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Mingyu Liang, M.B., Ph.D.

Director of the Center of Systems Molecular Medicine
Phone: (414) 955-8539 
Email: mliang@mcw.edu
M.B. Medicine, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, China, 1994
Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences-Physiology, Mayo Graduate School, 1999
Postdoctoral Fellow Nephrology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 2000
Postdoctoral Fellow Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2002

Research areas: Renal Physiology
  Genetics & Genomics
  Molecular & Cellular Physiology

My laboratory's research interest is in understanding and integrating multiple aspects and components of physiology.  With hypertension, tissue injury, and metabolic disorders as the disease context, our current work is focused on three areas: microRNA, cellular metabolism, and construction of molecular regulatory network.  In addition, we are involved in studies of stem cells.  We perform studies in human subjects, animal models, and in vitro experimental systems.  We use a variety of complementary approaches, including genomics, proteomics, in vivo gene manipulation (knockdown, knockout, transgenesis), and biochemical and physiological measurements.

For a complete list of our laboratory’s publications since 2002, search PubMed for “Mingyu Liang”.

Selected Honors and Services:

2012: Henry Pickering Bowditch Award, American Physiological Society

2009: Outstanding Teacher of the Year, MCW Graduate School

2007-present: Associate Editor, Physiological Genomics

1994: Outstanding Graduate (top 2% of the class), Shanghai Municipality


Research Area 1: MicroRNA

MicroRNAs are recently discovered regulators of gene expression.  The significance of microRNAs in biological regulation and disease development is now widely recognized.  However, many aspects of basic microRNA biology and the specific role of microRNAs in numerous physiological and disease processes remain to be examined.  Our laboratory investigates the role of microRNAs in hypertension and kidney injury and the molecular mechanism involved in microRNA regulation.

Selected publications:

1. Kriegel AJ, Fang Y, Liu Y, Tian Z, Matus IR, Mladinov D, Ding XQ, Greene AS, and Liang M.  MicroRNA-Target Pairs in Human Renal Epithelial Cells treated with Transforming Growth Factor b1: A Novel Role of miR-382.  Nucleic Acids Res 2010 Dec 1; 38(22): 8338-47. 

2. Liu Y, Taylor NE, Lu L, Usa K, Cowley AW Jr, Ferreri NR, Yeo NC, and Liang M.  Renal medullary microRNAs in Dahl salt-sensitive rats: miR-29b regulates several collagens and related genes.  Hypertension 2010 Apr; 55(4):974-82.

3. Tian Z, Greene AS, Pietrusz JL, Matus IR, and Liang M.  microRNA-target pairs in rat kidneys identified through microRNA microarray, proteomic, and bioinformatic analysis.  Genome Res 2008 March; 18: 404-411.

Research Area 2: Cellular metabolism

Our laboratory routinely combines exploratory approaches and hypothesis-driven approaches to discover novel disease mechanisms.  Recent discoveries that we are exploring in depth include novel roles of abnormalities in cellular metabolism in the development of hypertension and tissue injury.

Selected publications:

1. Tian Z, Liu Y, Usa K, Mladinov D, Fang Y, Ding X, Greene AS, Cowley AW Jr, Liang M.  Novel Role of Fumarate Metabolism in Dahl Salt-Sensitive Hypertension.  Hypertension 2009 Aug; 54(2): 255-60.

2. Liu Y, Singh RJ, Usa K, Netzel BC, and Liang M.  Renal Medullary 11b-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 in Dahl salt-sensitive hypertension.  Physiol Genomics 2008 Sep 30; 36: 52-58, 2008.

3. Liang M, Pietrusz JL.  Thiol-related genes in diabetic complications: A novel protective role for endogenous thioredoxin 2.  Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 Jan; 27(1): 77-83.

Research Area 3: Construction of molecular regulatory network

Complex physiological processes and diseases are likely mediated not by a single molecule or biological pathway, but rather a network of molecules and pathways.  Our laboratory is involved in collaborative efforts to construct molecular regulatory networks underlying the development of disease such as hypertension.

Selected publications:

1. Liang M, Lee NH, Wang H, Greene AS, Kwitek AE, Kaldunski ML, Luu TV, Frank BC, Bugenhagen S, Jacob HJ, and Cowley AW, Jr.  Molecular Networks in Dahl Salt-Sensitive Hypertension Based on Transcriptiome Analysis of a Panel of Consomic Rats.  Physiol Genomics 2008 Jun 12; 34(1): 54-64.18.  

2. Liang M.  Pathway knowledgebase as a tool for systems molecular medicine.  Physiol Genomics 2007 Aug 20; 30(3): 209-12.


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