Zhenqi Liu

Liu, Zhenqi

Primary Appointment

Professor of Medicine, Medicine: Endocrinology and Metabolism


  • Clinical Fellowship, Endocrinology, University of Virginia
  • Fellowship, Endocrinology, Yale University School of Medicine
  • MD, , Hunan Medical University
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, Washington Hospital Center

Contact Information

Fontaine Research Park, 450 Ray C. Hunt Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Telephone: 434-924-1825
Fax: 434-924-9616

Research Interests

Insulin action, energy metabolism and diabetes complications

Research Description

My laboratory studies insulin action in health and diabetes, with a primary focus on the regulation of insulin action in the vasculature and its relation to insulin's metabolic action and the cardiovascular complications of diabetes.

Areas of investigation include:
- Insulin delivery and action in muscle. In order for insulin to exert its metabolic actions in muscle, it first must be delivered to muscle interstitium. Insulin regulates its own delivery by acting at three discrete step: dilation of the resistance vessels to increase total blood flow, relaxation of pre-capillary arterioles to increase microvascular perfusion and endothelial exchange surface area, and trans-endothelial transport of insulin from plasma to muscle interstitium. These actions are impaired in the insulin resistant states and my laboratory studies insulin actions at all these 3 steps.

- Insulin and IGF-1 signaling in the endothelial cells, particularly the IRS/PI3K/AKT/eNOS pathway.

- Regulation of insulin action in the muscle microcirculation, particularly by the renin-angiotensin system, incretin hormones, and exercise.

Selected Publications