Kai Liu



Kai Liu

Tenured  Professor

Tsinghua University

Department of Chemistry


Education and Work Experience

2010-2015      PhD, University of Groningen, the Netherlands

2015-2017      Postdoctoral research, University of Groningen & Harvard University

2017-2020      PI, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences

2020-              PI, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University

Awards and honors

National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars

Chief Scientist for National Key Grant

Editorial board for ACS Applied Bio Materials.

Chinese Academy of Engineering flagjournal Engineering Young expert/guest editor

Jilin Province Youth Science and Technology Award

Netherlands organization for scientific research (NWO)-Rubicon award

National Young Talents Program

Cum Laude Ph.D diploma

Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad

Research areas and interests

We are focusing on biological synthesis and the production of scale-up functional biomaterials. Synthesized DNA and structural proteins are desinged as building blocks, ultrastrong biomaterials for high-tech applications are explored. We are also performing research on the interface of biotechnology (BT) and information technology (IT).

Recent pubilciaitons

1Z. Meng, Q. Liu, Y. Zhang, J. Sun, C. Yang, H. Li, M. Loznik, R. Göstl, D. Chen, F. Wang*, N. A. Clark, H. Zhang, A. Herrmann*, K. Liu*, Highly stiff and stretchable DNA liquid crystalline organogels with super plasticity, ultrafast self-healing and magnetic response behaviors, Adv. Mater. 2021, 33, 2106208.

2J. Sun, L. Xiao, B. Li, K. Zhao, Z. Wang, Y. Zhou, C. Ma, J. Li, H. Zhang, A. Herrmann*, K. Liu*, Genetically engineered polypeptide adhesive coacervates for surgical applications, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2021, 60, 23687.

3L. Xiao, Z. Wang, Y. Sun, B. Li, B. Wu, C. Ma, V. S. Petrovskii, X. Gu, D. Chen, I. I. Potemkin, A. Herrmann, H. Zhang, K. Liu*, An artificial phasetransitional underwater bioglue with robust and switchable adhesion performance, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 12082.

4C. Ma, B. Li, J. Zhang, Y. Sun, J. Li, H. Zhou, J. Shen, R. Gu, J. Qian, C. Fan, H. Zhang, K. Liu*, Significantly improving the bioefficacy for rheumatoid arthritis with supramolecular nanoformulations, Adv. Mater. 2021, 33, 2100098.

5S. Wang, B. Li, H. Zhang, J. Chen, X. Sun, J. Xu, T. Ren, Y. Zhang, C. Ma*, W. Guo*, K. Liu*, Improving Bioavailaibity of Hydrophobic Prodrugs through Supramolecular Nanocarriers based on Recombinant Proteins for Osteosarcoma Treatment, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 11252.

6C. Ma, J. Sun, B. Li, Y. Feng, Y. Sun, L. Xiang, B. Wu, L. Xiao, B. Liu, V. S. Petrovskii, B. Liu, J. Zhang, Z. Wang, H. Li, L. Zhang, J. Li, F. Wang, R. Gostl, I. I. Potemkin, D. Chen, H. Zeng, H. Zhang, D. Weitz, K. Liu*, A. Herrmann*, Ultra-strong bio-glue from genetically engineered polypeptides, Nat. Commun. 2021, 12, 3613.

7J. Sun, C. Ma, S. Maity, F. Wang, Y. Zhou, G. Portale, R. Göstl, W. H. Roos, H. Zhang, K. Liu*, A. Herrmann*, Reversibly photo-modulating mechanical stiffness and toughness of bioengineered protein fibers, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 3222.

8J. Sun, C. Ma, B. Li, F. Wang, K. Liu*, H. Zhang, Proteinaceous fibers with outstanding mechanical properties manipulated by supramolecular interactions, CCS Chem. 2020, 2, 1669.

