September 24, 2020. Our collaborative work with the Alushin lab on force sensing by actin-binding proteins is published at eLife! This is the first time that we pull on cytoskeletal filaments and it is equally rewarding! Check out the paper here.

September 21, 2020. We say farewell to Xiaocong before she returns to home institution to complete her PhD. Best of luck!

Xiaocong farewell

September 15, 2020. Rochelle Shih decides to become a joint PhD student between our lab and the Funabiki lab. Welcome!

August 21, 2020. The lab throws a baby shower for Michael. Congratulations on the new family addition!

Mike baby shower

July 31, 2020. In collaboration with the Kapoor Lab, we complete a COVID project investigating the unwinding mechanism of the SARS-CoV-2 replicative helicase nsp13. Our single-molecule data unveil unusual characteristics of the viral enzyme that could be exploited for drug targeting. Check out the preprint here

July 29, 2020. LSX receives the 2020 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research.

July 6, 2020. RU starts Phase III operation. Lab activities are gradually ramping up while everyone's safety and health remain top priorities. 

July 1, 2020. Jeremy Chang (Tri-I MD-PhD) and Gabby Chua (TPCB) both decide to take their talents to our lab and conduct their graduate research. Welcome on board!

June 16, 2020. A group meeting is dedicated to discussing diversity and inclusion in response to the sweeping BLM movement across the country and campus.

June 1, 2020. RU restarts Phase II of limited lab operation. NYC is staying strong.

May 29, 2020. It would be better to meet in person, but still good to see the smiley faces :-)

group photo May 29 2020

May 27, 2020. The lab stays productive during the closedown. Ling and Michael's work in collaboration with Jue Chen's lab on multidrug resistance protein 1 is published at eLife! We combine single-molecule and cryo-EM techniques to figure out the kinetic cycle of this important drug transporter. Check out the paper here.

March 18, 2020. As with so much else, the lab goes on hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 18, 2020. Rachel wins a travel award AND a best poster award at the Biophysical Society annual meeting! Check out the preprint of her story here.

February 15, 2020. LSX gives a Nanoscale subgroup talk at the Biophysical Society annual meeting at San Diego.

February 10, 2020. TPCB student Gabriella Chua starts her rotation. Welcome!

December 13, 2019. The second C-Trap instrument is delivered. The last empty room of the lab is finally occupied.

September 10, 2019. LSX co-organizes the RU graduate course Biochemical and Biophysical Methods, which spans two semesters in Fall 2019 and Winter 2020. Check out the course syllabi of Part I and II.

September 3, 2019. Sai's work on Sox2-Oct4 cooperativity is published at Cell Reports! Turns out that not all pioneer transcription factors are born equal. Thanks to Li Zhao's group for their contribution. Check out the paper here.

July 25, 2019. Michael's work on the CMG helicase is published at Cell! This is a truly fun collaboration between us and Mike O'Donnell's group. Read the news coverage by RU, BioArt, and LUMICKS.

July 15, 2019. Xiangwu's work on bacterial transcription is online at Nature Microbiology! We developed an RNA-seq method to sequence full-length transcripts in bacteria. Check out the paper, a blog post, and a news report in Chinese.

June 28, 2019. Our review article on DNA mechanics and DNA-based machines appears online. May the force be with you!

June 24, 2019. The lab welcomes three new members: rotation graduate student Brandon Malone, SURF student Dorothy Cheng, and SSRP student Rachel Leong. Enjoy the summer!

March 20, 2019. Our collaborative work with Yael David's lab at MSKCC on histone glycation is published in Nature Communications. Read the news coverage here.

March 11, 2019. LSX presents our Type-III CRISPR work at the Cell Press LabLinks symposium on Single-Molecule Technologies for Proteins and Nucleic Acids held at RU.

February 18, 2019. Sarah Cai starts her rotation in the lab. Welcome!

January 30, 2019. LSX gives a Molecular Biophysics seminar at New York University School of Medicine.

January 1, 2019. LSX receives a Sinsheimer Scholar Award from the Alexandrine and Alexander L. Sinsheimer Foundation.

November 29, 2018. Our first paper is online! Ling's work on type III CRISPR-Cas immunity is published in Molecular Cell. We describe how this fascinating bacterial immune system distinguishes self from nonself. Read the news coverage here.

October 2, 2018. LSX receives an NIH Director's New Innovator Award.

October 2, 2018. Congratulations to Arthur Ashkin for winning the Nobel Prize for the invention of optical tweezers! We should also acknowledge other pioneers like Steve Block and Carlos Bustamante for driving the application of this amazing tool to biological systems. Read more here.

September 24, 2018. Tuan passes his TRP exam. The lab celebrates it, among other things, with lamb skewers and mooncakes.


September 6, 2018. LSX visits the capital and gives a talk at Georgetown University.

September 4, 2018. Matt Reynolds, a first-year student from the David Rockefeller Graduate Program, starts his rotation. Welcome!

August 1, 2018. Xiaocong Cao, a visiting student from USTC, starts in the lab. Welcome!

July 30, 2018. LSX attends and gives a talk at the 2018 Telluride workshop on Chromatin Structure and Dynamics.

June 28, 2018. LSX gives seminars at LUMICKS headquarter and TU Delft during a trip to the Netherlands.

March 22, 2018. LSX is invited to HKUST to speak at the IAS Focused Program on Mechanisms of Gene Transcription and Its Regulation. 

February 7, 2018. Ling is awarded a Rockefeller University Women & Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. Congratulations!

