Five Things to Know About Zhaoyang Liu

Zhaoyang Liu portrait

John Hobbs


10 Jan 23

Zhaoyang Liu
Assistant Professor


LAST YEAR, Ostrow welcomed researcher Zhaoyang Liu to the Trojan Dental Family. The tenure-track assistant professor earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in China before pursuing a master’s degree in cellular, molecular and structural biology from Miami University-Ohio and a doctorate in biology from the University of Rochester-New York. Here are five more things to know about one of Ostrow’s newest faculty members:

1. She brings a unique research perspective to the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology (CCMB).

Having conducted orthopedics research as part of her doctoral studies, Liu became fascinated with joints and cartilage. Her research focuses on the molecules and signaling pathways that contribute to the development and maintenance of these structures.

2. This particular expertise could eventually make a difference in resolving intractable orofacial disorders.

“Our understanding of cartilage and joint disorders in the face, such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is still very limited,” Liu says. “My research may contribute to filling these gaps — along with other research taking place at CCMB.”

3. She was attracted to CCMB for its interdisciplinary might.

“The most attractive part of CCMB is that this is a motivating environment with strong leadership that embraces experts in various areas,” she says. “I can easily find support from human geneticists, developmental biologists, biochemists, bioinformaticians and clinicians.”

4. It was an offhanded suggestion that led her career path to the United States.

“During undergrad, we would read journal articles and discuss cutting-edge findings in the field, and I would have questions,” Liu says. “My undergraduate advisor said, ‘Good question. You can write emails to the authors, or even better, apply to study in the U.S. and ask them in person.’ So here I am.”

5. Though a researcher through and through, Liu does have an artistic side.

“I am an amateur in seal engraving,” she says. “It is a traditional Chinese fine art to engrave your design on a soft stone with a knife. I feel peaceful when I focus on it.”

Recent news