Full time faculty

Adjunct professor

Chair professor


Wanli LIU


Wanli Liu, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Young 1000-Talent Plan


2011.12 –  , Principal Investigator, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University

2007 – 2011, Postdoc, NIAID, NIH, USA

2005 – 2007, Postdoc, Dept. of Microbiology/Immunology, UCSF, USA

2001 – 2005, Ph.D., Dept. of Biological Science and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University

1997 – 2001, Bachelor, School of Biology, China Agriculture University


Research Interest:

We combine immunological and biochemical experimental approaches with cutting-edge high resolution high speed live cell and molecule imaging techniques to investigate the function of lymphocyte cells. We are working on the studies of: (1) Lymphocytes activation and regulation; (2) Immune-diseases induced by abnormal lymphocyte activation; (3) Immunological memory; (4) Mechanosensing biology of lymphocytes; (5) Immune-evasion; (6) Next generation vaccines based on the new understanding of lymphocyte activation and function.


Research articles and Reviews (*, corresponding author)

[1]     Chenguang Xu, Hengyi Xie, Xingdong Guo, Haipeng Gong, Lei Liu, Hai Qi, Chenqi Xu, Wanli Liu*. A PIP2-derived amplification loop fuels the sustained initiation of B cell activation. Science Immunology, 2017, 2. pii: eaan0787. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan0787.

[2]     Jing Wang, Liling Xu, Samina Shaheen, Sichen Liu, Wenjie Zheng, Xiaolin Sun, Zhanguo Li, Wanli Liu*. Growth of B cell receptor microclusters is regulated by PIP2 and PIP3 equilibrium and Dock2 recruitment and activation. Cell Reports, 2017, 21:2541-2557.

[3]     Samina Shaheen#, Zhengpeng Wan#, Zongyu Li#, Alicia Chau, Xinxin Li, Shaosen Zhang, Yang Liu, Junyang Yi, Yingyue Zeng, Jing Wang, Xiangjun Chen, Liling Xu, Wei Chen, Fei Wang, Yun Lu, Wenjie Zheng, Yan Shi, Xiaolin Sun, Zhanguo Li, Chunyang Xiong, Wanli Liu*. Substrate stiffness governs the initiation of B cell activation by the concerted signaling of PKCβ and focal adhesion kinase. eLife, 2017, 6:e23060. doi: 10.7554/eLife.23060.

[4]     Chen Y, Hu F, Dong X, Zhao M, Wang J, Sun X, Kim TJ*, Li Z*, Wanli Liu*. SHIP-1 Deficiency in AID+ B Cells Leads to the Impaired Function of B10 Cells with Spontaneous Autoimmunity. J Immunol. 2017, 199:3063-3073.

[5]     Jingjing Liang, Jun Lyu, Meng Zhao, Dan Li, Mingzhu Zheng, Yan Fang, Fangzhu Zhao, Jun Lou, Chuansheng Guo, Lie Wang, Di Wang, Wanli Liu*, Linrong Lu*. Tespa1 regulates T cell receptor-induced calcium signals by recruiting inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors. Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 9;8:15732. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15732.

[6]     Liling Xu#, Mengdie Xia#, Jun Guo#, Xiaolin Sun#, Hua Li, Chenguang Xu, Xiaomei Gu, Haowen Zhang, Junyang Yi, Yan Fang, Hengyi Xie, Jing Wang, Zhixun Shen, Boxin Xue, Yujie Sun, Tobias Meckel, Ying-Hua Chen, Zhibin Hu, Zhanguo Li*, Chenqi Xu*, Haipeng Gong*, Wanli Liu*. Impairment on the lateral mobility induced by structural changes underlies the functional deficiency of the lupus-associated polymorphism FcγRIIB-T232. J Exp Med. 2016, 213:2707-2727.

[7]     Wanli Liu*, Haopeng Wang, Chenqi Xu*. Antigen Receptor Nanoclusters: Small Units with Big Functions. Trends ln Immunology. 2016, 37:680-689. (Review)

[8]     Jing Wang, Shan Tang, Zhengpeng Wan, Yiren Gao, Yiyun Cao, Junyang Yi, Yanyan Si, Haowen Zhang, Lei Liu* and Wanli Liu*. Utilization of a photoactivatable antigen system to examine B cell probing termination and the B cell receptor sorting mechanisms during B cell activation. PNAS. 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1517612113.

[9]     Shan Tang, Zhengpeng Wan, Yiren Gao, Ji-Shen Zheng, Jing Wang, Yan-Yan Si, Xin Chen, Hai Qi, Lei Liu* and Wanli Liu*. Total chemical synthesis of photoactivatable proteins for light-controlled manipulation of antigen–antibody interactions. Chemical Science. DOI: 10.1039/C5SC03404C.

[10]   Xiangjun Chen, Weiling Pan, Yinqiang Sui, Hua Li, Xiaoshan Shi, Xingdong Guo, Hai Qi, Chenqi Xu*, Wanli Liu*. Acidic phospholipids govern the enhanced activation of IgG-B cell receptor. Nature Communications. 2015, 6:8552. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9552.

[11]   Zhengpeng Wan, Xiangjun Chen, Haodong Chen, Qinghua Ji, Yingjia Chen, Jing Wang, Yiyun Cao, Fei Wang, Jizhong Lou, Zhuo Tang, Wanli Liu*. The activation of IgM- or isotype-switched IgG- and IgE-BCR exhibits distinct mechanical force sensitivity and threshold. Elife. 2015 doi: 10.7554/eLife.06925. (Faculty of 1000 recommended paper)

[12]   Xiangjun Chen, Gen Li, Zhengpeng Wan, Ce Liu, Yingyue Zeng, Wanli Liu*. How B cells remember? A sophisticated cytoplasmic tail of mIgG is pivotal for the enhanced transmembrane signaling of IgG-switched memory B cells. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 2015, 118:89-94. (Review)

[13]   Liling Xu, Arturs Auzins, Xiaolin Sun, Yinsheng Xu, Fiona Harnischfeger, Yun Lu, Juan Qiao, Zhanguo Li, Ying-Hua Chen*, Wenjie Zheng*, Wanli Liu*. The synaptic recruitment of lipid rafts is dependent on CD19-PI3K module and cytoskeleton remodeling molecules. J Leukoc Biol. 2015, 98:223-234.

[14]   Yingyue Zeng, Junyang Yi, Zhengpeng Wan, Kai Liu, Ping Song, Alicia Chau, Fei Wang, Zai Chang, Weidong Han, Wenjie Zheng, Ying-Hua Chen*, Chunyang Xiong*, Wanli Liu*. Substrate stiffness regulates B-cell activation, proliferation, class switch and T-cell-independent antibody responses in vivo. Eur J Immunol. 2015, 45:1621-1634. (Feature article commented by Dr. Andrew M. Knight)

[15]   Ce Liu, Xingwang Zhao, Liling Xu, Junyang Yi, Samina Shaheen, Weidong Han, Fei Wang, Wenjie Zheng, Chenqi Xu, Wanli Liu*. A negative-feedback function of PKCβ in the formation and accumulation of signaling-active B cell receptor microclusters within B cell immunological synapse. J Leukoc Biol. 2015 97:887-900.

[16]   YinSheng Xu, JunYang Yi, YiRen Gao, Ce Liu, LiLing Xu, WanLi Liu*. Molecular Mechanism of B Lymphocyte Activation and the Associated Diseases. Scientia Sinica Vitae, 2014, 44:985-998. (Review in Chinese language)

[17]   Liling Xu, Gen Li, Jing Wang, Yilin Fan, Zhengpeng Wan, Shaosen Zhang, Samina Shaheen, Jing Li, Li Wang, Cai Yue, Yan Zhao, Fei Wang, Joseph Brzostowski, Yinghua Chen*, Wenjie Zheng*, Wanli Liu*. Through an ITIM-independent mechanism the FcgRIIB blocks B cell activation by disrupting the colocalized microclustering of the BCR and CD19. J Immunol. 2014, 192:5179-91. (Faculty of 1000 recommended paper)

[18]   Guoliang Zhang, Huiyuan Zhang, Yuan Gao, Ran Tao, Lijun Xin, Junyang Yi, Fuyou Li, Wanli Liu* and Juan Qiao*. Near-Infrared-Emitting Iridium(III) Complexes as Phosphorescent Dyes for Live Cell Imaging. Organometallics, 2014, 33:61−68.