December 4, 2017. LSX speaks at the Genome Integrity Discussion Group held at The New York Academy of Sciences.

November 20, 2017. The lab and families gather in the Liu apartment to celebrate Thanksgiving. A 18-lb turkey is NOT pardoned.

November 20

October 23, 2017. Tuan returns to the lab and officially starts his PhD training. MD can also mean "Doctor of Molecules", apparently.

October 10, 2017. LSX gives a lecture at the single-molecule workshop hosted in our lab, organized by LUMICKS.

August 23, 2017. Alushin/Funabiki/Kapoor/Liu/Zhao Lab BBQ to celebrate the end of summer/beginning of fall.

Lab BBQ    Lab BBQ

July 14, 2017. Lingqing Ye completes her summer internship and returns to her college study at University of East Anglia, UK.

July 7, 2017. Tuan Nguyen, a Tri-I MD-PhD student, starts his rotation in the lab. Welcome! 

July 1, 2017. Congratulations to Michael on receiving a postdoctoral fellowship from the Anderson Cancer Center! 

June 22, 2017. Rachel passes her first Thesis Research Proposal meeting. Good job Rachel!

June 1, 2017. Dayi Li, a master student at Fordham University, starts his internship in our lab. Welcome, Dayi!

May 20, 2017. The lab says farewell to Lily and celebrates her time at Rockefeller. Picnic at Central Park.


May 17, 2017. Sai and Michael both give nice talks at the 10-year anniversary of Anderson Cancer Center Retreat at Tarrytown, while LSX is brutally ridiculed along with other HOLs by students and postdocs. 

May 1, 2017. Congratulations to Lily and Enze on going to graduate school! Lily accepts an offer from University of Chicago Biophysics. Enze is admitted by the Physics Department at UC Berkeley.

April 15, 2017. LSX is named a Kimmel Scholar by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation!

April 1, 2017. LSX receives the Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes! 

March 1, 2017. LSX thanks the Quadrivium Foundation for supporting our research!

January 25, 2017. The lab celebrates Chinese New Year by enjoying a big meal at Flushing.

new year

November 15, 2016. Thank you for all the wisdom you shared with us, Nacho. Wish the Physical Chemistry of Nucleic Acids is just as fascinating on the other side of the world. (Ignacio Tinoco dies at age 85.)

November 14, 2016. LSX gives a Monday Lecture at Rockefeller and introduces our research program to the campus.

November 7, 2016. LSX gives a seminar to the Biophysics program at University of Maryland, hosted by Dr. Chris Jarzynski.

November 4, 2016. A correlative optical tweezers-fluorescence microscope, manufactured by LUMICKS, is installed in our lab. We name it Saturn. We can now watch and pull at the same time. Life is good.


October 10, 2016. Andrew Wong starts his first rotation in our lab. Welcome, Andrew!

October 5, 2016. The lab goes to the RU Chemical & Structural Biology Retreat at Briarcliff Manor, NY. Xiangwu and Ling both give talks. Rachel also presents a poster. Good job everyone!

August 12, 2016. We have our first lab party to celebrate Lukas's completion of summer research. The originally planned BBQ ends up indoors air-conditioned thanks to the powerful New York summer heat.

group photo

August 1, 2016. Our work is now supported by a Proof of Concept Award kindly provided by the Robertson Therapeutic Development Fund!

group photoJuly 11, 2016. Caitlin Gilbert starts her rotation in our lab. Welcome!

July 5, 2016. We are pleased to welcome Lily Delalande to our lab as a research assistant, and Lukas Fuentes and Zhi Zheng as summer undergraduate researchers. Summer fun begins!

July 1, 2016. Congratulations to Xiangwu for receiving a C. H. Li Memorial Scholar Fund Award!

June 27, 2016. After her rotation, Rachel decides to join the lab as our first graduate student. Welcome back, Rachel!

June 1, 2016. Two microscopes are up and running. Venus (left) is a three-color total-internal-reflection fluorescence microscope. Mercury (right) is a single-trap optical tweezers setup. Let there be light.

Venus     Mercury

May 9, 2016. Michael Wasserman migrates all the way from Weill Cornell and joins the lab as a postdoctoral associate. Welcome, Michael!

April 13, 2016. Thanks to the Anderson Cancer Center's generous support, the lab enjoys a three-day retreat at Tarrytown, NY.

April 1, 2016. The lab welcomes two new members. Ling Wang joins as a postdoctoral associate. Rachel Leicher starts her rotation. We are approaching a critical mass of crowdedness and, hopefully, productivity.

March 1, 2016. Sai receives a Tri-Institutional Starr Stem Cell Scholars Fellowship. Congratulations!

February 22, 2016. Three new members are introduced to the lab. Xiangwu Ju and Sai Li join as postdoctoral associates. Virapat (Vincent) Kieuvongngam joins as a rotation student. Welcome!

February 2, 2016. Shixin receives a Monique Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award from the Hirschl/Weill-Caulier Trust. Thanks for the support!

January 23, 2016. As winter storm Jonas hits NYC, the lab is finally in preliminary working order. Stay warm and safe!

 wet lab     TSH

January 1, 2016. The Liu Lab officially launches! We are located on the B & C levels in the Smith Hall. Welcome to visit!

June 24, 2015. Shixin is hired as an assistant professor and head of laboratory at the Rockefeller University. (Rockefeller University Newswire)

September 24, 2020. Our collaborative work with the Alushin lab on force sensing by actin-binding proteins is published at eLife! This is the first time that we pull on cytoskeletal filaments and it i