Liqing He

Assistant Professor



I am interested in molecular systems biology. My Ph.D. project was the study of the molecular mechanisms of salt sensitive hypertension. After I moved to the University of Louisville, my research centers on developing multi-dimensional chromatography mass spectrometry-based bioanalytical platforms for metabolomics and epitranscriptomics. I further employed the developed technologies to analyze complex biological samples to understand the mechanisms of molecular regulation changes in a biological system.


The ultimate goal of my research is to integrate experimental and computational approaches for better understanding of living systems, to facilitate the development of preventive, predictive and personalized medicine for the promotion of health and wellness. My current research centers on liquid chromatography mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and epitranscriptomics, with emphasis on bioanalytical chemistry, bioinformatics, and their applications to biomedical, environmental and nutritional sciences. Metabolomics and epitranscriptomics have emerged as the two latest of the "omics" disciplines with great potential to measure and interpret the complex time-related concentration and activity of metabolites and nucleic acids in biological samples and therefore, offer a path to a wealth of information about a person’s health status. Following lists the research projects I am working on:

A. Epitranscriptomics

I have established the analytical platforms using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for analysis of nucleosides/nucleotides extract from biological samples including liver tissue, urine and plasma. During the last two years, I have been actively developing advanced separation systems for analysis of oligonucleotides, small pierces of RNAs digested by enzymes RNase. I also helped develop bioinformatics algorithms to decipher biological information from the massive mass spectrometry data for epitranscriptomics. Currently, I am working on i) the development of extraction methods for tRNA, mRNA and rRNA, respectively; ii) comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography mass spectrometry platforms for analysis of modified oligonucleotides; iii) the difference of modified nucleosides/nucleotides between non-alcohol feeding and alcohol feeding mice. 

B. Metabolomics

During the last three years, I have participated in multiple biomedical studies and analyzed polar metabolite profiling by different samples using GC×GC-MS and parallel 2DLC-MS. I also established an analytical platform using gas chromatography mass spectrometry system (GC-MS) to quantify short-chain fatty acids from biological samples such as liver tissue, feces and plasma. Currently, I am focusing on developing the analytical methods for quantification of bile acids from biological samples by LC-MS. My immediate projects include i) optimization of bile acid extraction method; ii) creating a bile acid MS/MS database; iii) create a LC-MS or 2DLC-MS platform for bile acid separation.