Team Members and Collaborators

Photo of Chen Liu, PhD


Chen Liu, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Faculty Profile



Amanda Arnold, MBA

Lab Manager, Research Assistant

Amanda joined the lab in 2016. Her role includes both laboratory research and administrative/financial activities. Amanda was selected for the UTSW Healthcare Leadership Program, where she earned her MBA in Healthcare in 2020. Amanda previously received a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Texas, where she was involved in field research at the Cape Horn Sub-Antarctic Biosphere in Chile. Texas native, Amanda enjoys spending free time outdoors and exploring. 


Li Li, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Li joined the lab in 2018, and focuses on the mechanism of atypical antipsychotic-induced obesity and diabetes in mouse models. Li Li received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGDB-CAS) in Beijing, 2017, after attaining a BS in Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Tianjin Medical University. In his free time, Li enjoys cooking and watching movies. 

Photo of Wan Rong, MS

Rong Wan, M.S.

Research Associate

Since early 2016, Rong has been our lab expert on immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Rong is from Beijing, where she received her M.S. in Applied Chemistry from the Beijing Institute of Technology. Through the microscope, Rong is often the first to witness new discoveries in the lab. The images collected by Rong are not only of scientific significance, but can also be seen as great pieces of art. In her free time, Rong spends time with her husband and son.

Photo of Steven Wyler, PhD

Steven Wyler, Ph.D.

Steve is a collaborator and works with our lab on multiple projects. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Case Western Reserve University, and is a postdoctoral researcher training under Dr. Joel Elmquist. Steve is originally from Idaho, and moved here to Dallas in 2015 to join UT Southwestern. He is almost always on campus, but during his spare time he enjoys Diet Dr. Pepper, chocolate, and watching movies and tv shows.





Jing Zhu, Ph.D.

Visiting Senior Research Scholar

Jing is an Assistant Professor at Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai, China. She also received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Fudan University in Shanghai. Jing is excited to observe potential therapeutic roles related to our hypothalamic research. In her free time, Jing enjoys chasing her daughter in the sunshine.


Xiameng Chen, M.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Xiameng did her graduate training in Dr. Richard Lu's lab. In December 2016, she became our first postdoctoral researcher. In the lab, Xiameng used next-generation sequencing and cell-type specific transcriptomics analyses to identify unique transcriptional regulators in individual populations of hypothalamic neurons. She then used a combination of mouse genetic, neuroanatomical, and behavioral approaches to study their roles in the development of the hypothalamus. Xiameng enjoys warm weather and eating sushi.


Xiujuan Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Visiting Research Scholar

Xiujuan is a Deputy Chief Physician for the Department of Geriatrics at Wuhan No.1 Hospital, one of the largest Class III Rank A hospitals in China. She obtained a B.S. in Clinical Medicine from Tongji Medical College, and completed her residency in human histology and embryology with Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. We were happy to have Xiujuan as part of our team last year.


Khyathi Thallapureddy, STARS Student 2019

Brian Zhou, STARS Student 2018

Aakash Kothari, STARS Student 2017

Dias Mathew, B.S.

Xiuli Chang, M.D., Ph.D.