Simin Liu Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Medicine

Dr. Liu is an epidemiologist whose work unites molecular genetics, nutrition, clinical and translational medicine. He earned his medical degree from Jinan University in China and master of public health and doctoral degrees in both epidemiology and nutrition from Harvard University. Dr.Liu also completed a fellowship in public health and preventive medicine in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Liu is currently Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine (Endcrinology) at the Alpert School of Medicine, and director of the Center for Global Cardiometabolic Health (CGCH). Prior to joining the Brown faculty, Dr. Liu was the founding director of the UCLA Burroughs Wellcome Fund Inter-school Program in Metabolic Diseases and the Center for Metabolic Disease Prevention. From 2005-2013, he served as Professor of Epidemiology, Medicine, and Ob/Gyn at UCLA (tenured in 2005). From 1998 to 2005, Dr. Liu served as Instructor, Assistant, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and Assistant and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Dr. Liu's research is broadly concerned with the etiology of chronic diseases and their prevention and control strategies with an emphasis on identifying and understanding gene-environment interaction. For ~25 years, his work ranging from basic inquiry of the genetic basis for cardiometabolic diseases to molecular epidemiology and clinical risk modeling and interventions has been consistently funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and private foundations including the American Heart Assocaition (AHA) and the Burrough Wellcome Fund (BWF).  This work has led to the identification of several genetic and biochemical markers and gene-nutrient interactions for diabetes and cardiovascualr diseases, including several causal germ-line mutations in the SHBG gene for type 2 diabetes development. Incorporating genotypes and plasma phenotypes into risk prediction, his team was the first to show conclusively the causal role of SHBG in diabetes pathogenesis and validate its clinical utilities in diverse human populations, opening a new path for early detection and risk management of the disease. Using biomarkers for dietary carbohydrates, Dr. Liu was among the first to validate dietary glycemic load (GL) in population-based studies and prospectively link high GL to increased cardiovascular risk. He has published >250 research reports, some of which are among the most frequently cited.

Dr. Liu is an elected fellow of the Epidemiology Council of the American Heart Association (FAHA), American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and American Epidemiological Society (AES). He has served on committees/study sections for the NIH, the CDC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the British Medical Reserach Councils (MRC) as well as several European funding bodies. He has also served on the UCLA Medical Institution Review Board (IRB) and international advisory committee convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations addressing policy issues in nutrition, medicine, and public health.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas