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

2019-present: Section Head, Molecular Systems Medicine, Faculty Opinions
2017: Distinguished Lectureship in Physiological Genomics Research, American Physiological Society
2015-2020: 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
1994: Outstanding Graduate, Shanghai Municipality
Associate Editor: Physiol Genomics (2007-2015); Compr Physiol (2017-present)
Editorial board: J Am Soc Nephrol; Hypertension

Research Interests

Genetics and Genomics  |  Molecular and Cellular Physiology  |  Renal Physiology

I am a molecular systems medicine researcher. The current work in my laboratory focuses on three areas: (epi)genomics and precision medicine, regulatory RNA, and cellular metabolism, as they relate to hypertension and cardiovascular and kidney diseases. We have a translational, multidisciplinary, and programmatic research platform in our laboratory where we integrate human research with research in animals, human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and other model systems using approaches of physiology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, genome editing, and big data analysis.
For a complete list of our laboratory’s publications since 2002, search PubMed for “Mingyu Liang”.

Research Area 1: (Epi)genomics and precision medicine

We develop innovative approaches to precision medicine for common cardiovascular and renal diseases with a particular focus on the incorporation of tissue functional genomic analysis. We study molecular regulatory networks, including genomic and epigenomic mechanisms, underlying physiology and disease.

Selected publications:

1. Williams AM, Jensen DM, Pan X, Liu P, Liu J, Huls S, Regner KR, Iczkowski KA, Wang F, Li J, Gallan AJ, Wang T, Baker MA, Liu Y, Lalehzari N, Liang M. Histologically resolved small RNA maps in primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis indicate progressive changes within glomerular and tubulointerstitial regions. Kidney Int. 2022. Online ahead of print.
2. Mishra MK, Liang EY, Geurts AM, Auer PWL, Liu P, Rao S, Greene AS, Liang M, Liu Y. Comparative and Functional Genomic Resource for Mechanistic Studies of Human Blood Pressure-Associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms. Hypertension 2020; 75: 859-868.
3. 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; 28: 2985-2992.
4. Kotchen TA, Cowley AW Jr, Liang M. Ushering hypertension into the new era of precision medicine. JAMA 2016; 315: 343-4.

Research Area 2: Regulatory RNA

The general significance of microRNAs in the regulation of gene expression, cellular function, and disease development is 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 regulatory RNA in hypertension and cardiovascular and renal injury in humans and model systems.

Selected publications:

1. Cheng Y, Wang D, Wang F, Liu J, Huang B, Baker MA, Yin J, Wu R, Liu X, Regner KR, Usa K, Liu Y, Zhang C, Dong L, Geurts AM, Wang N, Miller SS, He Y, Liang M. Endogenous miR-204 protects the kidney against chronic injury in hypertension and diabetes. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020; 31: 1539-1554.
2. 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.
3. 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; 41: 1273-83.
4. 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; 82: 1167-75.
5. 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; 55: 974-82.
6. 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; 18: 404-411.

Research Area 3: 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:

1. Tian Z, Liang M. Renal Metabolism and Hypertension. Nat Commun. 2021; 12: 963.
2. 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: 1468-1480.
3. 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; 19: 1631-1639.
4. 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; 54: 255-60.

Please contact Dr. Liang if you are interested in a post-doctoral fellow or pre-doctoral student position in his laboratory.