Qili Liu, PhD

Assistant Professor

Animals can exhibit hunger for not only calories but also specific nutrients, which energize behaviors to search for and ingest particular types of food in response to internal nutritional deficiency. My lab aims to understand the neurobiological basis of nutrient-specific appetite, and investigate how hunger for distinct nutrients are systematically coordinated to ensure that a balanced diet is consumed. To this end, we will harness the power of the Drosophila model system and employ a multidisciplinary approach, including large-scale genetic and behavioral analyses, immunohistochemistry, functional imaging, and patch-clamp electrophysiology. These studies will shed light on the fundamental principles for the organization and modulation of motivated behaviors. Given the global obesity epidemic, illuminating the regulation of food choice guided by nutrient specific appetite may facilitate the development of novel treatments for obesity.


Clock-Generated Temporal Codes Determine Synaptic Plasticity to Control Sleep.


Tabuchi M, Monaco JD, Duan G, Bell B, Liu S, Liu Q, Zhang K, Wu MN

A Genetic Toolkit for Dissecting Dopamine Circuit Function in Drosophila.

Cell reports

Xie T, Ho MCW, Liu Q, Horiuchi W, Lin CC, Task D, Luan H, White BH, Potter CJ, Wu MN

Branch-specific plasticity of a bifunctional dopamine circuit encodes protein hunger.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Liu Q, Tabuchi M, Liu S, Kodama L, Horiuchi W, Daniels J, Chiu L, Baldoni D, Wu MN

Sleep interacts with aβ to modulate intrinsic neuronal excitability.

Current biology : CB

Tabuchi M, Lone SR, Liu S, Liu Q, Zhang J, Spira AP, Wu MN

WIDE AWAKE mediates the circadian timing of sleep onset.


Liu S, Lamaze A, Liu Q, Tabuchi M, Yang Y, Fowler M, Bharadwaj R, Zhang J, Bedont J, Blackshaw S, Lloyd TE, Montell C, Sehgal A, Koh K, Wu MN

The ARGONAUTE10 gene modulates shoot apical meristem maintenance and establishment of leaf polarity by repressing miR165/166 in Arabidopsis.

The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology

Liu Q, Yao X, Pi L, Wang H, Cui X, Huang H

Genetic interaction between the AS1-AS2 and RDR6-SGS3-AGO7 pathways for leaf morphogenesis.

Plant & cell physiology

Xu L, Yang L, Pi L, Liu Q, Ling Q, Wang H, Poethig RS, Huang H

Research Area: 
Central Regulation