Huiping Zhang PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Research Interests

Psychiatric Genetics; Epigenetics; Functional genomics; Substance Dependence

Research Summary

We are examining genetic and epigenetic changes that may increase the risk for substance dependence and related psychiatric disorders.

Extensive Research Description

Our research goal is to understand the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of substance (alcohol or drug) dependence and related psychiatric disorders. We are using a number of approaches [such as candidate gene and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) as well as next-generation sequencing technologies] to identify gene variants that influence the vulnerability to the disorders. We are also profiling transcriptomic and epigenomic changes (such as alterations in coding or non-coding RNA expression levels and DNA methylation patterns) in saliva, blood, and reward-related brain regions of subjects affected with substance dependence. Epigenetic changes identified in human subjects are validated using mouse and stem cell models. Additionally, we are performing post-GWAS to study the function of disease-associated variants (particularlly noncoding variants).

Selected Publications

  • Zhang H*, Wang F, Xu H, Liu Y, Liu J, Zhao H, Gelernter J. Differentially co-expressed genes in postmortem prefrontal cortex of individuals with alcohol use disorders: Influence on alcohol metabolism-related pathways. Hum Genet. 2014; 133(11):1383-94.
  • Zhang H*, Wang F, Kranzler HR, Yang C, Xu H, Wang Z, Zhao H, Gelernter J. Identification of methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTLs) influencing promoter DNA methylation of alcohol dependence risk genes. Hum Genet. 2014; 133(9):1093-1104.
  • Xu H, Wang F, Liu Y, Yu Y, Gelernter J, Zhang H*. Sex-biased methylome and transcriptome in human prefrontal cortex. Hum Mol Genet. 2014; 23(5):1260-7.
  • Wang F, Gelernter J, Zhang H*. Differential Expression of miR-130a in Postmortem Prefrontal Cortex of Subjects with Alcohol Use Disorders. J Addict Res Ther. 2013; 4(155). pii: 18179.
  • Zhang H*, Wang F, Kranzler HR, Zhao H, Gelernter J. Profiling of Childhood Adversity-associated DNA Methylation Changes in Alcoholic Patients and Healthy Controls. PLoS ONE 2013; 8(6): e65648.
  • Wang F, Simen A, Arias A, Lu QW, Zhang H*. A large-scale meta-analysis of the association between the ANKK1/DRD2 Taq1A polymorphism and alcohol dependence. Hum Genet. 2013; 132(3):347-58.
  • Barker JM, Zhang Y, Wang F, Taylor JR, Zhang H*. Ethanol-induced Htr3a Promoter Methylation Changes in Mouse Blood and Brain. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013; 37 Suppl 1:E101-7.
  • Zhang H*, Herman AI, Kranzler HR, Anton RF, Zhao H, Zheng W, Gelernter J. Array-based Profiling of DNA Methylation Changes Associated with Alcohol Dependence. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013; 37 Suppl 1:E108-15.
  • Wang F, Gelernter J, Kranzer HR, Zhang H*. Identification of POMC Exonic Variants Associated with Substance Dependence and Body Mass Index. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(9):e45300.
  • Zhang H*, Herman A, Kranzler HR, Anton RF, Simen A, Gelernter J. Hypermethylation of OPRM1 promoter region in European Americans with alcohol dependence. J Hum Genet. 2012; 57(10):670-5.


Edit Profile