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

  • Professor, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center

Liu applies biostatistics, the statistical analysis of complex data generated through modern biological approaches and clinical information, to find correlations between biomarkers, disease and individual patient health.

Liu earned a medical degree and a master’s degree in health statistics at Shanxi Medical University in Taiyuan, China. She obtained a Ph.D. in biostatistics at Shanghai Medical University in Shanghai, China in 1998. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts. While there, she earned a second master’s degree 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 joined the Biostatistical Research Group in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine and served as an assistant professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Medicine at UMMS. Liu joined The Wistar Institute in 2011 as an associate professor and was promoted to professor in 2017.

The Liu Laboratory

The Liu Laboratory

The Liu laboratory applies biostatistics to several areas of research, including: basic cancer research and clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy; infectious diseases; behavioral and educational intervention research; and research on health care outcomes.

  • Scientific Programmer/Analyst

    Xiangfan Yin, M.S.

  • Statistical Programmer/Analyst

    Jianyi Ding, M.S.


The Biostatistics Unit supervised by Liu provides in-house biostatistics expertise to accommodate continuing growth in translational and pre-clinical cancer research. This Unit provides statistical support to biological laboratories at Wistar and its tasks include, but not limited to, large data management, experiment design, statistical data analysis, data presentation for manuscripts and grant proposal development. Liu has extensive experience working with basic and clinical investigators on statistical issues. Her strong statistical and biomedical backgrounds have enabled her to provide exceptionally high levels of scientific input to different projects. As a result, her effort has contributed to many published papers and funded grant proposals for clinical and basic science investigators. Within a short time after she joined The Wistar Institute, she engaged in a plethora of collaborative projects with Wistar Cancer Center members and obtained joint NIH funding with inside and outside Wistar investigators, including two P01 Program Project grants on novel molecular therapies of prostate cancer and melanoma targeted therapies. There is significant institutional support for collaborative efforts between the Biostatistics Unit and the investigators at Wistar.

Selected Publications

Evaluation of drug combination effect using a Bliss independence dose-response surface model.

Liu, Q., Yin, X., Languino, L.R., Altieri, D.C. “Evaluation of drug combination effect using a Bliss independence dose-response surface model.” Statistics in Biopharmaceutical Research 2018.10:2, 112-122, DOI: 10.1080/19466315.2018.1437071.

Hepatitis C virus modulates IgG glycosylation in HIV co-infected antiretroviral therapy suppressed individuals.

Giron, L.B., Azzoni, L., Yin, X., Lynn, K.M., Ross, B.N., Fair, M., Damra, M., Sciorillo, A.C., Liu, Q., Jacobson, J.M., Mounzer, K., Kostman, J.R., Abdel-Mohsen, M., Montaner, L.J., Papasavvas, E. “Hepatitis C virus modulates IgG glycosylation in HIV co-infected antiretroviral therapy suppressed individuals.” AIDS. 34(10): 1461-1466, Jul 2020.

The mitophagy effector FUNDC1 controls mitochondrial reprogramming and cellular plasticity in cancer cells.

Li, J., Agarwal, E., Bertolini, I., Seo, J.H., Caino, M.C., Ghosh, J.C., Kossenkov, A.V., Liu, Q., Tang, X-Y, Goldman, A.R., Languino, L.R., Speicher, D.W., Altieri, D.C. “The mitophagy effector FUNDC1 controls mitochondrial reprogramming and cellular plasticity in cancer cells.” Science Signaling. 2020; 13 (642), e aaz8240, DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaz8240.

The αvβ6 integrin in cancer cell-derived small extracellular vesicles enhances angiogenesis.

Krishn, S.R., Salem, I., Quaglia, F., Naranjo, N., Agarwal, E., Liu, Q., Sarker, S., Kopenhaver, J., McCue, P.A., Weinreb, P.H., Violette, S.M., Altieri, D.C., Languino, L.R. “The αvβ6 integrin in cancer cell-derived small extracellular vesicles enhances angiogenesis.” Journal of extracellular vesicles. 2020; 9:1, 1763594, DOI: 10.1080/20013078.2020.1763594

African-centric variant in TP53 is associated with increased iron accumulation and bacterial pathogenesis but improved response to malaria toxin.

Singh, K.S., Leu, J.I., Barnoud, T., Vonteddu, P., Gnanapradeepan, K., Lin, C., Liu, Q., Barton, J.C., Kossenkov, A.V., George, D.L., Murphy, M.E., Dotiwala, F. “African-centric variant in TP53 is associated with increased iron accumulation and bacterial pathogenesis but improved response to malaria toxin.” Nature Communications. 2020 Jan 24;11(1):473. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14151-9. PMID: 31980600. PMCIDPMC6981190.