Liou Y. Sun headshot.

Assistant Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Campbell Hall 100
(205) 934-4290

Research and Teaching Interests: Biology of Aging, Endocrinology, Obesity, Neurodegenerative disease

Office Hours: By appointment


  • M.D., Southeast University Medical School, Nanjing (China), Medicine
  • Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Molecular, Cellular, and Systemic Physiology

Dr. Sun's laboratory is exploring the genetic control of aging in mammals and vertebrates. We are studying the endocrine mechanisms and nutritional factors for their effects on longevity and aging.

  • The physiological role of the somatotropic axis in the control of aging in mammals and vertebrates
  • The dietary factors on aging and longevity: calorie restriction vs. methionine restriction
  • Interventions studies of age-related diseases such as Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease
Research Opportunities
Dr. Sun is currently recruiting motivated students of all levels. He will consider candidates from a variety of backgrounds, provided they make a compelling case for contributing to the objectives and goals of the lab.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows: Prospective postdocs should submit a CV, a description of past research accomplishments and future research interests, and the names and contact information for at least three references.
  • Graduate Students: The lab will be accepting students starting from the Spring 2016. Graduate students should contact Dr. Sun directly to set up a time to discuss possible projects.
  • Research Associates: Individuals with at least a BA/BS degree and research experience who are particularly interested in the approaches and objectives of our lab should contact Dr. Sun directly about potential employment opportunities.
  • Undergraduate Students: There are several projects available to highly motivated undergraduates interested in our research. Please email a CV/resume along with a description of your research interests and career objectives. The primary criterion for evaluating undergraduate applicants is evidence of a high degree of motivation and dedication.

Research Interests

Dr. Sun's current research focus on nutrition and hormonal signals during early-life development can influence the long-term health and the development of age-related diseases. Learn more about his previous research.

Learn more about Dr. Sun's research on his lab website. He is currently recruiting motivated postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, research associates, and undergraduates. Candidates from a variety of backgrounds will be considered, provided they make a compelling case for contributing to the objectives and goals of the lab. Learn more about these opportunities on the website.

Recent Courses

  • BY 687 & BY 787: Endocrinology of Aging
  • BY 362 & BY 695: Neurobiology

Select Publications

  • Sun LY*, Spong A , Swindell WR, Arum O, Fang Y, Hill C, Huber J, Boehm J, Westbrook R, Salvatori R, Bartke A, "Growth Hormone-releasing Hormone Disruption Extends Lifespan and Regulates Response to Caloric Restriction in Mice," eLife (October 29, 2012; Epub 2013).
  • Bartke A, Sun LY, Longo V, "Somatotropic signaling: trade-offs between growth, reproductive development, and longevity," Physiol Rev. 93 (No. 2, April 2013):571-98.
  • Sun LY, Bokov AF, Richardson A, and Miller RA, "Hepatic response to oxidative injury in long-lived Ames dwarf mice," FASEB J. (September 8, 2010). PMCID: PMC3005438.
  • Sun LY, Steinbaugh MJ, Masternak MM, Bartke A, Miller RA, "Fibroblasts from long-lived mutant mice show diminished ERK1/2 phosphorylation but exaggerated induction of immediate early genes," Free Radic Biol Med. 47 (12, December 15, 2009):1753-61. September 26, PMCID: PMC2783454.
  • Sun LY and D'Ercole AJ, "Insulin-like growth factor-I stimulates histone H3 and H4 acetylation in the brain in vivo," Endocrinology 147 (11, November 2006):5480-90. PMCID: PMC1847619.
  • Sun LY, Al-Regaiey K, Masternak MM, Wang J, and Bartke A. "Local expression of GH and IGF-1 in the hippocampus of GH-deficient long-lived mice." Neurobiol Aging. 26 (6, June 2005):929-37.
  • Sun LY, Evans MS, Hsieh J, Panici J, and Bartke A, "Increased neurogenesis in dentate gyrus of long-lived Ames dwarf mice," Endocrinology 146 (3, March 2005):1138-44. Epub November 24, 2004.

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • NIA-AFA Butler-Williams Scholars, 2015
  • NIH career development award, 2014
  • NIA award for NIA Training in Experimental Aging Research Seattle, 2008
  • Ellison Medical Foundation award for the Summer Aging Course, 2006
  • Scholarship of 2005 Gordon Research Conference on IGF, 2005
  • Glenn Foundation/AFAR Scholars Research in the Biology of Aging, 2003

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