Qin Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

Qin Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program
  • 215-495-6940, Office

Research in the Qin Liu laboratory involves the application of biostatistics—the statistical analysis of complex data generated from modern biological laboratories combined with variety of clinical information—to find correlations between genes, disease and individual patient health. Biostatistics allows scientists to put into context the often-overwhelming amount of information collected through experimentation in the laboratory as well as from clinical and population studies.

Liu’s published research demonstrates the power of biostatistics in to breast and ovarian cancer. Among other findings, her work helped identify the effects of pregnancy and the postpartum period on changing a woman’s risk for these cancers. She has been the lead biostatistician and co-investigator for several NIH-funded programs on infectious diseases; clinical trials of Immunotherapy on breast cancer treatment and neuroblastoma treatment; behavioral and educational intervention research; and research on health care outcomes. Currently, she serves as statistical core leader for NIH-funded program projects on melanoma and prostate cancer; and co-investigator for several NIH-funded grants on cancer research.

Liu began her research career with a scholarship to study medicine at Shanxi Medical University in Taiyuan, China, where she would earn both a medical degree and a master’s degree in health statistics. Liu followed her interests in the emerging informative power of medical statistics with a doctorate in biostatistics at Shanghai Medical University in Shanghai, China in 1998. The next year, she traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts to begin a postdoctoral fellowship in biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts. While there, she earned a second master’s degree, this time in public health and epidemiology.

In 2005, Liu was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). Two years later, she transferred to the Biostatistical Research Group in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine within the Department of Medicine. Liu joined The Wistar Institute in 2011 as an associate professor.

Selected Publications

1. Liu Q, Wuu J, Lambe M, Hsieh S-f, Ekbom A, Hsieh CC. Transient increase in breast cancer risk after giving birth: postpartum period with the highest risk. Cancer Cause and Control. 2002; 13 (4): 299-305. PMID: 2012074499

2. Jiang Z, Chu P, Woda BA, Rock KL, Liu Q, Hsieh C-C, Li C, Chen W, Duan H, McDougal S, Wu C-L. Analysis of RNA-binding protein IMP3 to predict metastasis and prognosis of renal-cell carcinoma: a retrospective study. The Lancet Oncology. 2006; 7(7): 556-564. (Earlier published online June 14). PMID: 16814207

3. Liu Q, Lambe M, Baik I, Cnattingius S, Riman T, Ekbom A, Adami H-O, Hsieh C-C. A prospective study of the transient decrease in ovarian cancer risk following childbirth. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2006; 15(12): 2508-2513. PMID: 17164377

4. Walter SD, Hsieh CC, Liu Q. Effect of exposure misclassification on the mean squared error of population attributable risk and prevented fraction estimates. Statistics in Medicine. 2007; 26:4833-4842. PMID: 17691081

5. Liu Q, Cook N, Bergström A, Hsieh CC. A two-stage hierarchical regression model for meta-analysis of epidemiologic nonlinear dose response data. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis. 2009; 53: 4157-4167. (doi:10.1016/j.csda.2009.05.001).

6. Liu Q and Ertl HC. Preventative childhood vaccination to rabies. Expert Opinion On Biological Therapy. 2012; 12: 1067-1075. PMID: 22724389

7. Tjia J, Briesacher BA, Peterson D, Liu Q, Andrade SE, Mitchell SL. Use of medications of questionable benefit in advanced dementia. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2014 Nov;174(11):1763-71. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4103. Erratum in: JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Dec;174(12):2037. PubMed PMID: 25201279. PMCID: PMC4689196

8. Bitler BG, Aird KM, Garipov A, Li H, Amatangelo M, Kossenkov AV, Schultz DC, Liu Q, Shih IeM, Conejo-Garcia JR, Speicher DW, Zhang R. Synthetic lethality by targeting EZH2 methyltransferase activity in ARID1A-mutated cancers. Nature Medicine. 2015 Mar;21(3):231-8. doi: 10.1038/nm.3799. Epub 2015 Feb 16. PubMed PMID: 25686104; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4352133

9. Lu H-M, Wang T, Li J, Fedele C, Dutta A, Liu Q, Zhang J, Jiang Z, Jain D, Wichroski KA, Violette SM, Weinreb PH, Davis RJ, Gioeli D, FitzGerald TJ, Altieri DC, Languino LR. ανβ6 integrin promotes castrate-resistant prostate cancer through JNK1-mediated activation of androgen receptor. Cancer Research. 2016 Sept;76(17):5163-5174. PMCID: PMC5012867

10. Beer LA, Kossenkov AV, Liu Q, Prak EL, Domchek S, Speicher DW, Ky B. Baseline immunoglobulin E levels as a marker of Doxorubicin and Trastuzumab associated cardiac dysfunction. Circulation Research. 2016 Aug 31. pii: CIRCRESAHA.116.309004. PMCID: PMC5085891