Liying Zhang, MD, PhD

Director, Diagnostic Molecular Genetics Laboratory; Associate Director, Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship Program
Liying Zhang, MD, PhD

I am a board-certified molecular geneticist with a special interest in cancer genetics. As the director of the Diagnostic Molecular Genetics Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I am responsible for supervising the molecular diagnostic testing for inherited disorders — in particular the inherited forms of breast, ovarian, colorectal, and other types of cancers. The identification of  genetic alterations enables better medical management options that can reduce risk through prevention or early detection. I have led the development and implementation of various new diagnostic genetic tests. I also oversee strategic planning for the laboratory's technologies, instrumentation, staffing, budget, and regulatory issues.

I am actively involved in the International Collaboration for Clinical Genomics (ICCG). ICCG is a group of laboratory directors, physicians, genetic counselors, researchers, and others dedicated to raising the standard of patient care by improving the quality of genomic testing. Along with ClinVar and several other projects, we aim to develop a framework for evaluating genetic variants. I am especially interested in classification of variants identified in cancer related genes (tumor suppressors and oncogenes).

Clinical Expertise

Diagnostic Molecular Genetics

Languages Spoken

MD, Peking University (China); PhD, The Johns Hopkins University; MS (Bioinformatics), The Johns Hopkins University


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Clinical Molecular Genetics

Publications by Liying Zhang

Schrader K, Stratton KL, Murali R, Laitman Y, Cavallone Y, Offit L, Wen YH, Thomas T, Shah S, Rau-Murthy R, Manschreck C, Salo-Mullen E, Otegbeye E, Corines M, Zhang L, Norton L, Hudis C, Klein RJ, Kauff N, Robson M, Stadler Z, Haber DA, Lipkin S, Friedman E, Foulkes WD, Altshuler D, Vijai J, Offit K Genome Sequencing of Multiple Primary Tumors Reveals Novel PALB2 Variant.  Journal of Clinical Oncology. In press.

Ballew BJ, Joseph V, De S, Sarek G, Vannier JB, Stracker T, Schrader KA, Small TN, O’Reilly R, Manschreck C, Harlan-Fleischut MH, Zhang L, Sullivan J, Stratton K, Yeager M, Jacobs K, Giri N, Alter BP, Boland J, Offit K, Burdett L, Boulton S, Savage1 SA, and Petrini, JHJ. A Recessive Founder Mutation in Regulator of Telomere Elongation Helicase 1, RTEL1, Underlies Severe Immunodeficiency and Features of Hoyeraal Hreidarsson Syndrome.  PLoS Genetics 2013 Aug;9(8):e1003695.

Shah S, Kim Y, Ostrovnaya I, Murali R, Schrader K, Lach F, Sarrel K, Rau-Murthy R, Hansen N, Zhang L, Kirchhoff T, Stadler Z, Robson M, Vijai J, Offit K and Smogorzewska A SLX4 mutation in hereditary breast cancer PLoS One 2013 Jun 26;8(6):e66961.

Vijai J, Kirchhoff T, Schrader KA, Brown J, Dutra-Clarke AV, Manschreck C, Hansen N, Rau-Murthy R, Sarrel K, Przybylo J, Shah S, Cheguri S, Stadler Z, Zhang L, Paltiel O, Ben-Yehuda D, Viale A, Portlock C, Straus D, Lipkin SM, Lacher M, Robson M, Klein RJ, Zelenetz A, Offit K Susceptibility Loci Associated with Specific and Shared Subtypes of Lymphoid Malignancies. PLoS Genetics 2013;9(1):e1003220.

Ren Q, Zhang L*, Ruoff R, Ha S, Wang J, Jain S, Reuter R, Gerald W, Giri DD, Melamed J, Garabedian MJ, Lee P, and Logan SK. Expression of androgen receptor and its phosphorylated forms in breast cancer progression. Cancer. 2013, Jul 15;119(14):2532-40.