Professor, Chemistry

Research interests: targeted drug delivery; nanomedicine; bio-inspired self-assembly


Over the past six years, Professor Juewen Liu has published over 40 research papers on DNA/lipid-based sensors and functional materials with a total citation number close to two thousand.

Liu is a leader in the field of bionanotechnology. His lab employs DNA, liposomes, hydrogels, and various inorganic nanoparticles as building blocks to construct functional nanomaterials for analytical and biomedical applications. He is also interested in the biotechnology of combinatorial DNA aptamer selection.

Liu joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo in July 2009. Prior to his current appointment at University of Waterloo, he worked for two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials in the University of New Mexico, and the Advanced Materials Laboratory in Sandia National Labs, where he developed a novel drug delivery vehicle based on mesoporous silica nanoparticle supported phospholipid bilayers. Amorphous silica nanoparticles are biocompatible and drug loading can be achieved through active adsorption; while the lipid bilayer provides a cell-like interface for grafting targeting ligands, Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG), and incorporation of ion channels. This drug delivery system has been successfully applied for targeted cancer therapy and gene delivery both in vitro and in vivo.


  • PhD, Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005
  • BSc, Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, 2000

Juewen Liu

University of Waterloo