James K. Liao, MD, FACP, FACC

  • The Robert S. and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair in Medicine
  • Chair, Department of Medicine
  • Professor, Medicine
  • Member, Sarver Heart Center
  • Member of the Graduate Faculty

James K. Liao, MD, FACP, FACC, joined the faculty of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson as professor and chair of the Department of Medicine in January 2023. The department is the college's largest with 12 divisions, 250 faculty members and more than 200 residents and fellows that it trains annually – in addition to medical student teaching.

Dr. Liao was previously Chief of the Section of Cardiology, the Harold Hines Jr. Professor of Medicine, and the Director of Cardiovascular Research and Physician Scientist Development Program at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. He also helped launch and served as medical director of UChicago’s Heart and Vascular Center. Before that, he was a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Vascular Medicine Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Dr. Liao graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in physical chemistry and earned his medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, followed by research and cardiovascular medicine fellowships at  Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Liao is active in many national and international societies and committees. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and American College of Physicians. He has served on editorial boards and as an ad hoc reviewer for esteemed journals, including: Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, among others.

Since 2013, he also has been featured among the nation’s peer-selected Top Doctors as compiled annually by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

Research Interests: 

Dr. Liao’s research interests are focused on cardiovascular disease prevention, lipid disorders and vascular biology, including the role of statins in stroke and atherosclerosis. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for 30-plus years, with grants and awards totaling more than $20 million. His past and current research funding from all sources is more than $24.5 million, and he has been awarded six patents. He has authored or co-authored 13 textbook chapters and more than 250 peer-reviewed articles – and is frequently asked to present at national and international conferences.

Faculty Type: 
Core Faculty
  • MD: University of California San Francisco, 1985
  • BS: Physical Chemistry, Magna cum laude, University of California Los Angeles, 1981
  • Internal Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, 1985-88
  • Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, Cardiovascular Disease, Boston, 1988-1991
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Internal Medicine: Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Internal Medicine: Cardiovascular Disease