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Research Associate Professor

Research Assistant Professor

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lab Supervisor


Biology of the cytoophidium: an interdisciplinary approach


Professor Ji-Long Liu is relocating his research group from the University of Oxford to ShanghaiTech University, a newly established research university located at Zhang-Jiang High-Tech Park in Pudong, Shanghai, the “Pharma Valley” of China. We are looking for four motivated and enthusiastic scientists to join Professor Ji-Long Liu’s research group in Shanghai.


The cytoophidium (plural “cytoophidia”), meaning the cellular snake in Greek, represents a novel type of organelles. In 2010, three groups including us discovered that CTP synthase is compartmentalised into the cytoophidium. Cytoophidia have existed on our planet for at least 3 billion years and are evolutionarily conserved from bacteria to human. Using the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and human cells as prime model systems, we will study the mechanisms by which metabolic enzymes such as CTP synthase and IMP dehydrogenase are compartmentalised within a cell. CTP synthase and IMP dehydrogenase have been attractive targets for developing agents against cancer, virus and parasites. We will investigate how various metabolic enzymes are assembled into cytoophidia and how the cytoophidium and its kind are linked to metabolic regulation and cancer biology.


The post holders will join a highly interactive research team working on metabolic cell biology. You will develop genetic and biochemical approaches to study the biology of the cytoophidium in fruitfly or fission yeast. The study of metabolic compartmentation by genetic and biochemical approaches promises to form a broad view on basic cellular questions, as well as sheds light on molecular mechanism of disease related to intracellular compartments.


The successful applicant should have a strong background in genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. Experience of Drosophila or yeast genetics would be an advantage, although training will be given. Excellent organisational and communication skills will be required, together with the ability to work well within a team.


You will work in the School of Life Science and Technology (SLST) at ShanghaiTech University. SLST aims to develop into a world-class, research-oriented school in life science and technology. Additional information about my new lab at ShanghaiTech, click here. My past research at Oxford, click here. Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Ji-Long Liu at


These posts are available from 1 September 2016. All 4 posts are 5-year positions at first instance but all have chance to be extended permanently. They provide opportunities to develop research project skills and develop collaborative links with colleagues within the ShanghaiTech University and elsewhere.


Application Procedure: Submit a cover letter containing the description of the major research achievements, a CV and the names and addresses of three individuals who can serve as references to

Review of applications is on a rolling basis with no deadlines, until all the positions are filled.


Selective References

1. Liu JL. (2016). The cytoophidium and its kind: Filamentation and compartmentation of metabolic enzymes. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology, 32 [ABSTRACT] [in press]

2. Aughey GN, Grice SJ and Liu JL. (2016). The interplay between MYC and CTP synthase in Drosophila. PLOS Genetics 12(2):e1005867. [HTML] [PDF]

3. Ghosh S, Tibbit C and Liu JL. (2016). Effective knockdown of Drosophila long non-coding RNAs by CRISPR interference. Nucleic Acids Research 44(9):e84 [HTML] [PDF] [OXfCRISPR]

4. Bassett AR, Tibbit C, Ponting CP and Liu JL. (2013). Highly efficient targeted mutagenesis of Drosophila with the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Cell Reports 4(1):220-8. [HTML] [PDF] [OXfCRISPR] [Cell Reports Best of 2013]

5. Liu JL. (2010). Intracellular compartmentation of CTP synthase in Drosophila. Journal of Genetics and Genomics 37(5):281-96. [HTML] [NATURE | News Feature]

6. Liu JL, Murphy C, Buszczak M, Clatterbuck S, Goodman R and Gall JG. (2006). The Drosophila melanogaster Cajal body. Journal of Cell Biology 172(6):875-84.  [HTML


Further publications of Professor Ji-Long Liu, click here