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Liwei E. Huang MD, PhD

    • Title:
    • Assistant Professor

    • Role:
    • Faculty

    • Faculty Appointments:

      2013 - present    

      Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Eastern Virginia Medical School
      Research Mentor, Nephrology Fellowship Program



      Instructor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University of Pennsylvania



      Nephrology Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania Hospital



      Resident in Medicine, University of Tennessee at Memphis



      Intern in Medicine, New York Medical College Richmond



      Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Chicago



      Research Scientist, New York University Medical Center, NY



      Attending Physician in Nephrology, PUMC (Peking Union Medical College) Hospital



      Fellowship in Nephrology, PUMC (Peking Union Medical College) Hospital



      Resident in Medicine, PUMC (Peking Union Medical College) Hospital


    • Additional Certifications:
    • Focus Areas:
      • Nephrology and Hypertension
      • Polycystic Kidney Disease and Diabetic Nephropathy
    • Office Location:
    • Lewis Hall

    • Undergraduate Education:
    • Graduate Education:
    • Postdoctoral Education:
    • Ph.D. in Nephrology, Peking Union Medical College (PUMC)

      Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois at Chicago

    • Medical Education:
    • M.D. in Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences

    • Residency:
    • Resident in Medicine, Peking Union Medical College

      Resident in Medicine, University of Tennessee at Memphis

    • Fellowship(s):
    • Nephrology, Peking Union Medical College (PUMC)
      Nephrology, University of Pennsylvania Hospital

    • Board Certification(s):
    • Nephrology : 2012
      Internal Medicine : 2011

    • Affiliation(s):
    • American Society of Nephrology
      International Pediatric Nephrology Association
      Chinese American Society of Nephrology

    • Research Interests:
    • My laboratory within the Division of Nephrology in the Eastern Virginia Medical School is dedicated on researches to discover new diagnostic markers and novel therapies for patients with kidney disease. Being a nephrologist seeing patients with all kinds of kidney disease, I have always had a unique perspective to biomedical research that is inspired by my personal experience in caring for patients. I hope my research work can help to discover new therapies for my patient’s devastating diseases. There are currently two research field in my laboratory. One is polycystic kidney disease and the other one is diabetic nephropathy.

      Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys. Polycystic kidney disease cysts can profoundly enlarge the kidneys while replacing much of the normal structure, resulting in reduced kidney function and leading to kidney failure. A common complication of polycystic kidney disease is high blood pressure. Kidney failure is another common problem for people with polycystic kidney disease.

      Polycystic kidney disease is not an uncommon disease. About 600,000people in the US and ~ 12.5 million people worldwide have polycystic kidney disease, and cystic disease is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure.

      The mechanisms of kidney cyst development remain unclear. My laboratory is working on finding novel genes involved in kidney development and renal cyst formation in patients with polycystic kidney disease. We have three basic experimental goals: first, to find novel genes involved in cyst and tubule formation using techniques such as DNA microarray analysis; second, to determine the molecular mechanism by which these candidate genes act using both in vitro and in vivo studies, such as the creation of transgenic and knockout mice, and knockdown and overexpression of proteins in zebrafish; and, finally, to utilize this knowledge to identify treatment strategies for polycystic kidney disease.

      Diabetes mellitus currently affects 346 million individuals worldwide; a number that is projected to increase to 400 million by 2030. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end stage kidney disease in the US. Patients with diabetes were over 7 times as likely to develop end stage kidney disease as those without diabetes. Presence of diabetic nephropathy heralds a marked increase in patient morbidity and premature mortality, and significantly impacts cost of care. Many inflammatory molecules have been found to be involved in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. However, anti-inflammatory therapies did not supply clear demonstration of the efficacy in delaying progression of diabetic nephropathy. My laboratory is collaborating with diabetic researchers at EVMS working on macrophage and inflammation in the development of kidney injury in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Wnt5a, a secreted glycoprotein plays very important role in organogenesis, has been recently found to be a potent pro-inflammatory molecule when secreted by macrophages. Our proposed project aiming to investigate the role of macrophage secreted Wnt5a in the diabetic nephropathy will lead to identifying novel molecular target for potential new therapeutics in patients with diabetic nephropathy. 


    • Primary Specialty:
    • Nephrology and Hypertension

    • Hospital:
    • Courses Taught:
    • Current Projects:
    • Bio:
  1. Liwei Huang, YB Pu, L Birch, T Yamaguchi, W Hu, GS Prins: The role of Wnt5a in Prostate Development.  Developmental Biology 2009; 328(2):188-199.
  2. DC Chung, B Fogelgren, KM Park, J Heidenberg, X Zuo, Liwei Huang, J Bennett, JH Lipschutz. Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV)-Mediated Gene Transfer to Renal Tubule Cells via a Retrograde Ureteral Approach. Nephron Extra 1: 217-223, November 2011.
  3. S Bani-Hani, A Showkat, BM Wall, P Das,Liwei Huang, AI Al-Absi Endovascular Stent Migration to the Right Ventricle Causing Myocardial Injury. Saminas in Dialysis 2012; Feb, 1-3.
  4. SY Choi, B Fogelgren, XF Zuo, Liwei Huang, S McKenna, VR Lingappa, JH Lipschutz, Exocyst Sec10 Is Involved in Basolateral Protein Translation and Translocation in the Endoplasmic Reticulum. Nephron Vol. 120, No. 4, 2012.
  5. SY Choi, MF Chacon-Heszele, Liwei Huang, S McKenna, FP Wilson, XF Zuo, and JH Lipschutz. Cdc42 Knockdown/Knockout Results in Ciliary Abnormalities and Cystic Kidneys. JASN 2013; 24 (9): 1435- 50.  

  6. Liwei Huang, YB Pu, D Hepps, D Danielpour, GS Prins: Posterior Hox Gene Expression and Differential Androgen Regulation in the Developing and Adult Rat Prostate Lobes. Endocrinology2007; 148 (3): 1235-1245.