Our lab

Dr. Qiang Liu

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Office: 1A-404, 4/F, Block 1, To Yuen Building Phone: +852 3442-5842 Email: qiangliu@cityu.edu.hk Web: CityU Profile

Dr. Liu graduated from Beijing Medical University (currently Peking University Health Science Center) with a B.M. degree in Basic Medical Science and University of Toronto with a M.Sc. in the Program in Neuroscience with Dr. Xian-min Yu at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Dr. Liu received his postdoctoral training from Dr. Zhao-wen Wang at the University of Connecticut Health Center and Dr. Erik Jorgensen at the University of Utah and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Before joining the faculty of City University of Hong Kong in 2021, Dr. Liu worked as a Research Assistant Professor with Dr. Cori Bargmann in the Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller University. Dr. Liu was a recipient of the Grass Fellowship from the Grass Foundation in 2010, a two-time awardee of the Kavli Neural Systems Institute pilot grant from the Kavli Foundation in 2017 and 2020, the recipient of the Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS) Award from the National Science Foundation (USA) in 2021, and Early Career Award from the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong in 2022.

Research Interest

The integrated function of the human brain allows every individual human to have unique thoughts, perceptions, memories, and actions. These complex abilities arise from the interconnected neurons in the brain, which acquire information about the world, integrate it with ongoing knowledge and motivational states, and drive subsequent decisions and actions. To mechanistically understand how our brain accomplishes these incredibly sophisticated functions or even one day simulate our brain on a computer is one of the grand challenges of our time. This is a daunting task that requires a comprehensive understanding of a brain at every level of complexity, from molecules to neurons, circuits and systems they form, and the underlying computational principles. Compared to the human brain with approximately 86 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses, the brain of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has only 302 neurons and several thousand synapses. To reach the ultimate goal of solving our brain, we must first be able to understand and model much simpler brains. At the scale of C. elegans, scientists were able to map the physical wiring of the entire nervous system – the connectome – in the attempt to reconstruct the worm brain. It soon became clear, however, that structure alone did not solve function. Without the knowledge of the cell-type specific biophysical properties of individual neurons and the activity patterns they produce, theorists were unable to generate a unifying model that explained how the “simple” worm brain works. The Liu lab aims to address this problem by comprehensively characterizing biophysical properties of every C. elegans neuronal cell type and constructing highly constrained single-neuron and circuit level models. The long-term goal of the Liu lab is to biophysically map the entire worm brain, reproduce neural activity patterns in different neuron types and neural circuits, and eventually simulate how the worm brain generates behaviors.

Our Team

Minxian Peng

PhD Student


 BSc, Bioengineering, Central South University

Clayton Chiu

Research Assistant


BSc, Molecular biology and biotechnology, The University of Hong Kong

Beryl Bi



BSc, Environmental science, Hong Kong Baptist University

Mphil & PhD, Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University

Shuqi Chen

Research Assistant


BSc, Clinical medicine, Shantou University

Mphil, Neurology, Zhejiang university