Bao-Zhu Yang PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Research Interests

Substance dependence; Alcoholism; Depression; Psychiatric genetics; Statistical genetics; Genetic epidemiology

Current Projects

Mapping genes for comorbidity of substance used disorders and depression
Candidate gene association study on PTSD

Research Summary

My research focus in the past few years includes investigation of issues related to hidden genetic clusters which might cause potential false positive for case control association studies, effects of interaction between gene and environment on disease manifestation, haplotype reconstruction and association analysis, and identification of genes for psychiatric disorders among admixed populations, and applied these analytical methods in finding genetic bases of psychiatric disorders such as childhood depression, alcoholism, drug dependence, nicotine dependence, and post traumatic stress disorder. Currently, I devote myself to mapping genes for comorbidity of substance use disorders and depression using genetic linkage and association methods under the support of an NIH K01 career development award.

Extensive Research Description

My research focus in the past few years includes investigation of issues related to population stratification for case control association studies, structured association analysis, gene-environment interaction, haplotype analysis, and admixture mapping, and applied these analytical methods in finding genetic bases of psychiatric disorders such as childhood depression, alcoholism, drug dependence, nicotine dependence, post traumatic stress disorder. Currently, I devote myself to mapping genes for comorbidity of substance use disorders and depression using linkage and association methods under the support of an NIH K01 career development award.


Selected Publications

  • Han S, Gelernter J, Luo X, Yang BZ. Meta-analysis of 15 genomewide linkage scans of smoking behavior. Biological Psychiatry 2009 (in press).
  • Han S, Ma L, Li D, Yang BZ. Is the Tail-Strength Measure More Powerful in Tests of Genetic Association? Am J Human Genetics 2009; 84(2):295-98.
  • Yang BZ, Kranzler HR, Zhao H, Gruen JR, Luo X, Gelernter J. Haplotypic Variants in DRD2, ANKK1, TTC12 and NCAM1 are Associated with Comorbid Alcohol and Drug Dependence. Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 2008 32(12):2117-27.
  • Yang BZ, Kranzler HR, Zhao H, Gruen JR, Luo X, Gelernter J. Association of Haplotypic Variants in DRD2, ANKK1, TTC12 and NCAM1 to Alcohol Dependence in Independent Case-control and Family Samples. Hum Mol Genet. 2007; 16(23): 2844-53.
  • Yang, BZ, Zhao, H., Kranzler H., Gelernter, J. Practical population group assignment with selected informative markers: characteristics and properties of Bayesian clustering via STRUCTURE. Genetic Epidemiology 28: 302-312, 2005.
  • Kaufman J, Yang BZ, Douglas-Palumberi H, Houshyar S, Lipschitz D, Krystal JH, Gelernter J. Social supports and serotonin transporter gene moderate depression in maltreated children. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004, 101:17316-21. Reprinted in the Year Book of Psychiatry and Applied Mental Health.

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