9C. Ma, B. Li, B. Shao, B. Wu, D. Chen, J. Su*, H. Zhang, K. Liu*, Anisotropic protein organofibers encoded with extraordinary mechanical behaviors for cellular mechanobiology applications, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 21481.

10C. Ma, J. Dong, M. Viviani, I. Tulini, N. Pontillo, S. Maity, Y. Zhou, W. H. Roos, K. Liu*, A. Herrmann*, G. Portale*, Denovo rational design of a freestanding, supercharged polypeptide, proton conducting membrane, Sci. Adv. 2020, 6, eabc0810.

11J. Li#, Y. Sun#, Y. Liang#, J. Ma*, B. Li, C. Ma, R. Tanzi, H. Zhang, K. Liu*, C. Zhang*, Extracellular elastin molecule modulates Alzheimer’s Aβ dynamics in vitro and in vivo by affecting microglial activities, CCS Chem. 2020, 2, 1830.

12B. Shao, S. Wan, C. Yang, J. Shen, Y. Li, H. You, D. Chen*, C. Fan, K. Liu*, H. Zhang*, Engineered Anisotropic Fluids of Rare Earth Nanomaterials, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 18213.

13Y. Zhang, L. Kong, F. Wang, B. Li, C. Ma, D. Chen*, K. Liu*, C. Fan, H. Zhang, Information stored in nanoscale: encoding data in a single DNA strand with Base64, Nano Today 2020, 33, 100871.

14Y. Li, J. Li, J. Sun, H. He, B. Li, C. Ma, K. Liu*, H. Zhang, Bio-inspired and Mechanically Strong Fibers Based on Engineered Non-Spider Chimeric Proteins, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 8148.

15J. Li, B. Li, J. Sun, C. Ma, S. Wan, Y. Li, R. Göstl, A. Herrmann, K. Liu*, H. Zhang, Engineered Near-Infrared Fluorescent Protein Assemblies for Robust Bioimaging and Therapeutic Applications, Adv. Mater. 2020, 32, 2000964.

16H. He, C. Yang, F. Wang*, Z. Wei, J. Shen, D. Chen, C. Fan, H. Zhang, K. Liu*, Mechanically strong globular protein-based fibers via microfluidic spinning technique, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 4344.

17Z. Sun, C. Yang, F. Wang, B. Wu, B. Shao, Z. Li, D. Chen*, Z. Yang*, K. Liu*, Biocompatible and pHResponsive Colloidal Surfactants with Tunable Shape for Controlled Interfacial Curvature, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 9365.

18C. Ma, J. Su, B. Li, A. Herrmann, H. Zhang, K. Liu*, Solvent-free plasticity and programmable mechanical behaviors of engineered proteins, Adv. Mater. 2020, 32, 1907697.

19J. Sun, J. Su, C. Ma, R. Göstl, A. Herrmann, K. Liu*, H. Zhang,Fabrication and mechanical properties of engineered protein-based adhesives and fibers, Adv. Mater. 2020, 32, 1906360.

20C.Ma, J. Su, Y. Sun, Y. Feng, N. Shen, B. Li, Y. Liang, X. Yang, H. Wu, H. Zhang, A. Herrmann*, R. E. Tanzi, K. Liu*, C. Zhang*, Significant upregulation of Alzheimer’s β-amyloids in vivo induced by extracellular elastin polypeptides, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 18703.

21H. He, K. Zhao, L. Xiao, Y. Zhang, Y. Cheng, S. Chen, L. Zhang*, X. Zhou*, K. Liu*, H. Zhang, Detection and chiral recognition of α-hydroxyl acid through proton and CEST NMR using Yb macrocyclic complex, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 18286.

22L. Zhang, C. Ma, J. Sun, B. Shao, D. Chen, G. Portale, K. Liu*, A. Herrmann*, Genetically engineered supercharged polypeptide fluids: fast and persistent self-ordering induced by a touch, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018. 57, 6878.



Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084

Office: Biomedicine Hall D-207

Tel: 010-62791893

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.