Mingyu Liang, MB, PhD

Mingyu Liang, MB, PhD

Professor and Kohler Co. Chair in Physiology; Director, Center of Systems Molecular Medicine; Vice-Chair for Interdisciplinary and Translational Research


  • Physiology

Contact Information


PhD, Biomedical Science and Physiology, Mayo Graduate School, 1999
Postdoctoral Fellow, Nephrology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 2000
Postdoctoral Fellow, Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2002
MB - Medicine, Shanghai Medical University, 1994

Honors and Awards

2017: Distinguished Lectureship in Physiological Genomics Research, American Physiological Society
2015-present: Center Director, American Heart Association Strategically Focused Hypertension Research Center (including basic, clinical and population research)
2012: Henry Pickering Bowditch Award, American Physiological Society
2009: Outstanding Teacher of the Year, MCW Graduate School
2007-2015: Associate Editor, Physiological Genomics
1994: Outstanding Graduate, Shanghai Municipality

Research Interests

Genetics and Genomics  |  Molecular and Cellular Physiology  |  Renal Physiology

My laboratory's research interest is in understanding and integrating multiple aspects and components of physiology. In the context of hypertension and cardiovascular and kidney diseases, our current work focuses on three areas: regulatory RNA, cellular metabolism, and precision medicine and epigenomics. We have a diverse research platform that enables studies that integrate human research with animal and cell model research. We use a variety of approaches including genome-scale analysis, genetic engineering, molecular, biochemical and physiological measurements, and clinical study.

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

Research Area 1: Regulatory RNA
The general significance of microRNAs in the regulation of gene expression, cellular function, and disease development is now widely recognized. However, the specific role of many microRNAs, and other regulatory RNA such as long non-coding RNA, in physiological and disease processes remain unknown. Our laboratory investigates the role of microRNAs and other regulatory RNA in hypertension and cardiovascular and renal injury in humans and model systems.

Selected publications:

Widlansky ME, Jensen DM, Wang J, Liu Y, Geurts AM, Kriegel AJ, Liu P, Ying R, Zhang G, Casati M, Chu C, Malik M, Branum A, Tanner MJ, Tyagi S, Usa K, Liang M. miR-29 contributes to normal endothelial function and can restore it in cardiometabolic disorders. EMBO Mol Med 2018; e8046.
Kriegel AJ, Baker MA, Liu Y, Liu P, Cowley AW Jr, Liang M. Endogenous microRNAs in human microvascular endothelial cells regulate mRNAs encoded by hypertension-related genes. Hypertension. 2015 Oct; 66(4): 793-9.
Mladinov D, Liu Y, Mattson DL, Liang M. MicroRNAs contribute to the maintenance of cell-type-specific physiological characteristics: miR-192 targets Na+/K+-ATPase β1. Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Jan; 41(2): 1273-83.
Xu X, Kriegel AJ, Liu Y, Usa K, Mladinov D, Liu H, Fang Y, Ding X, Liang M. Delayed ischemic preconditioning contributes to renal protection by upregulation of miR-21. Kidney Int. 2012 Dec; 82(11): 1167-75.
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.
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 in humans and animal models. 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:

Cheng Y, Song H, Pan X, Xue H, Wan Y, Wang T, Tian Z, Hou E, Lanza IR, Liu P, Liu Y, Laud PW, Usa K, He Y, Liang M. Urinary Metabolites Associated with Blood Pressure on a Low- or High-Sodium Diet. Theranostics 2018; 8(6):1468-1480.
Hou E, Sun N, Zhang F, Zhao C, Usa K, Liang M, Tian Z. Malate and Aspartate Increase L-arginine and Nitric Oxide and Attenuate Hypertension. Cell Rep. 2017 May; 19(8): 1631-1639.
Liang M. Hypertension as a mitochondrial and metabolic disease. Kidney Int. 2011 Jul; 80(1): 15-6.
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.

Research Area 3 – Precision medicine and epigenomic
We collaborate with clinicians to develop innovative approaches to precision medicine for common cardiovascular and renal diseases with a particular focus on the incorporation of tissue functional genomic analysis. In conjunction with our work on functional genomics-based precision medicine, we study molecular regulatory networks, including epigenomic mechanisms, underlying physiology and disease.

Selected publications:

Baker MA, Davis SJ, Liu P, Pan X, Williams AM, Iczkowski KA, Gallagher ST, Bishop K, Regner KR, Liu Y, Liang M. Tissue-Specific MicroRNA Expression Patterns in Four Types of Kidney Disease. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Oct; 28(10): 2985-2992.
Touyz RM, Montezano AC, Rios F, Widlansky ME, Liang M. Redox Stress Defines the Small Artery Vasculopathy of Hypertension: How Do We Bridge the Bench-to-Bedside Gap? Circ Res. 2017 May; 120(11): 1721-1723.
Kotchen TA, Cowley AW Jr, Liang M. Ushering hypertension into the new era of precision medicine. JAMA 2016 Jan; 315(4): 343-4.
Liu Y, Liu P, Yang C, Cowley AW Jr, Liang M. Base-resolution maps of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in Dahl S rats: effect of salt and genomic sequence. Hypertension. 2014 Apr; 63(4): 827-38.