, Zhongfan Liu, and Zhirong Liu*. Strain effects in graphene and graphene nanoribbons: the underlying mechanism. Nano Res. 3, 545 (2010).
    11. Zhirong Liu, Richard W. Deibler, Hue Sun Chan, and Lynn Zechiedrich. The why and how of DNA unlinking. Nucleic Acids Res. 37, 661 (2009). (Cover paper)
    12. Yongqi Huang and Zhirong Liu*. Kinetic advantage of intrinsically disordered proteins in coupled folding-binding process: a critical assessment of the “fly-casting” mechanism. J. Mol. Biol393, 1143 (2009).