Wanqing Liu, PhD.

Wanqing Liu, PhD.


Office Location

Integrative Biosciences Center (iBio), Room 2401 EACPHS, Room 3150 Scott Hall, Room 6326






Pharmaceutical Sciences


Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, EACPHSAssociate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineDirector, Pharmacogenomics Resource Center, Integrative Biosciences Center

Research website


Wanqing Liu, PhD.

Degrees and Certifications

  • 1996-2001 Ph.D. (Neurobiology/Psychiatric Genetics), Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
  • 1992-1996 B.S. (Biological Sciences/Education), Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China

Positions and Employment

  • Jul, 2017- Associate Professor (Tenured), Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University, MI
  • Jul, 2017- Associate Professor (Secondary), Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, MI
  • Apr-Jul, 2017 Associate Professor (Tenured), Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • 2011-2017 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
  • 2011-2017 Assistant Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • 2005-2011 Research Associate (Assistant Professor), Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • 2002-2005 Research Associate, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Awards and Honors

  • 2017 Annual Excellence in Research Awards, Purdue University
  • 2017 MCMP Research Enhancement Award, Purdue University
  • 2017 Chaney Scholar Award, College of Pharmacy, Purdue University
  • 2013 Chinese Visiting Scholar Reciprocal Travel Award, Purdue University
  • 2011 Travel award for “IPF Summit 2011: From Bench to Bedside” at Chicago, IL
  • 2003 National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award (China)
  • 2002 Shanghai Science & Technology Progress Award
  • 2001 Shanghai Science & Technology Progress Award

Professional Memberships

  • 2002- American Society of Human Genetics
  • 2003- American Association for Cancer Research
  • 2005- American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • 2010-11 American Diabetes Association
  • 2012- American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

Areas of Expertise

  • Human genetics and genomics
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Fatty Liver Disease and Steatohepatitis
  • Cancer genetics and genomics

Primary Research Interest


Research in the Liu lab is concentrated on genetics and genomics of human liver disease and cancer, as well as pharmacogenomics and precision medicine. Current ongoing research in the lab include the following:
1) Genomics of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We use omics-based approach to identify critical genes, microRNAs, metabolites and their underlying pathways involved in NAFLD and NASH. The identified critical molecules and pathways are further taken into a mechanistic research pipeline using both in vitro and in vivo models to characterize the detailed mechanism. Over the past few years, we have identified a few important genes involved in the genetic susceptibility to NAFLD and NASH. In addition, we recently identified a number of microRNAs and lipids that are highly associated with NAFLD and NASH. We now have ongoing research to understand how these newly identified miRNAs and lipids mediate the development of NAFLD and NASH.
2) Precision medicine and personalized nutrition. We are interested in translational research to test hypotheses whether genotype-based patient treatment or nutritional therapy would lead to a more effective treatment or prevention for NAFLD and other disorders. Many DNA variants have been associated with inter-individual differences in nutrient metabolism and response, e.g. lipids which are further integral to NAFLD/NASH and other human disorders. We are currently utilizing in vitro and in vivo models to test the genotypic response to omega-3 lipids. We are also developing collaboration to test the same hypothesis in human population esp. by focusing on population disparities. In addition, we now are also developing siRNA and miRNA-based therapeutic for NAFLD and NASH as well.
3) Pharmacogenomics and pediatric liver drug metabolism. The genetic variation underlying the hepatic function of drug metabolism and transporting remains incompletely understood. Besides the genetic variation, there are also complex regulatory mechanism for pharmacogenes in the liver at the molecular level, e.g., regulation by miRNAs; as well as other context variability in human populations, e.g., age and gender. Our laboratory is dedicated to the use of various omics-based approaches and systems strategies to delineate both genetic and non-genetic factors in determining pharmacogene expression and activity in human livers, and to identify molecular markers that are able to guide personalized medication in both adults and children.
4) Cancer genetics and precision medicine. We are interested in the genetic interaction between germline variants and somatic mutations in human cancers. We hypothesize that germline variants provides environment as “soil” that is necessary to the “growth” of somatic mutations as “seeds”. We have in part corroborated this hypothesis by focusing on the EGFR mutations in lung cancer (Wei et al, CCR, 2015). We are now working on a stem-cell based approach combining with genome-wide assessment to further test this hypothesis. In addition, we also interested in identifying biomarker and molecular mechanism that can lead to safer and more effective treatment for cancers.

Recent Publications

2014-current, from a total of 70

  1. Zheng G, Zhang Z, Liu H, Xiong Y, Luo L, Jia X, Peng C, Zhang Q, Li N, Gu X, Lu M, Song Y, Pan Y, Liu J, Liu W* and He Z*. HSP27-mediated Extracellular and Intracellular Signaling Pathways Synergistically Confer Chemo-Resistance in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Tongue. Clin Cancer Res. 2018. Accepted.
  2. Tricò D, Di Sessa A, Caprio S, Chalasani N, Liu W, Liang T, Graf J, Herzog RI, Johnson CD, Umano GR, Feldstein AE, Santoro N. Oxidized Derivatives of Linoleic Acid in Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome: Is Their Pathogenic Role Modulated by the Genetic Background and the Gut Microbiota? Antioxid Redox Signal. 2017. doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7049
  3. Neumann E, Mehboob H, Ramirez R, Mirkov S, Liu W*. Age-dependent Hepatic UDP-glucuronosyltransferase Gene Expression and Activity in Children. Front Pharm. 2016; 7:437.
  4. Wang X, Liu Z, Wang K, Wang Z, Sun X, Zhong L, Deng G, Song G, Sun B, Peng Z and Liu W*. Additive Effects of the Risk Alleles of PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in a Chinese Population. Front Genet. 7:140. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00140. .
  5. Liu W*, Anstee QM, Wang X, Gamazon ER, Athinarayanan S, Liu YL, Darlay R, Cordell HJ, Daly AK, the FLIP Investigators, Day CP, Chalasani N. Genetic Control of Hepatic PNPLA3 Transcription and a High-Risk Haplotype in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Aging. 2016. doi: 10.18632/aging.101067. .
  6. Wang X, Wang H, Shen B, Overholser BR, Cooper BR, Lu Y, Tang H, Zhou C, Sun X, Zhong L, Favus MJ, Decker BS, Liu W*, Peng Z*. 1-alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 Alters the Pharmacokinetics of Mycophenolic Acid in Renal Transplant Recipients by Regulating Two Extrahepatic UDP-glucuronosyltransferases 1A8 and 1A10. Transl Res., 2016; 178:54-62.e6. .
  7. Wei R, DeVilbiss FT, Liu W*. Genetic Polymorphism, Telomere Biology and Non-Small Lung Cancer Risk. J Genet Genomics. 2015;42(10):549-61. .
  8. Wei R, Cao L, Pu H, Wang H, Zheng Y, Niu X, Weng X, Zhang H, Favus M, Zhang L, Jia M, Zeng Y, Lu S, Wang H*, Liu Y*, Liu W*. TERT Polymorphism rs2736100-C Is Associated with EGFR Mutation-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Clin Cancer Res, 2015;21(22):5173-80.
  9. Wang X, Liu Z, Peng Z, Liu W*. The TM6SF2 rs58542926 T Allele Is Significantly Associated with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Chinese. J Hepatol. 2015; 2015;62(6):1438-9.
  10. Wang L, Athinarayanan S, Chalasani N, Zhang M, Liu W*. Fatty Acid Desaturase 1 (FADS1) Gene Polymorphisms Control Human Hepatic Lipid Composition. Hepatology. 2015;61(1):119-28.
  11. Li C, Wei R, Jones-Hall YL, Vittal R, Zhang M, Liu W*. Genetic Association between Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Pathway Genes and Interstitial Lung Disease. Sci Rep. 2014. 13;4:4893
  12. Sage DP, Kulczar C, Roth W, Liu W, Knipp GT. Persistent pharmacokinetic challenges to pediatric drug development. Front Genet. 2014; 5:281.
  13. Krasniak AE, Knipp GT, Svensson CK and Liu W*. Pharmacogenomics of acetaminophen in pediatric populations: a moving target. Front Genet. 2014; 5:314.
  14. Athinarayanan S, Wei R, Bai S, Traber MG, Yates K, Cummings OW, Molleston J, Liu W*,Chalasani N*. Genetic polymorphism of cytochrome P450 4F2, vitamin E level and histological response in adults and children with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who participated in PIVENS and TONIC clinical trials. PLoS One. 2014. 9(4):e95366.
  15. Liu W, Ramírez J, Snezana Mirkov S, Chen P, Wu K, Gamazon ER, Sun C, Cox NJ, Cook ED, Das S, Ratain MJ. Genetic Factors Affecting Gene Transcription and Catalytic Activity of UDP-Glucuronyltransferases in Human Liver. Hum Mol Genet. 2014; 23(20):5558-69.
  16. Liu Y, Cao L, Li Z, Zhou D, Liu W, Shen Q, Wu Y, Zhang D, Hu X, Wang T, Ye J, Weng X, Zhang H, Zhang D, Zhang Z, Liu F, He L, Shi Y. A Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies a Locus on TERT for Mean Telomere Length in Han Chinese. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(1):e85043.

Courses taught by Wanqing Liu, PhD.

Fall Term 2024 (future)

Spring-Summer Term 2024 (current)

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Spring-Summer Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Spring-Summer Term 2022

Winter Term 2022

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