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Technical Skills

  • Isolation of DNA/RNA from cells, blood, and tissues
  • Molecular genotyping assay development (qPCR, ddPCR)
  • NGS library construction for whole genome sequencing, targeted resequencing (Nimblegen, IDT xGen), and RNA-Seq (mRNA, total RNA, small RNA). Familiar with both Illumina and PacBio platforms.
  • Bioinformatic pipeline development
  • Programming in MATLAB, Python, R/Bioconductor, CLC Genomic Workbench
  • Cell line engineering (CRISPR-Cas9) 
  • Molecular cloning and cell culturing (E. coli, yeast, and mammalian)
  • FACS assay development (BD AriaII, LSR)
  • Biacore assay development (T100, X100)

Work History



Synthetic Genomics (Mammalian Synthetic Biology)
  • Develop an integrated strategy (CRISPR-Cas9, ddPCR, NGS) for the manipulation of mammalian genomes
  • Develop and optimize a scalable long-range targeted enrichment strategy based on PacBio platform for the characterization of engineered porcine cells
  • Develop and optimize sample (DNA/RNA) extraction and QC protocols for diverse sample types (blood, tissues, synthetic perfusate)
  • Design and perform RNA-Seq experiments for the discovery of novel markers that aid in suppression of immune rejection in xenotransplantation

Scientist, Clinical R&D

Biological Dynamics
  • Developed solid-tumor targeted resequencing panels for the detection of rare mutations in FFPE tissues and cell-free DNA
  • Developed companioned molecular diagnostic assays based on qPCR and ddPCR for the detection of hotspot mutations (EGFR, BRAF, KRAS, PIK3CA)
  • Established and validated clinical protocols for CLIA/CAP certified laboratory

Scientist, Production

Synthetic genomics (SGI-DNA)
  • Optimized scalable oligo assembly strategy for synthesis of large DNA fragments (>10 kb)

Graduate Research Assistant

California Institute of Technology/Stanford University
  • Developed a high-throughput FACS-based screening for engineering of RNA switches
  • Developed a quantitative Biacore-based assay for measuring RNA binding and cleavage activities
  • Supervised graduate and undergraduate students



PHD, Chemical Engineering

California Institute of Technology

Thesis: High-throughput strategies for the scalable generation of RNA component functions

Advised by Christina Smolke


BS, Chemical Engineering

UC Berkeley

Graduate with high honor; GPA: 3.9/4.0


  • Liang, J.C., Kennedy A.B. and Smolke, .C.D. (2012). A versatile cis-blocking and trans-activation strategy for ribozyme characterization. Nucl Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks1036
  • Liang, J.C., Chang A.L., Kennedy A.B. and Smolke, C.D. (2012) A high-throughput, quantitative cell-based screen for efficient tailoring of RNA device activity. Nucl Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks636
  • Liang, J.C., Bloom, R.J., and Smolke, C.D. (2011). Engineering biological systems with synthetic RNA molecules. Mol Cell. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2011.08.023.