Dr. Wei Liu

Staff Scientist

Cherezov-Kuhn-Stevens Laboratory
Department of Molecular Biology
The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI)
La Jolla, CA 92037

Telephone: 858-784-9422
Fax: 858-784-7020
E-mail: weiliu@scripps.edu
Mailing Address: The Scripps Research Institute,
10550 North Torrey Pines Road,
MailBox: GAC-1200,
La Jolla, CA 92037


2008-present Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute.
Cherezov-Kuhn-Stevens Lab
2002-2007 Ph.D., Biophysics Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
1998-2002 B.S., Department of Biological Pharmacology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

Research Area:

  • Membrane protein crystallization in lipidic cubic phase (LCP)
  • Structure of G protein-coupled receptors
  • Development of microcrystallography related technologies
  • Phase behavior and rational design of lipids
  • Development of robotics and automation
  • Development of protein characterization and crystallization technologies
  • Membrane protein stability studies
  • High-throughput crystallization of membrane proteins
  • Structure and functions of membrane proteins
  • Development of protein characterization and crystallization technologies



  1. W. Liu, D. Wacker, C. Gati, G.W. Han, D. James, D. Wang, G. Nelson, U. Weierstall, V. Katritch, A. Barty, N.A. Zatsepin, D. Li, M. Messerschmidt, S. Boutet, G.J. Williams, J.E. Koglin, M.M. Seibert, C. Wang, S.T.A. Shah, S. Basu, R. Fromme, C. Kupitz, K.N. Rendek, I. Grotjohann, P. Fromme, R.A. Kirian, K.R. Beyerlein, T.A. White, H.N. Chapman, M. Caffrey, J.C.H. Spence, R.C. Stevens, V. Cherezov (2013) Serial femtosecond crystallography of G protein-coupled receptors. Science. 342: 1521-1524.

  2. R. Lane*, P. Chubukov*, W. Liu*, M. Canals, V. Cherezov, R. Abagyan, R.C. Stevens, V. Katritch (2013) Structure-based ligand discovery targeting orthosteric and allosteric pockets of dopamine receptors. Mol Pharmacol. 84: 794-807.

  3. C. Wang, H. Wu, V. Katritch, G.W. Han, X.-P. Huang, W. Liu, F.Y. Siu, B.L. Roth, V. Cherezov and R.C. Stevens (2013) Structure of the human smoothened receptor bound to an antitumour agent. Nature. 497: 338-343.

  4. H. Gutierrez-de-Teran, A. Massink, D. Rodriguez, W. Liu, G.W. Han, G.S. Joseph, I. Katritch, L.H. Heitman, L. Xia, A.P. IJzerman, V. Cherezov, V. Katritch, R.C. Stevens (2013) The role of a sodium ion binding site in the allosteric modulation of the A2A adenosine G Protein-Coupled Receptor. Structure. 21:2175-85.

  5. F.Y. Siu, M. He, C. de Graaf, G.W. Han, D. Yang, Z. Zhang, C. Zhou, Q. Xu, D. Wacker, J.S. Joseph, W. Liu, J. Lau, V. Cherezov, V. Katritch, M.W. Wang and R.C. Stevens (2013) Structure of the human glucagon class B G-protein-coupled receptor. Nature. 499: 444-449.

  6. D. Wacker, C. Wang, V. Katritch, G.W. Han, X.-P. Huang, E. Vardy, J.D. McCorvy, Y. Jiang, M. Chu, F.Y. Siu, W. Liu, H.E. Xu, V. Cherezov, B.L. Roth and R.C. Stevens(2013) Structural features for functional selectivity at serotonin receptors. Science. 340: 615-619.

  7. C. Wang, Y. Jiang, J. Ma, H. Wu, D. Wacker, V. Katritch, G.W. Han, W. Liu, X.-P. Huang, E. Vardy, J.D. McCorvy, X. Gao, E.X. Zhou, K. Melcher, C. Zhang, F. Bai, H. Yang, L. Yang, H. Jiang, B.L. Roth, V. Cherezov, R.C. Stevens and H.E. Xu (2013) Structural basis for molecular recognition at serotonin receptors. Science. 340: 610-614.

  8. J.S. Santos, G.A. Asmar-Rovira, G.W. Han, W. Liu, R. Syeda, V. Cherezov, K.A. Baker, R.C. Stevens, and M. Montal (2012) Crystal structure of a voltage-gated K+ channel pore module in a closed state in lipid membranes. J Biol Chem. 287: 43063-43070.

  9. W. Liu*, E. Chun*, A.A. Thompson*, P. Chubukov, F. Xu, V. Katritch, G.W. Han, L.H. Heitman, A.P. IJzerman, V. Cherezov, and R.C. Stevens. (2012) Structural Basis for Allosteric Regulation of GPCRs by Sodium Ions. Science. 337: 232-236.

