Biostatistician Qin Liu Joins The Wistar Institute

Biostatistician Qin Liu Joins The Wistar Institute

July 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA – The Wistar Institute has appointed Qin Liu, M.D., Ph.D., as associate professor in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program of the Institute’s Cancer Center. Liu joins Wistar from her position as assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Liu’s expertise is in the field of biostatistics—the statistical analysis of the various data generated from modern biological laboratories, as well as data from clinical and population studies. It is a topic of immense importance, both to Wistar and medical science as a whole, allowing scientists to find correlations between genes, disease and individual patient health in ways that will inform physicians in treating cancer and other diseases. Liu joins an established team of experts in systems and computational biology, fields complementary in their ability to process large swaths of data.

“Because of advances in research technology, today's researchers are awash in information, much of which only makes sense through statistical analysis.” said Wistar President and CEO Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. “As a member of our team, Dr. Liu's work will form an essential component of scientific collaborations across the Institute.”

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’s published research focuses on the application of statistical analysis 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. While at UMMS, she was also the lead biostatistician and co-investigator for several NIH-funded programs on infectious diseases; clinical trials on breast cancer treatment; behavioral and educational intervention research; and research on health care outcomes.

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures.