James Liao
Section of Cardiology
Professor of Medicine
Chief, Section of Cardiology;Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor; Director, Physician Scientist Development Program
Referring Physician Access Line: 1-877-DOM-2730


BS1981University of California Los AngelesPhysical Chemistry
MD1985University of California San FranciscoMedicine
Residency1988Brigham & Women's HospitalInternal Medicine
Fellowship1991Massachusetts General HospitalCardiology
Fellowship1991Harvard Medical SchoolMedicine

Academic Interests

Dr. Liao’s research focuses on the role of statins in stroke and atherosclerosis specifically the signaling pathways that govern vascular function, in both normal and diseased states. His laboratory work seeks to translate basic findings in the vascular wall to therapeutic applications in patients with vascular diseases. He has characterized the function of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) with regards to its regulation by G- proteins, lipoproteins, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), and steroid hormones. This has led to the discovery of eNOS upregulation by statin via the Rho/Rho kinase (ROCK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (P13K) /protein kinase B (Akt) pathway. Dr. Liao coined the term “pleiotropic” effects on statins to help recognize and emphasize the clinical importance of non-cholesterol mechanisms of statins on endothelial function and in stroke protection. In addition, Dr. Liao is interested in the role of Rac1 and Notch1 in angiogenesis and stroke and was the first to delineate a rapid “nongenomic” effect of steroid hormone through cross coupling to the P13K/Akt pathway.

Clinical Interests

Dyslipidemia and peripheral vascular disease

Representative Publications

  1. Node K, Huo Y, Ruan X, Yang B, Spiecker M, Ley K, Zeldin DC, Liao JK. Anti-inflammatory properties of cytochrome P450 epoxygenase-derived eicosanoids. Science 1999;285:1276-9.
  2. Simoncini T, Hafezi-Moghadam A, Brazil DP, Ley K, Chin WW, Liao JK. Interaction of oestrogen receptor with the regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3-OHkinase. Nature 2000;407:538-41.
  3. Hafezi-Moghadam A, Simoncini T, Yang Z, Limbourg FP, Plumier JC, Rebsamen MC, Hsieh CM, Chui DS, Thomas KL, Prorock AJ, Laubach VE, Moskowitz MA, French BA, Ley K, Liao JK. Acute cardiovascular protective effects of corticosteroids are mediated by non-transcriptional activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Nat Med 2002;8:473-9.
  4. Mukai Y, Rikitake Y, Shiojima I, Wolfrum S, Satoh M, Takeshita K, Hiroi Y, Salomone S, Kim HH, Benjamin LE, Walsh K, Liao JK. Decreased vascular lesion formation in mice with inducible endothelial-specific expression of proteinkinase Akt. J Clin Invest 2006;116:334-43.
  5. Wang CY, Kim HH, Hiroi Y, Sawada N, Salomone S, Benjamin LE, Walsh K, Moskowitz MA, Liao JK. Obesity increases vascular senescence and susceptibility to ischemic injury through chronic activation of Akt/mTOR. Sci Signal 2009;2:ra11.

More Information

For more information about Dr. James Liao publications and research collaborations , please click here