Our Science

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

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

  • Associate 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 on breast cancer treatment; behavioral and educational intervention research; and research on health care outcomes.

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.   Lee CW, Simin K, Liu Q, Plescia J, Guha M, Khan A, Hsieh C-C, and Altieri DC. A functional Notch–survivin gene signature in basal breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research. 2008; 10: R97. PMID: 19025652

6.   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).

7.   Vaine M, Wang S, Liu Q, Arthos J, Montefiori D, Goepfert P, McElrath J, Lu S. Profiles of human serum antibody responses elicited by three leading HIV vaccines focusing on the induction of Env-specific antibodies. PLoS ONE. 2010; 5(11): e13916. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013916. PMCID: PMC2976701.

8.   Beernink PT, Shaughnessy J, Braga EM, Liu Q, Rice PA, Ram S, and Granoff DM. A meningococcal factor H binding protein mutant that eliminates factor H binding enhances protective antibody responses to vaccination. The Journal of Immunology. 2011; doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1003470. PMID: 21325619

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

10.  Trerotola M, Jernigan DL, Liu Q, Siddiqui J, Fatatis A. Languino LR. Trop-2 promotes prostate cancer metastasis by modulating β1 integrin functions. Cancer Research. 2013;73(10); 3155-67. PMID: 23536555 PMCID: PMC3655712.