Simin Liu, MD, ScD
Year elected: 2012
Current membership category: Active
Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine
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.