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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr Wenhua Wei

PositionSenior Research Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Women's and Children's Health (Dunedin)
QualificationsPhD

Research

I am a statistical geneticist and bioinformatician working mainly on human diseases. My research uses big data, such as study cohorts with well-defined phenotypes, epidemiological risk factors as well as high density genotypes and / or genomic sequences.

Main research activities include development of algorithms and tools and their applications in integrative genetic studies to reveal variants and regulatory mechanisms underlying diseases of interest. My current working areas are brain developmental disorders, gout and hyperuricemia, dyslexia, obesity and diabetes. In addition, I am interested in environment-related health (i.e. One Health) issues.

I have a strong profile in studying non-additive gene interactions and have published a series of methods and tools and research papers, which led to a great opportunity to publish a comprehensive review in Nature Reviews Genetics. I further pioneered an innovative approach of utilising variability-based information (i.e. vGWAS) in complex diseases to enhance detection of interaction loci likely driven by hidden environmental factors. The vGWAS approach has been successfully applied in a range of studies and identified novel interaction loci. It will be further developed in our newly funded HRC grant.

Using primate-specific genomic information to enhance studying human diseases is a new forte under development. With respect to primate-specific hyperuricemia and gout, we have published a critical review of mouse models in Nature Reviews Rheumatology and have research articles to reveal primate-specific regulatory mechanisms. This integrative approach is equally applicable to other human-specific (e.g. brain-related) disorders.

Publications

Sun, X., Guo, Q., Wei, W., Robertson, S., Yuan, Y., & Luo, X. (2019). Current progress on MicroRNA-based gene delivery in the treatment of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2019, 6782653. doi: 10.1155/2019/6782653

Liu, L., Gu, H., Hou, F., Xie, X., Li, X., