Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Dajiang Liu, PhD, MA

Dajiang Liu, PhD, MA

Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Public Health Sciences
Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
Center for Statistical Genetics
Scientific Program:Cancer Control

Research Interests

Dr. Dajiang Liu's lab is a small research group at Penn State College of Medicine that works on statistical genetics, complex trait genetics and functional genomics. The lab actively develops novel methods and applies them to interesting datasets. It also generates datasets using high-throughput genotyping and sequencing.

The lab's statistical genetics research focuses on method development for analyzing large scale sequence-based association studies. The Liu lab developed the widely-used software package RAREMETAL and RVTESTS for association analysis and meta-analysis and is actively conducting research in this area to develop more efficient and powerful methods for studying the genetic basis for complex traits. 

Dr. Liu's lab develops computational methods to interpret the GWAS findings using integrative approaches and is also developing methods to study the functional genomics for X chromosome inactivation. 

The lab studies a few complex traits in great detail, including lipids and cardiovascular disease, smoking drinking addiction as well as lupus. Many of the applied projects offered interesting problems and motivated the lab's methodology research. 

  • Genes
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Exome
  • Multifactorial Inheritance
  • Datasets
  • Lipids
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Phenotype
  • Genome
  • Genotype
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Proteins

Recent Publications


Vu, TN, Khunsriraksakul, C, Vorobeychik, Y, Liu, A, Sauteraud, R, Shenoy, G, Liu, DJ & Cohen, SP 2022, 'Association of Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation with Persistent Opioid Use in Patients with Postlaminectomy Syndrome', JAMA network open.
Khunsriraksakul, C, Markus, H, Olsen, NJ, Carrel, L, Jiang, B & Liu, DJ 2022, 'Construction and Application of Polygenic Risk Scores in Autoimmune Diseases', Frontiers in immunology, vol. 13, 889296.
Weissenrieder, JS, Weissenkampen, JD, Reed, JL, Green, MV, Zheng, C, Neighbors, JD, Liu, DJ & Hohl, RJ 2022, 'RNAseq reveals extensive metabolic disruptions in the sensitive SF-295 cell line treated with schweinfurthins', Scientific reports, vol. 12, no. 1, 359.
AMP-T2D-GENES, Myocardial Infarction Genetics Consortium, NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Consortium & NHLBI TOPMed Lipids Working Group 2022, 'Rare coding variants in 35 genes associate with circulating lipid levels—A multi-ancestry analysis of 170,000 exomes', American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 109, no. 1, pp. 81-96.


Patrick, MT, Stuart, PE, Zhang, H, Zhao, Q, Yin, X, He, K, Zhou, XJ, Mehta, NN, Voorhees, JJ, Boehnke, M, Gudjonsson, JE, Nair, RP, Handelman, SK, Elder, JT, Liu, DJ & Tsoi, LC 2021, 'Causal Relationship and Shared Genetic Loci between Psoriasis and Type 2 Diabetes through Trans-Disease Meta-Analysis', Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 141, no. 6, pp. 1493-1502.
Sauteraud, R, Stahl, JM, James, J, Englebright, M, Chen, F, Zhan, X, Carrel, L & Liu, DJ 2021, 'Inferring genes that escape X-Chromosome inactivation reveals important contribution of variable escape genes to sex-biased diseases', Genome research, vol. 31, no. 9, pp. 1629-1637.
Rong, R, Jiang, S, Xu, L, Xiao, G, Xie, Y, Liu, DJ, Li, Q & Zhan, X 2021, 'MB-GAN: Microbiome Simulation via Generative Adversarial Network', GigaScience, vol. 10, no. 2.
Zaorsky, NG, Khunsriraksakul, C, Acri, SL, Liu, DJ, Ba, DM, Lin, JL, Liu, G, Segel, JE, Drabick, JJ, Mackley, HB & Leslie, DL 2021, 'Medical Service Use and Charges for Cancer Care in 2018 for Privately Insured Patients Younger Than 65 Years in the US', JAMA network open, vol. 4, no. 10, 27784.
Kim, J, Jiang, S, Yiqing, W, Xiao, G, Xie, Y, Liu, DJ, Li, Q, Koh, A & Zhan, X 2021, 'MetaPrism: A versatile toolkit for joint taxa/gene analysis of metagenomic sequencing data', G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, vol. 11, no. 4, jkab046.
GWAS and Sequencing Consortium of Alcohol and Nicotine Use (GSCAN) 2021, 'Model-based assessment of replicability for genome-wide association meta-analysis', Nature communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 1964.
COGA Collaborators 2021, 'Multivariate analysis of 1.5 million people identifies genetic associations with traits related to self-regulation and addiction', Nature Neuroscience, vol. 24, no. 10, pp. 1367-1376.
Carrel, L, Arnold-Croop, S, Achtermann, T, Chen, F, Cheng, Y, Liu, D & Eyster, ME 2021, 'Prothrombotic variants as modifiers of clinical phenotype in four related individuals with haemophilia A', Haemophilia, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. e591-e595.


