Qiangrong Liang obtained his medical degree from Xian Medical University in China and Ph.D. degree with Dr. Paul Epstein at the University of North Dakota. He did postdoctoral research under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Molkentin at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Liang’s teaching is in receptor physiology and signal transduction mechanisms. His research interest has been focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie acquired heart disease, cardiac hypertrophy, and heart failure. His past research has provided novel insight into the pathophysiological roles of several signaling pathways in the heart, including transcription factor GATA4, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p21-activated kinase (PAK1). Current research in his laboratory is addressing three questions: why diabetic patients are more susceptible to heart failure, how a widely used anti-cancer drug may contribute to heart failure, and how caloric restriction can protect the heart. Central to each question is the role of mitochondria. Using both cell culture and genetically modified animal models, Liang is investigating the molecular underpinnings and coordination of mitochondrial quality control processes including mitochondrial biogenesis, fission/fusion, and mitophagy.

His students have won research awards including, American Medical Association Research Award in 2017, American Osteopathic Association Research Award in 2019, finalist for Jay N. Cohn New Investigator Award and Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) 23rd Annual Scientific Meeting in 2019, and the American Osteopathic Association Research Award in 2021.

Current Research Support

  • National Institutes of Health (National Heart Lung & Blood Institute) 2023-2026_R15HL163707 Deciphering the role of AMPK in Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity.

On-going Research Projects

  • Isoform-dependent Functions of AMPK in Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity
  • P21-activated Kinase 1 (PAK1) Regulates Autophagy and Mitochondrial function in the Diabetic Heart
  • Mechanisms of Metformin to Reduce Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity
  • Mitochondrial quality control in Caloric Restriction-Induced Cardioprotection


  • Banker N; Gadula S; Vathappallil P, Chen H, Hahn Y, Kobayashi T, Kobayashi S, and Liang Q. Hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia decelerate mitophagy flux in cardiomyocytes. The Symposium on University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE), April 14, 2023, New York City, NY.
  • Van J, Katiki L, Hahn Y, Kobayashi T, Huang Y, Kobayashi S, Liang Q. Metformin inhibits autophagy/mitophagy and antagonizes doxorubicin-induced cardiomyocyte death. American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Nov 5-7, 2022, Chicago, IL
  • DelPozzo J, Livatova K, Mehta P, Cai F, Li C, Kobayashi S, and Liang Q. Metformin-mediated cardioprotection and AMPK in doxorubicin cardiotoxicity. 89th Annual Conference- American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2022, April 3-8, San Antonio, TX (Oral presentation and 1st place in poster competition).
  • Geffken S, Smith C, Lee HH, Liang Q, Cai W. Insulin Signaling Suppresses Autophagy in Astrocytes. Experimental Biology Meeting 2022, April 2-5, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Chen C, Nguyen T, Kobayashi S, Liang Q. The dichotomous function of FUNDC1-dependent mitophagy in doxorubicin cardiotoxicity. Experimental Biology Meeting 2022, April 2-5, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Singh M, Kobayashi S, Kobayashi T, Liang Q. Increased Connexin 43 expression in AMPK deficient cardiomyocytes in response to Doxorubicin treatment. Experimental Biology Meeting 2022, April 2-5, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Geffken S, Guha A, Jaiswal P, Tha Ra Wun T, Kobayashi T, Kobayashi S, Liang Q. An in-Depth Analysis of the PAK1 Autophagy Signaling Pathway in H9C2 Cardiomyoblasts. Experimental Biology Meeting 2022, April 2-5, Philadelphia, PA.

