Liao, 52, a former member of the vascular center and the vascular medicine clinic at Brigham and Women's Hospital, is an internationally recognized authority on blood vessel biology and arterial disease. He studies the processes that regulate blood vessel function and response to injury, with emphasis on the role of lipid-lowering medications in preventing ischemic stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. He is also a respected clinician with a focus on cholesterol management and peripheral vascular disease.
"James Liao has an impressive history of innovative basic research and a talent for building successful programs," said Everett Vokes, MD, the John E. Ultmann Professor of Medicine and Radiation Oncology and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago. "He built a program in vascular medicine in Boston that is known for important discoveries and for bringing novel approaches from the laboratory into the clinical arena."
He was also a distinguished teacher, consistently winning Harvard University's Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. He has trained more that 60 doctoral students and postdoctoral research fellows, many of whom are now professors at leading institutions. His students have won prestigious awards from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
"It's an honor to be selected as section chief of such a distinguished program," Liao said. "Cardiology at the University of Chicago has many traditional strengths, including leading programs in heart failure and transplantation, cardiac imaging, electrophysiology, hypertension and disease prevention. I hope to build on those achievements and to help the section enhance its reputation as one of the top cardiovascular programs in the country."
Liao received his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco. He completed his general medical residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital and his cardiology training at Massachusetts General Hospital, both in Boston. In 1991, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School, rising to the rank of professor in 2009. He has served as director of Vascular Medicine Research since 1999.
Liao has made significant contributions to the medical literature, publishing more than 125 original articles in scientific journals, including Science, Nature, Nature Medicine and Circulation. He served on editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Circulation Research and others. He is an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.
He lectures nationally and internationally on treatment of dyslipidemia, vascular disease, and ischemic stroke and has organized continuing medical education programs at Harvard Medical School and other institutions on these topics. He is also a consultant for several universities in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Liao has served as president of the Boston chapter of the Chinese American Medical Society and was involved in Asian outreach programs at Harvard Medical School.
"I would like to extend my gratitude to the cardiology faculty, especially Dr. Martin Burke, who served admirably as interim chief since Dec. 1, 2010, and to the members of the cardiology search committee," Vokes said.