Jiang, Y, Chen, S, Wang, X, Liu, M, Iacono, WG, Hewitt, JK, Hokanson, JE, Krauter, K, Laakso, M, Li, KW, Lutz, SM, McGue, M, Pandit, A, Zajac, GJM, Boehnke, M, Abecasis, GR, Vrieze, SI, Jiang, B, Zhan, X & Liu, DJ 2020, 'Association analysis and meta-analysis of multiallelic variants for large-scale sequence data', Genes, vol. 11, no. 5, 585.
LifeLines Cohort Study, EPIC-CVD, EPIC-InterAct, Understanding Society Scientific Group & Million Veteran Program 2020, 'Discovery of rare variants associated with blood pressure regulation through meta-analysis of 1.3 million individuals', Nature Genetics, vol. 52, no. 12, pp. 1314-1332.
Jang, SK, Saunders, G, Liu, MZ, Jiang, Y, Liu, DJ & Vrieze, S 2022, 'Genetic correlation, pleiotropy, and causal associations between substance use and psychiatric disorder', Psychological medicine, vol. 52, no. 5, pp. 968-978.
Cygan, PH, Arnold-Croop, SE, Weidman, EA, Chen, F, Liu, DJ, Eyster, ME & Carrel, L 2020, 'Investigation of discordant phenotype in mild Hemophilia A using whole exome sequencing', Thrombosis Research, vol. 193, pp. 36-39.
Yang, S, Wen, J, Eckert, ST, Wang, Y, Liu, DJ, Wu, R, Li, R & Zhan, X 2020, 'Prioritizing genetic variants in GWAS with lasso using permutation-assisted tuning', Bioinformatics, vol. 36, no. 12, pp. 3811-3817.
Yang, L, Jiang, S, Jiang, B, Liu, DJ & Zhan, X 2020, 'Seqminer2: An efficient tool to query and retrieve genotypes for statistical genetics analyses from biobank scale sequence dataset', Bioinformatics, vol. 36, no. 19, pp. 4951-4954.


23andMe Research Team, HUNT All-In Psychiatry, Liu, M, Jiang, Y, Wedow, R, Li, Y, Brazel, DM, Chen, F, Datta, G, Davila-Velderrain, J, McGuire, D, Tian, C, Zhan, X, Agee, M, Alipanahi, B, Auton, A, Bell, RK, Bryc, K, Elson, SL, Fontanillas, P, Furlotte, NA, Hinds, DA, Hromatka, BS, Huber, KE, Kleinman, A, Litterman, NK, McIntyre, MH, Mountain, JL, Northover, CAM, Sathirapongsasuti, JF, Sazonova, OV, Shelton, JF, Shringarpure, S, Tian, C, Tung, JY, Vacic, V, Wilson, CH, Pitts, SJ, Mitchell, A, Skogholt, AH, Winsvold, BS, Sivertsen, B, Stordal, E, Morken, G, Kallestad, H, Heuch, I, Zwart, JA, Fjukstad, KK, Pedersen, LM, Gabrielsen, ME, Johnsen, MB & Liu, D 2019, 'Association studies of up to 1.2 million individuals yield new insights into the genetic etiology of tobacco and alcohol use', Nature Genetics, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 237-244.
CHD Exome+ Consortium, Consortium for Genetics of Smoking Behaviour, Brazel, DM, Jiang, Y, Hughey, JM, Turcot, V, Zhan, X, Gong, J, Batini, C, Weissenkampen, JD, Liu, MZ, Surendran, P, Young, R, Barnes, DR, Nielsen, SF, Rasheed, A, Samuel, M, Zhao, W, Kontto, J, Perola, M, Caslake, M, de Craen, AJM, Trompet, S, Uria-Nickelsen, M, Malarstig, A, Reily, DF, Hoek, M, Vogt, T, Jukema, JW, Sattar, N, Ford, I, Packard, CJ, Alam, DS, Majumder, AAS, Di Angelantonio, E, Chowdhury, R, Amouyel, P, Arveiler, D, Blankenberg, S, Ferrières, J, Kee, F, Kuulasmaa, K, Müller-Nurasyid, M, Veronesi, G, Virtamo, J, EPIC-CVD Consortium, C, Frossard, P, Nordestgaard, BG, Saleheen, D, Danesh, J, Butterworth, AS & Liu, D 2019, 'Exome Chip Meta-analysis Fine Maps Causal Variants and Elucidates the Genetic Architecture of Rare Coding Variants in Smoking and Alcohol Use', Biological Psychiatry, vol. 85, no. 11, pp. 946-955.
Understanding Society Scientific Group, EPIC-CVD, GSCAN, Consortium for Genetics of Smoking Behaviour, CHD Exome+ consortium, Erzurumluoglu, AM, Liu, M, Jackson, VE, Barnes, DR, Datta, G, Melbourne, CA, Young, R, Batini, C, Surendran, P, Jiang, T, Adnan, SD, Afaq, S, Agrawal, A, Altmaier, E, Antoniou, AC, Asselbergs, FW, Baumbach, C, Bierut, L, Bertelsen, S, Boehnke, M, Bots, ML, Brazel, DM, Chambers, JC, Chang-Claude, J, Chen, C, Corley, J, Chou, YL, David, SP, de Boer, RA, de Leeuw, CA, Dennis, JG, Dominiczak, AF, Dunning, AM, Easton, DF, Eaton, C, Elliott, P, Evangelou, E, Faul, JD, Foroud, T, Goate, A, Gong, J, Grabe, HJ, Haessler, J, Haiman, C, Hallmans, G, Hammerschlag, AR, Harris, SE, Hattersley, A, Heath, A & Liu, D 2020, 'Meta-analysis of up to 622,409 individuals identifies 40 novel smoking behaviour associated genetic loci', Molecular Psychiatry, vol. 25, no. 10, pp. 2392-2409.
Weissenkampen, JD, Jiang, Y, Eckert, S, Jiang, B, Li, B & Liu, DJ 2019, 'Methods for the Analysis and Interpretation for Rare Variants Associated with Complex Traits', Current protocols in human genetics, vol. 101, no. 1, e83.
T2D-Genes Consortium, The MAGIC Investigators, CHD Exome+ Consortium, Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium, EPIC-CVD Consortium, ExomeBP Consortium, Global Lipids Genetic Consortium, GoT2D Genes Consortium, InterAct & ReproGen Consortium 2019, 'Protein-coding variants implicate novel genes related to lipid homeostasis contributing to body-fat distribution', Nature Genetics, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 452-469.
CHD Exome+ Consortium, EPIC-CVD Consortium, ExomeBP Consortium, Global Lipids Genetic Consortium, GoT2D Genes Consortium, EPIC InterAct Consortium, INTERVAL Study, ReproGen Consortium, T2D-Genes Consortium, The MAGIC Investigators & Understanding Society Scientific Group 2019, 'Publisher Correction: Protein-altering variants associated with body mass index implicate pathways that control energy intake and expenditure in obesity (Nature Genetics, (2018), 50, 1, (26-41), 10.1038/s41588-017-0011-x)', Nature Genetics, vol. 51, no. 7, pp. 1191-1192.


Wu, X, Guan, T, Liu, DJ, Novelo, LGL & Bandyopadhyay, D 2018, 'Adaptive-weight burden test for associations between quantitative traits and genotype data with complex correlations', Annals of Applied Statistics, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 1558-1582.
The Geisinger-Regeneron DiscovEHR Collaboration, The VA Million Veteran Program, Global Lipids Genetics Consortium & Myocardial Infarction Genetics (MIGen) Consortium 2018, 'Genetics of blood lipids among ~300,000 multi-ethnic participants of the Million Veteran Program', Nature Genetics, vol. 50, no. 11, pp. 1514-1523.
Jiang, Y, Chen, S, McGuire, D, Chen, F, Liu, M, Iacono, WG, Hewitt, JK, Hokanson, JE, Krauter, K, Laakso, M, Li, KW, Lutz, SM, McGue, M, Pandit, A, Zajac, GJM, Boehnke, M, Abecasis, GR, Vrieze, SI, Zhan, X, Jiang, B & Liu, DJ 2018, 'Proper conditional analysis in the presence of missing data: Application to large scale meta-analysis of tobacco use phenotypes', PLoS genetics, vol. 14, no. 7, e1007452.
Turcot, V, Lu, Y, Highland, HM, Schurmann, C, Justice, AE, Fine, RS, Bradfield, JP, Esko, T, Giri, A, Graff, M, Guo, X, Hendricks, AE, Karaderi, T, Lempradl, A, Locke, AE, Mahajan, A, Marouli, E, Sivapalaratnam, S, Young, KL, Alfred, T, Feitosa, MF, Masca, NGD, Manning, AK, Medina-Gomez, C, Mudgal, P, Ng, MCY, Reiner, AP, Vedantam, S, Willems, SM, Winkler, TW, Abecasis, G, Aben, KK, Alam, DS, Alharthi, SE, Allison, M, Amouyel, P, Asselbergs, FW, Auer, PL, Balkau, B, Bang, LE, Barroso, I, Bastarache, L, Benn, M, Bergmann, S, Bielak, LF, Blüher, M, Boehnke, M, Boeing, H, Boerwinkle, E, Böger, CA, Bork-Jensen, J, Bots, ML, Bottinger, EP, Bowden, DW, Brandslund, I, Breen, G, Brilliant, MH, Broer, L, Brumat, M, Burt, AA, Butterworth, AS, Campbell, PT, Cappellani, S, Carey, DJ, Catamo, E, Caulfield, MJ, Chambers, JC, Chasman, DI, Chen, YDI, Chowdhury, R, Christensen, C, Chu, AY, Cocca, M, Cook, JP, Corley, J, Corominas Galbany, J, Cox, AJ, Crosslin, DS, Cuellar-Partida, G, D'Eustacchio, A, Danesh, J, Davies, G, Bakker, PIW, Groot, MCH, Mutsert, R, Deary, IJ, Dedoussis, G, Demerath, EW, Heijer, M, Hollander, AI, Ruijter, HM, Dennis, JG, Denny, JC, Angelantonio, E, Drenos, F, Du, M, Dubé, MP, Dunning, AM, Easton, DF, Edwards, TL, Ellinghaus, D, Ellinor, PT, Elliott, P, Evangelou, E, Farmaki, AE, Farooqi, IS, Faul, JD, Fauser, S, Feng, S, Ferrannini, E, Ferrieres, J, Florez, JC, Ford, I, Fornage, M, Franco, OH, Franke, A, Franks, PW, Friedrich, N, Frikke-Schmidt, R, Galesloot, TE, Gan, W, Gandin, I, Gasparini, P, Gibson, J, Giedraitis, V, Gjesing, AP, Gordon-Larsen, P, Gorski, M, Grabe, HJ, Grant, SFA, Grarup, N, Griffiths, HL, Grove, ML, Gudnason, V, Gustafsson, S, Haessler, J, Hakonarson, H, Hammerschlag, AR, Hansen, T, Harris, KM, Harris, TB, Hattersley, AT, Have, CT, Hayward, C, He, L, Heard-Costa, NL, Heath, AC, Heid, IM, Helgeland, Ø, Hernesniemi, J, Hewitt, AW, Holmen, OL, Hovingh, GK, Howson, JMM, Hu, Y, Huang, PL, Huffman, JE, Ikram, MA, Ingelsson, E, Jackson, AU, Jansson, JH, Jarvik, GP, Jensen, GB, Jia, Y, Johansson, S, Jørgensen, ME, Jørgensen, T, Jukema, JW, Kahali, B, Kahn, RS, Kähönen, M, Kamstrup, PR, Kanoni, S, Kaprio, J, Karaleftheri, M, Kardia, SLR, Karpe, F, Kathiresan, S, Kee, F, Kiemeney, LA, Kim, E, Kitajima, H, Komulainen, P, Kooner, JS, Kooperberg, C, Korhonen, T, Kovacs, P, Kuivaniemi, H, Kutalik, Z, Kuulasmaa, K, Kuusisto, J, Laakso, M, Lakka, TA, Lamparter, D, Lange, EM, Lange, LA, Langenberg, C, Larson, EB, Lee, NR, Lehtimäki, T, Lewis, CE, Li, H, Li, J, Li-Gao, R, Lin, H, Lin, KH, Lin, LA, Lin, X, Lind, L, Lindström, J, Linneberg, A, Liu, CT, Liu, DJ, Liu, Y, Lo, KS, Lophatananon, A, Lotery, AJ, Loukola, A, Luan, JA, Lubitz, SA, Lyytikäinen, LP, Männistö, S, Marenne, G, Mazul, AL, McCarthy, MI, McKean-Cowdin, R, Medland, SE, Meidtner, K, Milani, L, Mistry, V, Mitchell, P, Mohlke, KL, Moilanen, L, Moitry, M, Montgomery, GW, Mook-Kanamori, DO, Moore, C, Mori, TA, Morris, AD, Morris, AP, Müller-Nurasyid, M, Munroe, PB, Nalls, MA, Narisu, N, Nelson, CP, Neville, M, Nielsen, SF, Nikus, K, Njølstad, PR, Nordestgaard, BG, Nyholt, DR, O'Connel, JR, O'Donoghue, ML, Olde Loohuis, LM, Ophoff, RA, Owen, KR, Packard, CJ, Padmanabhan, S, Palmer, CNA, Palmer, ND, Pasterkamp, G, Patel, AP, Pattie, A, Pedersen, O, Peissig, PL, Peloso, GM, Pennell, CE, Perola, M, Perry, JA, Perry, JRB, Pers, TH, Person, TN, Peters, A, Petersen, ERB, Peyser, PA, Pirie, A, Polasek, O, Polderman, TJ, Puolijoki, H, Raitakari, OT, Rasheed, A, Rauramaa, R, Reilly, DF, Renström, F, Rheinberger, M, Ridker, PM, Rioux, JD, Rivas, MA, Roberts, DJ, Robertson, NR, Robino, A, Rolandsson, O, Rudan, I, Ruth, KS, Saleheen, D, Salomaa, V, Samani, NJ, Sapkota, Y, Sattar, N, Schoen, RE, Schreiner, PJ, Schulze, MB, Scott, RA, Segura-Lepe, MP, Shah, SH, Sheu, WHH, Sim, X, Slater, AJ, Small, KS, Smith, AV, Southam, L, Spector, TD, Speliotes, EK, Starr, JM, Stefansson, K, Steinthorsdottir, V, Stirrups, KE, Strauch, K, Stringham, HM, Stumvoll, M, Sun, L, Surendran, P, Swift, AJ, Tada, H, Tansey, KE, Tardif, JC, Taylor, KD, Teumer, A, Thompson, DJ, Thorleifsson, G, Thorsteinsdottir, U, Thuesen, BH, Tönjes, A, Tromp, G, Trompet, S, Tsafantakis, E, Tuomilehto, J, Tybjaerg-Hansen, A, Tyrer, JP, Uher, R, Uitterlinden, AG, Uusitupa, M, Laan, SW, Duijn, CM, Leeuwen, N, Van Setten, J, Vanhala, M, Varbo, A, Varga, TV, Varma, R, Velez Edwards, DR, Vermeulen, SH, Veronesi, G, Vestergaard, H, Vitart, V, Vogt, TF, Völker, U, Vuckovic, D, Wagenknecht, LE, Walker, M, Wallentin, L, Wang, F, Wang, CA, Wang, S, Wang, Y, Ware, EB, Wareham, NJ, Warren, HR, Waterworth, DM, Wessel, J, White, HD, Willer, CJ, Wilson, JG, Witte, DR, Wood, AR, Wu, Y, Yaghootkar, H, Yao, J, Yao, P, Yerges-Armstrong, LM, Young, R, Zeggini, E, Zhan, X, Zhang, W, Zhao, JH, Zhao, W, Zhou, W, Zondervan, KT, Rotter, JI, Pospisilik, JA, Rivadeneira, F, Borecki, IB, Deloukas, P, Frayling, TM, Lettre, G, North, KE, Lindgren, CM, Hirschhorn, JN & Loos, RJF 2018, 'Protein-altering variants associated with body mass index implicate pathways that control energy intake and expenditure in obesity', Nature Genetics, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 26-35.
NHLBI GO Exome Sequencing Project, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP), Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), Anthropometry Project Team, Blood Count/Hematology Project Team, Blood Pressure Project Team, Data Flow Working Group, Early MI Project Team, ELSI Working Group, Executive Committee, Family Study Project Team, Lipids Project Team, Lung Project Team, Personal Genomics Project Team, Phenotype and Harmonization Working Group, Population Genetics and Statistical Analysis Working Group, Publications and Presentations Working Group, Quantitative Analysis Ad Hoc Task Group, Sequencing and Genotyping Working Group, Steering Committee, Stroke Project Team, Structural Variation Working Group, Subclinical/Quantitative Project Team, Acute Lung Injury (ALI), Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC), Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPDGene), Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Early Pseudomonas Infection Control (EPIC), Framingham Heart Study (FHS), Jackson Heart Study (JHS), Lung Health Study (LHS) & Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 2018, 'Rare loss of function variants in candidate genes and risk of colorectal cancer', Human genetics, vol. 137, no. 10, pp. 795-806.
ExomeBP Consortium, MAGIC Consortium & GIANT Consortium 2018, 'Refining the accuracy of validated target identification through coding variant fine-mapping in type 2 diabetes article', Nature Genetics, vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 559-571.

Clinical Trials Search

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