James Liao

James Liao


Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Professor

5531-G Boelter Hall

Phone: (310) 825-1656
Fax: (310) 206-4107


  • Biological synthesis of fuels and chemicals
  • Carbon and nitrogen assimilation
  • Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology
  • Transcriptional and metabolic networks analysis
  • Fatty acid metabolism
  • Li, H.; P.H. Opgenorth; D.G. Wernick; S. Rogers; T.-Y.Wu; W. Higashide; P. Malati; Y. Huo, K.-M. Cho, and J.C. Liao (2012) Integrated electro-microbial conversion of CO2 to higher alcohols, Science 335:1596.
  • Lan, E. I; and J.C. Liao (2012) ATP drives direct photosynthetic production of 1-butanol in cyanobacteria, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., USA. 109:6018-23.
  • Huo,Y.; Cho,K.M.; Lafontaine, J.M.;Monte, E.; Shen, C.R.; Yan, Y. and Liao, J.C. (2011) Conversion of proteins into biofuels by engineering nitrogen flux, Nature Biotechnology, 29: 346-351.
  • Zhang, K.; Li, H.; Cho, K.M. and Liao, J.C. (2010) Expanding metabolism for total biosynthesis of the nonnatural amino acid L-homoalanine.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107(14):6234-9.
  • Atsumi,S.; Higashide, W.; and Liao, J.C. (2009) Direct recycling of carbon dioxide to isobutyraldehyde using photosynthesis, Nature Biotechnol, 27, 1177-1180.
  • Atsumi, S.; T. Hanai and J.C. Liao (2008) Non-Fermentative Pathways for Synthesis of Branched-Chain Higher Alcohols as Biofuels, Nature, 451:86-89.
  • Zhang, K., Sawaya, M.R., Eisenberg, D.S. and J.C. Liao (2008) Expanding Metabolism for Biosynthesis of Nonnatural Alcohols, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105: 20653–20658
  • Atsumi, S.; A. F. Cann; M. Connor; C.R. Shen;  K. M. Smith; M.P. Brynildsen; K.J.Y. Chou; T. Hanai, and J. C. Liao (2008) Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for 1-butanol Production, Metabolic Eng. 10 (2008) 305–311.
  • Hanai, T., S. Atsumi, J. C. Liao (2007) Engineered synthetic pathway for isopropanol production in Escherichia coli. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 73:7814–7818
  • Hyduke, D.R., Jarboe, L.R., Tran, L.M., Chou, K.J.Y., Liao, J.C. (2007) Integrated Network Analysis Identifies Nitric Oxide Response Networks and dihydroxyacid dehydratase as a Crucial Target in Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104, 8484-8489.
  • Wong, W.W., T.Y. Tsai, J.C. Liao (2007) Single-cell zeroth-order protein degradation enhances the robustness of synthetic oscillator, Mol. Systems. Biol. 3:130.

  • Fung, E.; Wong, W.W.; Suen, J.K.; Bulter, T.; Lee, S.G.; and Liao, J.C. (2005) A synthetic gene-metabolic oscillator, Nature, 435, 118-122.
  • Liao, J.C.; Boscolo, R; Yang, Y.L.; Tran,L.M.; Sabatti, C.; and Roychowdhury, V. (2003) Network component analysis: Reconstruction of regulatory signals in biological systems” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA,  100: 15522–15527.
  • B.S. National Taiwan University
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • National Academy of Engineering, 2013
  • White House Champion of Change in Renewable Energy, 2012
  • Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, Academic Category, 2010
  • James E. Bailey Award, Society for Biological Engineering, 2009
  • Alpha Chi Sigma Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2009
  • Marvin J. Johnson Award, Biochemical Technology Division, American Chemical Society, 2009
  • Charles Thom Award, Society for Industrial Microbiology, 2008
  • Merck Award for Metabolic Engineering, 2006
  • FPBE Division Award of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2006
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2002
  • National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, 1992