  10. J.W. Fairman, N. Dautin, D. Wojtowicz, W. Liu, N. Noinaj, T.J. Barnard, T.M. Przytycka, V. Cherezov, and S.K. Buchanan. (2012) β-domain structures of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Intimin and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Invasin. Structure. 20:1233-1243

  11. E. Chun*, A.A. Thompson*, W. Liu*, C.B. Roth, M.T. Griffith, V. Katritch, J. Kunken, F. Xu, V. Cherezov, L.H. Heitman, A.P. IJzerman, M.A. Hanson, and R.C. Stevens. (2012) New Fusion Partners for the Crystallization of G Protein-Coupled Receptors.Structure. 20: 967-976.

  12. A.A. Thompson*, W. Liu*, E. Chun*, V. Katritch, H. Wu, E. Vardy, X-P Huang, C. Trapella, R. Guerrini, G. Calo, B.L. Roth, V. Cherezov, and R.C. Stevens. (2012) Structure of the Nociceptin/Orphanin FQ Receptor in Complex with a Peptide Mimetic. Nature. 485: 395-399.

  13. H. Wu, D. Wacker, V. Katritch, M. Mileni, G.W. Han, E. Vardy, W. Liu, A.A. Thompson, X-P. Huang, F.I. Carroll, S.W. Mascarella, R.B. Westkaemper, P.D. Mosier, B.L. Roth, V. Cherezov, and R.C. Stevens. (2012) Structure of the human κ-opioid receptor in complex with JDTic. Nature. 485: 327-332.

  14. J.S. Joseph, W. Liu, J. Kunken, T. Weiss and V. Cherezov. (2011) Characterization of lipid matrices for membrane protein crystallization by high-throughput small angle X-ray scattering. Methods. 55: 342-349.

  15. T. Tiefenbrunn*, W. Liu*, Y. Chen, V. Katritch, D.C. Stout, J.A. Fee and V. Cherezov. (2011) High Resolution Structure of the ba3 Cytochrome c Oxidase from Thermus thermophilus in a Lipidic Environment. PLoS ONE. 6: e22348.

  16. T. Shimamura, M. Shiroishi, S. Weyand, H. Tsujimoto, G. Winter, V. Katritch, R. Abagyan, V. Cherezov, W. Liu, G.W. Han, T. Kobayashi, R.C. Stevens and S. Iwata. (2011) Molecular basis of antihistamine specificity against Human Histamine H1 receptor. Nature. 475: 65-70.

  17. F. Xu*, W. Liu*, M.A. Hanson, R.C. Stevens and V. Cherezov. (2011) Development of an Automated High Throughput LCP-FRAP Assay to Guide Membrane Protein Crystallization in Lipid Mesophases. Cryst. Growth Des. 11(4): 1193-1201.

  18. W. Liu, and V. Cherezov. (2011) Crystallization of Membrane Proteins in Lipidic Mesophases. J Vis Exp. 49 (2011).

  19. E. Chien, W. Liu, Q. Zhao, V. Katritch, G.W. Han, M.A. Hanson, L. Shi, A.H. Newman, J.A. Javitch, V. Cherezov, and R.C. Stevens. (2010) Structure of the human dopamine D3 receptor in complex with a D2/D3 selective antagonist. Science. 330(6007): 1091-1095.

  20. B. Wu, E. Chien, C. Mol, G. Fenalti, W. Liu, V. Katritch, R. Abagyan, A. Brooun, P. Wells, F. Bi, D. Hamel, P. Kuhn, T.M. Handel, V. Cherezov, and R.C. Stevens. (2010) Structures of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor in complex with small molecule and cyclic peptide antagonists. Science. 330(6007): 1066-1071.

  21. W. Liu, M.A. Hanson, R.C. Stevens, and V. Cherezov. (2010) LCP-Tm: an Assay to Measure and Understand Stability of Membrane Proteins in a Membrane Environment. Biophys. J. 98(8): 1539-1548.

  22. V. Cherezov, W. Liu, J. Derrick, B. Luan, A. Aksimentiev, V. Katritch, and M. Caffrey. (2008) In meso Crystal Structure and Computer Simulations Suggest an Alternative Proteoglycan Binding Site in the OpcA Outer Membrane Adhesin. Proteins. 71: 24-34.

  23. V. Cherezov, E. Yamashita, W. Liu, M. Zhalnina, W.A. Cramer, and M. Caffrey. (2006) In Meso Structure of the Cobalamin Transporter, BtuB, at 1.95 Å Resolution. J. Mol. Biol. 364(4): 716-734.

  24. W. Liu and M. Caffrey. (2006) Interactions of tryptophan, tryptophan peptides and tryptophan alkyl esters at curved membrane interfaces. Biochemistry. 45(39): 11713-11726.

  25. W. Liu and M. Caffrey. (2005) Gramicidin Structure and Disposition in Highly Curved Membranes. J. Struct. Biol. 150(1): 23-40.

  26. *indicates equal contribution of these authors

Public Presentations:

Workshops Co-Organizer: