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Honors & Awards

  • Co-Awardee, Gates-ITI Grant: Pilot projects in Maternal Neonatal Child Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation- Stanford ITI (2019)
  • Co-Investigator, 2018 CVI/Maternal and Child Health Research Institute Seed Grant, MCHRI (2018)
  • Helena Anna Henzl-Gabor Young Women in Science Fund Travel Fellowship for Postdoctoral Scholars, Stanford University (2018)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Scholarship, NICHD (2017)

Education & Certifications

  • Bachelor of Science, Tsinghua University, Fundamental Science/Chemistry and Biology (2007)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stowers Institute for Medical Research (OU), Genetics and DevBio (2014)


All Publications

  • Metabolic Dynamics and Prediction of Gestational Age and Time to Delivery in Pregnant Women. Cell Liang, L., Rasmussen, M. H., Piening, B., Shen, X., Chen, S., Rost, H., Snyder, J. K., Tibshirani, R., Skotte, L., Lee, N. C., Contrepois, K., Feenstra, B., Zackriah, H., Snyder, M., Melbye, M. 2020; 181 (7): 1680


    Metabolism during pregnancy is a dynamic and precisely programmed process, the failure of which can bring devastating consequences to the mother and fetus. To define a high-resolution temporal profile of metabolites during healthy pregnancy, we analyzed the untargeted metabolome of 784weekly blood samples from 30 pregnant women. Broad changes and a highly choreographed profile were revealed: 4,995 metabolic features (of 9,651 total), 460 annotated compounds (of 687 total), and 34 human metabolic pathways (of 48 total) were significantly changed during pregnancy. Using linear models, we built a metabolic clock with five metabolites that time gestational age in high accordance with ultrasound (R= 0.92). Furthermore, two to three metabolites can identify when labor occurs (time to delivery within two, four, and eight weeks, AUROC ? 0.85). Our study represents a weekly characterization of the human pregnancy metabolome, providing a high-resolution landscape for understanding pregnancy with potential clinical utilities.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.002

    View details for PubMedID 32589958

  • Longitudinal multi-omics of host-microbe dynamics in prediabetes. Nature Zhou, W., Sailani, M. R., Contrepois, K., Zhou, Y., Ahadi, S., Leopold, S. R., Zhang, M. J., Rao, V., Avina, M., Mishra, T., Johnson, J., Lee-McMullen, B., Chen, S., Metwally, A. A., Tran, T. D., Nguyen, H., Zhou, X., Albright, B., Hong, B., Petersen, L., Bautista, E., Hanson, B., Chen, L., Spakowicz, D., Bahmani, A., Salins, D., Leopold, B., Ashland, M., Dagan-Rosenfeld, O., Rego, S., Limcaoco, P., Colbert, E., Allister, C., Perelman, D., Craig, C., Wei, E., Chaib, H., Hornburg, D., Dunn, J., Liang, L., Rose, S. M., Kukurba, K., Piening, B., Rost, H., Tse, D., McLaughlin, T., Sodergren, E., Weinstock, G. M., Snyder, M. 2019; 569 (7758): 663?71


    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is a growing health problem, but little is known about its early disease stages, its effects on biological processes or the transition to clinical T2D. To understand the earliest stages of T2Dbetter, we obtained samples from 106 healthy individuals and individuals with prediabetes over approximately four years and performed deep profiling of transcriptomes, metabolomes, cytokines, and proteomes, as well as changes in the microbiome. This rich longitudinal data set revealed many insights: first, healthy profiles are distinct among individuals while displaying diverse patterns of intra- and/or inter-personal variability. Second, extensive host and microbial changes occur during respiratory viral infections and immunization, and immunization triggers potentially protective responses that are distinct from responses to respiratory viral infections. Moreover, during respiratory viral infections, insulin-resistant participants respond differently than insulin-sensitive participants. Third, global co-association analyses among the thousands of profiled molecules reveal specific host-microbe interactions that differ between insulin-resistant and insulin-sensitive individuals. Last, we identified early personal molecular signatures in one individual that preceded the onset of T2D, including the inflammation markers interleukin-1 receptor agonist (IL-1RA) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) paired with xenobiotic-induced immune signalling. Our study reveals insights into pathways and responses that differ between glucose-dysregulated and healthy individuals during health and disease and provides an open-access data resource to enable further research into healthy, prediabetic and T2D states.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-019-1236-x

    View details for PubMedID 31142858

  • The Metabolomic Clock of Human Pregnancy. Liang, L., Rasmussen, M. H., Piening, B., Rost, H., Chen, S., Skotte, L., Contrepois, K., Feenstra, B., Snyder, M., Melbye, M. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2019: 118A?119A
  • Second trimester inflammatory and metabolic markers in women delivering preterm with and without preeclampsia. Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association Ross, K. M., Baer, R. J., Ryckman, K., Feuer, S. K., Bandoli, G., Chambers, C., Flowers, E., Liang, L., Oltman, S., Dunkel Schetter, C., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L. 2018


    OBJECTIVE: Inflammatory and metabolic pathways are implicated in preterm birth and preeclampsia. However, studies rarely compare second trimester inflammatory and metabolic markers between women who deliver preterm with and without preeclampsia.STUDY DESIGN: A sample of 129 women (43 with preeclampsia) with preterm delivery was obtained from an existing population-based birth cohort. Banked second trimester serum samples were assayed for 267 inflammatory and metabolic markers. Backwards-stepwise logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios.RESULTS: Higher 5-alpha-pregnan-3beta,20alpha-diol disulfate, and lower 1-linoleoylglycerophosphoethanolamine and octadecanedioate, predicted increased odds of preeclampsia.CONCLUSIONS: Among women with preterm births, those who developed preeclampsia differed with respect metabolic markers. These findings point to potential etiologic underpinnings for preeclampsia as a precursor to preterm birth.

    View details for PubMedID 30518800

  • Effect of Fetal Growth on 1-Year Mortality in Neonates With Critical Congenital Heart Disease. Journal of the American Heart Association Steurer, M. A., Baer, R. J., Burke, E., Peyvandi, S., Oltman, S., Chambers, C. D., Norton, M. E., Rand, L., Rajagopal, S., Ryckman, K. K., Feuer, S. K., Liang, L., Paynter, R. A., McCarthy, M., Moon-Grady, A. J., Keller, R. L., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L. L. 2018; 7 (17): e009693


    Background Infants with critical congenital heart disease ( CCHD ) are more likely to be small for gestational age (GA). It is unclear how this affects mortality. The authors investigated the effect of birth weight Z score on 1-year mortality separately in preterm (GA <37weeks), early-term (GA 37-38weeks), and full-term (GA 39-42weeks) infants with CCHD . Methods and Results Live-born infants with CCHD and GA 22 to 42weeks born in California 2007-2012 were included in the analysis. The primary predictor was Z score for birth weight and the primary outcome was 1-year mortality. Multivariable logistic regression was used. Results are presented as adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals ( CIs ). The authors identified 6903 infants with CCHD . For preterm and full-term infants, only a Z score for birth weight <-2 was associated with increased mortality compared with the reference group ( Z score 0-0.5, adjusted odds ratio, 2.15 [95% CI , 1.1-4.21] and adjusted odds ratio, 3.93 [95% CI , 2.32-6.68], respectively). In contrast, in early-term infants, the adjusted odds ratios for Z scores <-2, -2 to -1, and -1 to -0.5 were 3.42 (95% CI , 1.93-6.04), 1.78 (95% CI , 1.12-2.83), and 2.03 (95% CI , 1.27-3.23), respectively, versus the reference group. Conclusions GA seems to modify the effect of birth weight Z score on mortality in infants with CCHD . In preterm and full-term infants, only the most severe small-for-GA infants ( Z score <-2) were at increased risk for mortality, while, in early-term infants, the risk extended to mild to moderate small-for-GA infants ( Z score <-0.5). This information helps to identify high-risk infants and is useful for surgical planning.

    View details for PubMedID 30371167

  • Second trimester serum cortisol and preterm birth: an analysis by timing and subtype JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Bandoli, G., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L. L., Feuer, S. K., Liang, L., Oltman, S. P., Paynter, R., Ross, K. M., Schetter, C., Ryckman, K. K., Chambers, C. D. 2018; 38 (8): 973?81


    We hypothesized second trimester serum cortisol would be higher in spontaneous preterm births compared to provider-initiated (previously termed 'medically indicated') preterm births.We used a nested case-control design with a sample of 993 women with live births. Cortisol was measured from serum samples collected as part of routine prenatal screening. We tested whether mean-adjusted cortisol fold-change differed by gestational age at delivery or preterm birth subtype using multivariable linear regression.An inverse association between cortisol and gestational age category (trend p?=?0.09) was observed. Among deliveries prior to 37 weeks, the mean-adjusted cortisol fold-change values were highest for preterm premature rupture of the membranes (1.10), followed by premature labor (1.03) and provider-initiated preterm birth (1.01), although they did not differ statistically.Cortisol continues to be of interest as a marker of future preterm birth. Augmentation with additional biomarkers should be explored.

    View details for PubMedID 29795321

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6092235

  • Altered metabolites in newborns with persistent pulmonary hypertension PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Steurer, M. A., Oltman, S., Baer, R. J., Feuer, S., Liang, L., Paynter, R. A., Rand, L., Ryckman, K. K., Keller, R. L., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L. L. 2018; 84 (2): 272?78


    There is an emerging evidence that pulmonary hypertension is associated with amino acid, carnitine, and thyroid hormone aberrations. We aimed to characterize metabolic profiles measured by the newborn screen (NBS) in infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) METHODS: Nested case-control study from population-based database. Cases were infants with ICD-9 code for PPHN receiving mechanical ventilation. Controls receiving mechanical ventilation were matched 2:1 for gestational age, sex, birth weight, parenteral nutrition administration, and age at NBS collection. Infants were divided into derivation and validation datasets. A multivariable logistic regression model was derived from candidate metabolites, and the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUROC) was generated from the validation dataset.We identified 1076 cases and 2152 controls. Four metabolites remained in the final model. Ornithine (OR 0.32, CI 0.26-0.41), tyrosine (OR 0.48, CI 0.40-0.58), and TSH 0.50 (0.45-0.55) were associated with decreased odds of PPHN; phenylalanine was associated with increased odds of PPHN (OR 4.74, CI 3.25-6.90). The AUROC was 0.772 (CI 0.737-0.807).In a large, population-based dataset, infants with PPHN have distinct, early metabolic profiles. These data provide insight into the pathophysiology of PPHN, identifying potential therapeutic targets and novel biomarkers to assess the response.

    View details for PubMedID 29895840

  • Second Trimester Cortisol and Preterm Birth: An Analysis by Indication of Delivery. Bandoli, G., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L., Schetter, C., Feuer, S. K., Liang, L., Oltman, S. P., Paynter, R., Ross, K. M., Ryckman, K. K., Chambers, C. D. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2018: 258A
  • Second Trimester Inflammatory and Metabolic Marker Differences between Women with and without Preeclampsia. Ross, K. M., Schetter, C., Bandoli, G., Chambers, C., Flowers, E., Feuer, S. K., Liang, L., Oltman, S., Ryckman, K., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L. SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC. 2018: 170A
  • Integrative Personal Omics Profiles during Periods of Weight Gain and Loss. Cell systems Piening, B. D., Zhou, W. n., Contrepois, K. n., Röst, H. n., Gu Urban, G. J., Mishra, T. n., Hanson, B. M., Bautista, E. J., Leopold, S. n., Yeh, C. Y., Spakowicz, D. n., Banerjee, I. n., Chen, C. n., Kukurba, K. n., Perelman, D. n., Craig, C. n., Colbert, E. n., Salins, D. n., Rego, S. n., Lee, S. n., Zhang, C. n., Wheeler, J. n., Sailani, M. R., Liang, L. n., Abbott, C. n., Gerstein, M. n., Mardinoglu, A. n., Smith, U. n., Rubin, D. L., Pitteri, S. n., Sodergren, E. n., McLaughlin, T. L., Weinstock, G. M., Snyder, M. P. 2018


    Advances in omics technologies now allow an unprecedented level of phenotyping for human diseases, including obesity, in which individual responses to excess weight are heterogeneous and unpredictable. To aid the development of better understanding of these phenotypes, we performed a controlled longitudinal weight perturbation study combining multiple omics strategies (genomics, transcriptomics, multiple proteomics assays, metabolomics, and microbiomics) during periods of weight gain and loss in humans. Results demonstrated that: (1) weight gain is associated with the activation of strong inflammatory and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy signatures in blood; (2) although weight loss reverses some changes, a number of signatures persist, indicative of long-term physiologic changes; (3) we observed omics signatures associated with insulin resistance that may serve as novel diagnostics; (4) specific biomolecules were highly individualized and stable in response to perturbations, potentially representing stable personalized markers. Most data are available open access and serve as a valuable resource for the community.

    View details for PubMedID 29361466

  • Maternal dyslipidemia and risk for preterm birth. PloS one Smith, C. J., Baer, R. J., Oltman, S. P., Breheny, P. J., Bao, W., Robinson, J. G., Dagle, J. M., Liang, L., Feuer, S. K., Chambers, C. D., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L. L., Ryckman, K. K. 2018; 13 (12): e0209579


    Maternal lipid profiles during pregnancy are associated with risk for preterm birth. This study investigates the association between maternal dyslipidemia and subsequent preterm birth among pregnant women in the state of California. Births were identified from California birth certificate and hospital discharge records from 2007-2012 (N = 2,865,987). Preterm birth was defined as <37 weeks completed gestation and dyslipidemia was defined by diagnostic codes. Subtypes of preterm birth were classified as preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), spontaneous labor, and medically indicated, according to birth certificate data and diagnostic codes. The association between dyslipidemia and preterm birth was tested with logistic regression. Models were adjusted for maternal age at delivery, race/ethnicity, hypertension, pre-pregnancy body mass index, insurance type, and education. Maternal dyslipidemia was significantly associated with increased odds of preterm birth (adjusted OR: 1.49, 95%CI: 1.39, 1.59). This finding was consistent across all subtypes of preterm birth, including PPROM (adjusted OR: 1.54, 95%CI: 1.34, 1.76), spontaneous (adjusted OR: 1.51, 95%CI: 1.39, 1.65), and medically indicated (adjusted OR: 1.454, 95%CI: 1.282, 1.649). This study suggests that maternal dyslipidemia is associated with increased risk for all types of preterm birth.

    View details for PubMedID 30576377

  • Maternal dyslipidemia and risk for preterm birth Ryckman, K. K., Smith, C. J., Baer, R. J., Oltman, S. P., Breheny, P. J., Bao, W., Robinson, J. G., Dagle, J. M., Liang, L., Feuer, S., Chambers, C. D., Jelliffe-Pawlowski, L. L. MOSBY-ELSEVIER. 2018: S425
  • Can Metabolic Profiles Be Used as a Phenotypic Readout of the Genome to Enhance Precision Medicine? CLINICAL CHEMISTRY Contrepois, K., Liang, L., Snyder, M. 2016; 62 (5): 676?78

    View details for PubMedID 26960666

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4851585

  • Functional Genomic Analysis of the Periodic Transcriptome in the Developing Drosophila Wing DEVELOPMENTAL CELL Liang, L., Haug, J. S., Seidel, C. W., Gibson, M. C. 2014; 29 (1): 112?27


    The eukaryotic cell cycle, driven by both transcriptional and posttranslational mechanisms, is the central molecular oscillator underlying tissue growth throughout animals. Although genome-wide studies have investigated cell-cycle-associated transcription in unicellular systems, global patterns of periodic transcription in multicellular tissues remain largely unexplored. Here we define the cell-cycle-associated transcriptome of the developing Drosophila wing epithelium and compare it with that of cultured Drosophila S2 cells, revealing a core set of periodic genes and a surprising degree of context specificity in periodic transcription. We further employ RNAi-mediated phenotypic profiling to define functional requirements for more than 300 periodic genes, with a focus on those required for cell proliferation in vivo. Finally, we investigate uncharacterized genes required for interkinetic nuclear migration. Combined, these findings provide a global perspective on cell-cycle control in vivo, and they highlight a critical need to understand the context-specific regulation of cell proliferation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.02.018

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334508800012

    View details for PubMedID 24684830

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