Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Surgery


Dr. Liu is an epidemiologist whose work unites molecular genetics, nutrition, clinical medicine and public health. Dr. Liu is Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) at the Alpert School of Medicine. He also serves as director of the Center for Global Cardiometabolic Health (CGCH) and holds adjunct professorship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Chinese Uninversity of HongKong (Honorary), GuangDong General Hospital and GuangDong Academy of Medical Sciences. Prior to joining the Brown faculty, Dr. Liu was the founding director of the UCLA Burroughs Wellcome Fund Inter-school Program in Metabolic Disease and the Center for Metabolic Disease Prevention while serving as Professor of Epidemiology, Medicine, and Ob/Gyn at UCLA (tenured in 2005). Prior to that, he served as Instructor, Assistant and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the 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 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 the genetics of cardiometabolic diseases to molecular epidemiology and clinical risk modeling and interventions has been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and private foundations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Burrough Wellcome Fund (BWF).  This work has led to the identification and confirmation of several novel genetic and biochemical markers and gene-nutrient interactions for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Liu led the team that first identifies and validate several 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 the causal role of SHBG in diabetes pathogenesis and validate its clinical utilities in human populations of diverse ethnicities, opening a new path for early detection and risk management of the disease. His research provides the first empirical evidnce to quantify and standardize all dietary carbohydrates based on glycemic load (GL) and validate its physioloigcal utilitiy, demonstrating that  GL exchange could be benefiical in the dietary management of patients with diabetes. His team was the first to link prospectively high dietary GL to increased CVD risk in overweight individuals. To date, Dr. Liu has published >300 peer-reviewed research papers, some of which are among the most frequently cited. He has developed and taught 6 courses and directly supervised >90 traniees at Harvard, UCLA and Brown, and delivered 139 invited lectures worldwide.

Dr. Liu is an elected fellow of the American College of Nutrition (FACN), the American Heart Association (FAHA), American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and American Epidemiological Society (AES). He has served as member and chair on committees/study sections/advisory boards for the NIH, the CDC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the British Medical Reserach Councils (MRC) and 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 concerning public health.

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