Associate Professor of Cell Physiology & Molecular Biophysics 
Adjunct faculty of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Texas Tech University


Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics    
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
3601 4th Street, STOP 6551
Lubbock, Texas 79430
Office Phone: (806) 743-1463
Office room: 5A169
FAX: (806) 743-1512


Research Interest:

Our research interest is in membrane biophysics and bioengineering, with a particular focus on understanding and controlling the recognition and transport across nanoscale membrane boundaries. Our long-term goal is to bridge biology with synthetic systems via materials discovery. We design synthetic materials to partake in live processes, and adapt biological functions to be used under a broad range of harsher, non-biological conditions. Examples of our current research projects include membrane protein functions in synthetic proteomembranes; membrane-active antimicrobials and biofilm mitigation; and nanoparticle-based, membrane-targeting theranostic platforms. Aided by a large array of structural and functional characterization tools including synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering, we develop new biological, chemical, and engineering approaches to understand membrane biophysics and exploit membrane-based bionanotechnology.

Selected Publications:

 ncbi M.C. Fiori, Y.J. Jiang, W. Zheng, M. Anzaldua, M.J. Borgnia, G.A. Altenberg, and H.J. Liang, "Polymer nanodiscs: Discoidal amphiphilic block copolymer membranes as a new platform for membrane proteins", Sci. Rep., 7, 15227 (2017)
Y.J. Jiang, W. Zheng, L.J. Kuang, H.R. Ma, and H.J. Liang, "Hydrophilic phage-mimicking membrane active antimicrobials reveal nanostructure-dependent activity and selectivity", ACS Infect. Dis., 3, 676-687 (2017) 
Also selected as the ACS Editor's Choice Article; Cover Story; Spotlight on Chemical Research on Toxicology; and Highlight on C&EN, "Polymer nanoparticles mimic bacteriophages". 


ncbi M.C. Fiori, Y.J. Jiang, G.A. Altenberg, and H.J. Liang, "Polymer-encased nanodiscs with improved buffer compatibility", Sci. Rep., 7, 7432 (2017)
ncbi S.L. Wang, C. Ing, S. Emami, Y.J. Jiang, H.J. Liang, R. Pomès, L. Brown, and V. Ladizhansky, “Structure and dynamics of extracellular loops in human Aquaporin-1 from solid-state NMR and molecular dynamics”, J. Phys. Chem. B 120(37), 9887-9902 (2016).
ncbi U. Chawla, Y.J. Jiang, W. Zheng, L.J. Kuang, S. M. D. C. Perera, M. F. Brown, and H.J. Liang, “A usual G-protein-coupled receptor in unusual membranes”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 55(2), 588-592 (2016).
M. Ward, S.L. Wang, I. Hung, P.L. Gor’kov, Y.J. Jiang, H.J. Liang, L. Brown, and V. Ladizhansky, “In situ structural studies of Anabaena Sensory Rhodopsin in the E. coli Inner Membrane”, Biophys. J., 108, 1683-1696 (2015). 
Also featured in New and Notable, “A Solid View of Membrane Proteins In Situ” 


ncbi L.J. Kuang, T.L. Olson, S. Lin, M. Flores, Y.J. Jiang, W. Zheng, J.C. Williams, J.P. Allen, and H.J. Liang, “Interface for light–driven electron transfer by photosynthetic complexes across block copolymer membranes”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 5, 787-791 (2014).
ncbi L.J. Kuang, D.A. Fernandes, M. O’Halloran, W. Zheng, Y.J. Jiang, V. Ladizhansky, L.S. Brown, and H.J. Liang, ““Frozen” block copolymer nanomembranes with light-driven proton pumping performance”, ACS Nano, 8(1), 537-545 (2014).
ncbi A.A. Onasoga-Jarvis, T.J. Puls, S.K. O'Brien, L.J. Kuang, H.J. Liang, and K.B. Neeves, “Thrombin generation and fibrin formation under flow on biomimetic tissue factor rich surfaces”, J. Thromb. Haemost., 12 (3), 373-382 (2014).
ncbi J. Cao; X. Pan, W. Huang, Y. Wang, D. Hua, X. Zhu, H.J. Liang "Synthesis of cationic poly(4-vinylpyridine)-functionalized colloidal particles by emulsion polymerization with reactive block copolymer for protein adsorption", J. Coll. Inter. Sci., 381, 137-142 (2012).
ncbi X. Pan, J. Cao, Y. Wang, W. Huang, D. Hua, X. Zhu, H.J. Liang "Synthesis of surface-functionalized polystyrene sub-micron spheres using novel amphiphilic comonomer", Polymer, 53, 3508-3513 (2012).
ncbi D.B. Hua, L.J. Kuang, and H.J. Liang, “Self-directed reconstitution of proteorhodopsin with amphiphilic block copolymers induces the formation of hierarchically ordered proteopolymer membrane arrays”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 133, 2354-2357 (2011).
ncbi D.B. Hua, J.L. Jiang, L.J. Kuang, J. Jiang, W. Zheng, and H.J. Liang, “Smart chitosan-based stimuli-responsive nanocarriers for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic pharmaceuticals”, Macromolecules, 44, 1298-1302 (2011).
Q. H. Shi, H.J. Liang, D. Feng, J. F. Wang, and G. D. Stucky, “Porous carbon and carbon/metal oxide microfibers with well-controlled pore structure and interface”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130, 5034-5035 (2008).
Also highlighted on C&EN, "Silica and ice template creates holey microfibers". 


ncbi H.J. Liang, G. Whited, C. Nguyen, A. Okerlund, and G. D. Stucky, “Inherently tunable electrostatic assembly of membrane proteins”, Nano Lett., 8, 333-339 (2008).
ncbi H.J. Liang, G. Whited, C. Nguyen, and G. D. Stucky, “The directed cooperative assembly of proteorhodopsin into 2D and 3D polarized arrays”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 104, 8212-8217 (2007).


Got Questions?

We're here to help. Contact us if you have questions.

Hongjun Liang, Ph.D.

(806) 743 - 1463

Positions Open:

The Liang lab has open positions for graduate students and post docs in the areas of membrane biophysics and bioengineering. Inquiries welcome.

Hongjun Liang

(806) 743 - 1463