Jianghong Liu, PhD, RN, FAAN
Jianghong Liu uses her training in maternal-child nursing, environmental health, and psychology to explore early health factors that affect children’s cognitive and emotional/behavioral development. Her research integrates population-based epidemiological analyses with laboratory tests of cognition and psychophysiology to understand the mechanisms driving behaviors and emotions.
As director of the NIH-funded China Jintan Child Health Project, Dr. Liu is following more than 1,000 children in Jintan city from pre-school into adolescence to understand the influence of exposure to lead and micronutrient deficiency on their behavior. She is collaborating with researchers at Shanghai Jiaotong University, Southeastern University, Jintan Hospital, and Jintan Maternal Health Center.
“My research shines light on issues that public health systems can address to improve the health of children.”
- Post-Doc in Psychology, University of Southern California, 2002-2006
- PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, 2002
- MN, University of California at Los Angeles, 1993
Dr. Liu mentors and advises undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral nursing students as well as students studying business, engineering, and medicine, and visiting scholars from China. A strong believer in “learning by doing,” she involves her mentees in all aspects of her work: grant writing, conducting literature searches, synthesizing literature, and cleaning and analyzing data. Some students accompany her to China, where they help establish research protocols and recruit subjects. Dr. Liu encourages her mentees to advance their research careers by co-authoring papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Liu teaches a graduate course in environmental toxicology, as well as the undergraduate Penn Global Seminar Environmental Health Issues and Global Implications beginning in 2017, which will include a two-week trip to China.
Dr. Liu’s research aims to identify how early health risk and protective factors impact emotional and behavioral development in children and adolescents, why this occurs, and what measures we can take to enhance development. Factors include prenatal/postnatal risk factors (e.g. birth complications, prenatal stress, prenatal toxin exposure), early nutrition, environmental toxicity (e.g. lead and tobacco exposure) and sleep deprivation. She is particularly interested in how brain mechanisms influence early health factors and later behavior outcomes, as well as protective factors (e.g. breast feeding, early bonding) that improve resilience in children and adolescents.
Her research has three main features: an interdisciplinary collaborative approach, working in international settings, and the use of longitudinal methodology. She is the PI on the China Jintan Child Health Project, a longitudinal study set up in 2004 which follows children into adolescence to investigate the influence of lead exposure and micronutrient deficiency on children’s behavior. Dr. Liu’s research has been supported by the National Institute of Health since 2007. She has published more than 100 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters in multiple disciplines, including Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Nursing (e.g. in the American Journal of Psychiatry, JAMA Pediatrics, International Journal Epidemiology, International Journal of Nursing Studies.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Dr. Liu joined Penn Nursing in 2007, drawn by the Penn Compact, which emphasizes integrative knowledge and engagement on a global, national, and local scale. She was also attracted by Penn’s layout, which houses all departments on one campus, thereby facilitating interdisciplinary teaching and research. As a faculty member in the Master of Public Health program and an investigator with the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, both at the School of Medicine, Dr. Liu regularly collaborates with colleagues from disciplines including environmental health, psychology, and neuroscience. In addition to publishing her research in nursing journals, Dr. Liu advances inter-disciplinary collaboration by publishing in top-ranked medical journals such as JAMA Pediatrics, American Journal of Psychiatry, and International Journal of Epidemiology and Sleep.
Selected Career Highlights
- NIH Mentored Career Developmental Award
- NIH Independent Scientist Award
- Dean’s Teaching Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship, University of
Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Liu, J., & Raine, A. (2017). Nutritional status and social behavior in preschool children: The mediating effects of neurocognitive functioning. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 13(2). doi: 10.1111/mcn.12321. Epub 2016 May 1. PMID: 27133006
- Liu, J., Liu, X., Ji, X., Wang, J., Zhou G., & Chen X (2016). Sleep disordered breathing symptoms and daytime sleepiness are associated with emotional problems and poor school performance in children. Psychiatry Research, 242, 215-225. PMID: 27289327..
- Raine, A., Cheney, R., Ho, M., Portnoy, J., Liu, J., Soyfer, L., Hibbeln, J.R., & Richmond, T. (2016). Nutritional supplementation to reduce child aggression: A randomized, stratified, single-blind, factorial trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, (Online), **-**. PMID: 27166583.
Shenderovich, Y., Eisner, M., Mikton, C., Gardner, F., Liu, J., & Murray, J. (2016). Methods for conducting systematic reviews of risk factors in low-and middle-income countries. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 16(1), 1. PMID: 26979282
Cui, N., Xue, J., Connolly, C. A., & Liu, J. (2016). Does the gender of parent or child matter in child maltreatment in China?. Child Abuse and Neglect, 54, 42378.S0145-2134(16)00005-3. PMID: 26826981
- Liu, J., Cao, S., Chen, Z., Raine, A., Hanlon, A., Ai, Y., Zhou, G., Yan, C., Leung, P., McCauley, L., & Pinto-Martin, J. (2015). Cohort profile update: The China Jintan child cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology, [Epub ahead of print], 1-13. (PMID: 26323725).10.1093/ije/dyv119
Li, Y., Cui, N., Cao, F., & Liu, J. (2015). Children’s bonding with parents and grandparents and its associated factors. Child Indicators Research, Published online, 42383.10.1007/s12187-015-9328-0. PMID: 27284385
Liu, J., Zhao, S., & Reyes, T. (2015). Neurological and epigenetic implications of nutritional deficiencies on psychopathology: Conceptualization and review of evidence. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 16, 18129-18148. PMID: 26251900
- Ji, X. & Liu, J. (2015). Associations between blood Zinc concentrations and sleep quality in childhood: A cohort study. Nutrients, 7(7), 5684-96. PMID: 26184300.
Liu, J., Liu X., Pak V., Wang Y., Yan C., Pinto-Martin J., & Dinges D. (2015). Early blood lead levels and sleep disturbance in preadolescence. Sleep, 38(12), 1869-1874. PMID: 26194570.