Recent Publications

  • Van, J., Hahn, Y., Silverstein, B., Li, C., Cai, F., Wei, J., Katiki, L., Mehta, P., Livatova, K., DelPozzo, J., Kobayashi, T., Huang, Y., Kobayashi, S., & Liang, Q. (2023). Metformin Inhibits Autophagy, Mitophagy and Antagonizes Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyocyte Death. International Journal of Drug Discovery and Pharmacology, 2(1), 37–51. https://doi.org/10.53941/ijddp.0201004
  • Kobayashi S, Hahn Y, Silverstein B, Singh M, Fleitz A, Van J, Chen H, Liang Q. Lysosomal dysfunction in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Front Aging. 2023 Jan 20;4:1113200. doi: 10.3389/fragi.2023.1113200. eCollection 2023. PMID: 36742461
  • Singh M, Nicol AT, DelPozzo J, Wei J, Singh M, Nguyen T, Kobayashi S, Liang Q. Demystifying the Relationship Between Metformin, AMPK, and Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2022 Jan 24;9:839644. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.839644. PMID: 35141304 PMCID: PMC8818847
  • Kobayashi S, Zhao F, Zhang Z, Kobayashi T, Huang Y, Shi B, Wu W, Liang Q. Mitochondrial Fission and Mitophagy Coordinately Restrict High Glucose Toxicity in Cardiomyocytes. Front Physiol, 2020 Dec 10;11:604069. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.604069. eCollection 2020. PMID: 33362579
  • Chen Z, Liang Q, Wu Y, Gao Z, Kobayashi S, Patel J, Li C, Cai F, Zhang Y, Liang C, Chiba H, Hui SP. Comprehensive lipidomic profiling in serum and multiple tissues from a mouse model of diabetes. Metabolomics. 2020 Oct 16;16(11):115. doi: 10.1007/s11306-020-01732-9. PMID: 33067714
  • Kobayashi S, Patel J, Zhao F, Huang Y, Kobayashi T, Liang Q. A novel dual fluorescent mitophagy reporter reveals a reduced mitophagy flux in type 1 diabetic mouse heart. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2020 Jul 1;120(7):446-455. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2020.072. PMID: 32598458.
  • Kobayashi S, Zhao F, Kobayashi T, Hagiwara M, Kaminaris A, Li C, Cai F, Huang Y, Liang Q. Hyperglycemia-induced cardiomyocyte death is mediated by lysosomal membrane injury and aberrant expression of cathepsin D. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020;523(1):239‐ doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.12.051. PMID: 31862139
  • Xu X, Kobayashi S, Timm D, Huang Y, Zhao F, Shou W, Liang Q. Enhanced mTOR Complex 1 Signaling Attenuates Diabetic Cardiac Injury in OVE26 Mice. FASEB J. 2019 Nov;33(11):12800-12811. doi: 10.1096/fj.201901206R. Epub 2019 Aug 30. PMID: 31469601
  • Catanzaro MP, Weiner A, Kaminaris A, Li C, Cai F, Zhao F, Kobayashi S, Kobayashi T, Huang Y, Sesaki H, Liang Q. Doxorubicin-induced cardiomyocyte death is mediated by unchecked mitochondrial fission and mitophagy. FASEB J. 2019 Oct;33(10):11096-11108. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802663R. Epub 2019 Jul 10. PMID: 31291545
  • Yan J, Thomson JK, Zhao W, Gao X, Huang F, Chen B, Liang Q, Song LS, Fill M, Ai X. Role of Stress Kinase JNK in Binge Alcohol-Evoked Atrial Arrhythmia. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 Apr 3;71(13):1459-1470. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.01.060 PMID: 29598867, PMCID: PMC5903584
  • Liu GS, Zhu H, Cai WF, Wang X, Jiang M, Essandoh K, Vafiadaki E, Haghighi K, Lam CK, Gardner G, Adly G, Nicolaou P, Sanoudou D, Liang Q, Rubinstein J, Fan GC, Kranias EG. Regulation of BECN1-mediated autophagy by HSPB6: Insights from a human HSPB6S10F mutant. Autophagy. 2018;14(1):80-97. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2017.1392420. Epub 2018 Jan 29. PubMed PMID: 29157081; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5846551.
  • Mohammadi M.M., Kattih B., Grund A., Froese N., Korf-Klingebiel M., Gigina A., Schrameck U., Rudat C., Liang Q., Kispert A, Wollert KC, Bauersachs J, Heineke J. et al. (2017). The transcription factor GATA4 promotes myocardial regeneration in neonatal mice. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 9(2), 265-279. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201606602. PubMed PMID: 28053183; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5286367
  • Liang Q, Kobayashi S. Mitochondrial quality control in the diabetic heart. J Mol Cell Cardiol. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2016 Jun;95:57-69. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2015.12.025. Epub 2015 Dec 29. Review. PMID: 26739215

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Honors and Awards

  • Career Development Award, American Diabetes Association
  • Young Investigator Award, National IDeA Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association Ohio Valley Affiliate
  • Trainee Abstract Award, AHA Scientific Sessions
  • Predoctoral Fellowship from National Science Foundation and ND EPSCoR

Courses Taught at New York Tech

  • Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Principles and Practice of Osteopathic Medicine III
  • Case-Based Learning
  • Academic Medicine Scholars' Program
  • Research Methods for DO/PhD Program

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