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Welcome to the Xu Laboratory!

Our goals are to understand genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of addiction in humans and to translate genetic findings to clinical use. The projects in our lab have focused on identifying genetic risks for addictive behavior and substance misuse-related psychiatric disorders. In recent years, we have been interested in understanding how substance (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, opiates, and cannabis) misuse impacts epigenome and transcriptome that contribute to psychiatric and medical diseases. We are also interested in the impact of substance misuse on immune cells between the peripheral and central nervous system.

The approaches we have used include genetic (Genome-wide association study, whole genome exon sequence), epigenetic (Array-based and Sequencing-Based Methylome-wide Association Study), and transcriptomic (bulk RNA-sequencing and single-cell RNA sequencing) analysis. We use computational methods to link our genetic findings to predict clinical outcomes. We also use in-vivo and in-vitro cell models treated with active compounds to understand the impact of substances on peripheral immune function.

We currently have an open post-doctoral position, please visit the Positions section for more information, or contact Dr. Ke Xu, MD, PhD.