Xingguang Luo MD
Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry
Dr. Luo's major research interest focuses on the genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of neuropsychiatric disorders, from generating the genotype data using microarray, high-throughput genotype data analysis, to interpreting the association results using neuroscience knowledge. He uses the existing programs (e.g., PLINK) or develops new programs using Unix, R, Perl or C++ languages to perform SNP-, CNV-, gene- and/or pathway-based GWAS analysis. He is also interested in association analysis of haplotypes, diplotypes, gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. For each risk SNP, CNV, gene, gene region or pathway identified, He tests the specificity of its association with diseases by testing the associations across multiple phenotype groups with various neuropsychiatric disorders. He also tests its function using cis-acting expression quantitative locus (cis-eQTL) analysis and transcriptome-wide trans-eQTL analysis. His research interests also include genotyping using next-generation sequencing technology (e.g., whole-genome or -exome sequencing and targeted gene region sequencing), calling various genetic variants (SNV, CNV, etc.) from the sequencing data (e.g., SAMTool), and analyzing the gene-disease associations (PLINK/Seq). In particular, he is interested in the association analysis of rare variants in the sequencing data, using collapsing or score-type approach (e.g., ARIEL and SCORE-Seq). He is also interested in bioinformatic analysis of the variant functions, e.g., RNA secondary structure alteration, transcription binding site activity, splicing activity and microRNA binding activity. He has a long history of conducting association studies using candidate gene approaches. For genotyping, he is experienced in RFLP, TaqMan and microarray technologies. The candidate genes cover ADHs, ALDHs, CHRMs, OPRs, CNRs, GRIKs, CYPs, HTRs, DRDs, DISC1, etc. The phenotypes cover alcohol dependence, cocaine dependence, opioid dependence, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders, OCD spectrum disorders, ADHD, personality disorders, clozapine efficacy and risperidone efficacy. Another research interest is related to DNA methylation. He detects the associations of neuropsychiatric disorders with the DNA methylation level and DNA methylation patterns in the CpG islands of candidate genes. Furthermore, he tests whether the environmental factors, such as childhood adversity and exposure to drug, are related to the alteration of DNA methylation. Finally, genome-wide methylation study is also planned.
Current ProjectsNIH R01: Fine-mapping the risk loci for alcoholism in ADH gene cluster and ALDH2 gene
NIH R21: Deep sequencing of glutamatergic pathway genes in alcohol and nicotine co-dependence