BAR HARBOR — The Jackson Laboratory, based in Bar Harbor, has named Edison Liu, executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore, as the medical research group’s new president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 2, 2012.

Brian Wruble, the outgoing chair of Jackson Laboratory’s board of trustees, said in a media release that Liu will help the nonprofit become a world leader in mammalian genetics, a field that the lab has expanded into in recent years.

“Ed Liu, with his outstanding background in basic research, clinical medicine and genomics, is the ideal leader for The Jackson Laboratory,” said Wruble.

Liu was born in Hong Kong and graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and psychology and a medical degree.

He completed an internship and residency at Washington University’s Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and fellowships at Stanford University and the University of California in San Francisco. He was also an instructor at the University of California’s School of Medicine.

Later, Liu worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as assistant professor at the medical school, professor at the cancer center, director of the Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology and chief of medical genetics.

He also worked at the National Cancer Institute, the Genome Institute of Singapore, the Singapore Cancer Syndicate and the Singapore Tissue Network.

Liu succeeds eight-year head Rick Woychik, who left Jackson Laboratory in January 2011.