Jia Liu, Ph.D.

  • Director, Epigenetics Facility
  • Director, Rodent Behavioral Analysis Suite
  • Research Associate Professor, Neuroscience Initiative

Dr. Liu received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Wesleyan University with the focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of DNA repair in neuronal excitotoxicity and epilepsy. Following her graduate study, she joined Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as a postdoctoral fellow. Her postdoctoral work used cutting-edge genetic and epigenetic techniques and has characterized extensively the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating myelination and oligodendrocyte development in the central nervous system in physiological conditions as well as the underlying cause for remyelination failure in multiple sclerosis. Following her postdoctoral training, she became a Research Assistant Professor at the Friedman Brain Institute at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her current research focus is to understand the functional role of oligodendrocytes and myelination in psychiatric disorders and their causal role in psychiatric symptoms experienced by individuals with demyelinating diseases.

Research Interests

The goal of her research is to provide better understanding of the environmental impact through neural-glia interplay on psychiatric disorders. She uses animal models combined with molecular tools to identify ways stress change gene expression in the brain and lead to depressive-like symptoms. She has demonstrated that the impaired myelination and transcriptional response preceded and accompany the behavioral consequences in stress-induced depressive-like behavior using rodent models of depression. She has also defined the mechanisms associated with impaired epigenetic regulation in oligodendrocyte as the driving force for abnormalities in these models. This body of work has changed the traditional view of oligodendrocyte function in depression and serves as the principal foundation of her laboratory.


Z. Li, M. Moniruzzaman, R. M. Dastgheyb, S.-W. Yoo, M. Wang, H. Hao, J. Liu, P. Casaccia, C. Nogueras-Ortiz, D. Kapogiannis, B. S. Slusher, N. J. Haughey. Astrocytes Deliver CK1 to Neurons via Extracellular Vesicles in Response to Inflammation Promoting the Translation and Amyloidogenic Processing of APP. J Extracell Vesicles, 2020, 10 (2), e12035. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jev2.12035.

J. Liu, E. Likhtik, A. D. Shereen, T. A. Dennis-Tiwary, P. Casaccia. White Matter Plasticity in Anxiety: Disruption of Neural Network Synchronization During Threat-Safety Discrimination. Front Cell Neurosci, 2020, 14, 587053. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2020.587053.

J. Qiu, P. Singh, G. Pan, A. de Paolis, F. A. Champagne, J. Liu, L. Cardoso, A. Rodríguez-Contreras. Defining the Relationship between Maternal Care Behavior and Sensory Development in Wistar Rats: Auditory Periphery Development, Eye Opening and Brain Gene Expression. PLoS One, 2020, 15 (8), e0237933. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237933.

Samudyata, G. Castelo‐Branco, J. Liu. Epigenetic Regulation of Oligodendrocyte Differentiation: From Development to Demyelinating Disorders. Glia, 2020, glia.23820. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/glia.23820.

V. Bonnefil, K. Dietz, M. Amatruda, M. Wentling, A.V. Aubry, J.L. Dupree, G. Temple, H.J. Park, N.S. Burghardt, P. Casaccia, J. Liu. Region-specific myelin differences define behavioral consequences of chronic social defeat stress in mice. ELife, 2019, 8. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.40855.001. Podcast: https://elifesciences.org/podcast/episode60#933.

L.L. Boshans, D.C. Factor, V. Singh, J. Liu, C. Zhao, I. Mandoiu, Q.R. Lu, P. Casaccia, P.J. Tesar, A. Nishiyama. The Chromatin Environment Around Interneuron Genes in Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells and Their Potential for Interneuron Reprograming. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2019, 13. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00829

A. Ntranos, V. Ntranos, V. Bonnefil, J. Liu, S. Kim-Schulze, Y. He, Y. Zhu, R. Brandstadter, C.T. Watson, A.J. Sharp, I. Katz Sand, P. Casaccia. Fumarates target the metabolic-epigenetic interplay of brain-homing T cells in multiple sclerosis. Brain, 2019, 142(3), 647-661. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awy344

V. Aubry, H. Khandaker, R. Ravenelle, I. S. Grunfeld, V. Bonnefil, K. L. Chan, F. Cathomas, J. Liu, G. E. Schafe, N. S. Burghardt. A Diet Enriched with Curcumin Promotes Resilience to Chronic Social Defeat Stress. Neuropsychopharmacol, 2019, 44 (4), 733–742. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-018-0295-2.

headshot: jia liu

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