[19]   Yinsheng Xu, Meng Zhao, Yilin Fan, Susan K. Pierce* and Wanli Liu*. No receptor stands alone: IgG B cell receptor intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms contribute to antibody memory. Cell Research. 2014, 24:651-64. (Review)

[20]   Zhengpeng Wan, Shaosen Zhang, Yilin Fan, Kai Liu, Feng Du, Angel M. Davey, Huiyuan Zhang, Weidong Han, Chunyang Xiong, Wanli Liu*. B cell activation is regulated by the stiffness properties of the substrate presenting the antigens. J Immunol. 2013, 190:4661-4675. (Faculty of 1000 recommended paper)

[21]   Shaosen Zhang, Liling Xu, Xingwang Zhao, Xin Chen, Zhengpeng Wan, Yinsheng Xu, Wanli Liu*. A new and robust method of tethering IgG surrogate antigens on lipid bilayer membranes to facilitate the TIRFM based live cell and single molecule imaging experiments. Plos One. 2013, 8:e63735.

[22]   Zhengpeng Wan, Wanli Liu*. The growth of B cell receptor microcluster is a universal response of B cells encountering antigens with different motion features. Protein & Cell. 2012 3:545-558.

[23]   Wanli Liu, Elizabeth Chen, XingWang Zhao, ZhengPeng Wan, YiRen Gao, Angel Davey, Eric Huang, Lijia Zhang, Jillian Crocetti, Gabriel Sandoval, M. Gordon Joyce, Carrie Miceli, Jan Lukszo, L. Aravind, Wojciech Swat, Joseph Brzostowski, and Susan K. Pierce. The scaffolding protein synapse associated protein 97 is required for enhanced signaling through isotype-switched IgG memory B cell receptors. Science Signaling. 2012, 5: ra54 1-13. (Faculty of 1000 recommended paper)

[24]   Angel Davey1, Wanli Liu1, Hae Won Sohn1, Joseph Brzostowski1 and Susan K. Pierce. Understanding the initiation of B cell signaling through live cell imaging. Methods in Enzymology. 2012, 506:265-290. (1 indicates co-first author)

[25]   Susan K. Pierce and Wanli Liu. The tipping points in the initiation of B cell signaling: how small changes make big differences. Nature Reviews Immunology. 2010, 10:767-777. (Cover Review)

[26]   Wanli Liu, Tobias Meckel, Pavel Tolar, Hae Won Sohn, Susan K. Pierce. Intrinsic properties of immunoglobulin IgG1 isotype-switched B cell receptors promote microclustering and the initiation of signaling. Immunity. 2010, 32:778-789. (Feature article by Robert Brink)

[27]   Wanli Liu, Tobias Meckel, Pavel Tolar, Hae Won Sohn, Susan K. Pierce. Antigen affinity discrimination is an intrinsic function of the B cell receptor. J Exp Med. 2010, 207:1095-1111. (Cover story and feature article commented by Michael Dustin)

[28]   Wanli Liu, Tobias Meckel, Pavel Tolar, Hae Won Sohn, Susan K. Pierce. Antigen-induced oligomerization of the B cell receptor is an early target of Fc gamma RIIB inhibition. J Immunol. 2010, 184:1977-1989. (“In This Issue” article by Christiana N. Fogg)

[29]   Wanli Liu, Hae Won Sohn, Pavel Tolar, Susan K. Pierce. It's all about change: the antigen-driven initiation of B-cell receptor signaling. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010, 2:a002295. (Review)


Publications in Pubmed updates:




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Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 100084

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Lab website:


Tsinghua University,Beijing,China,100084
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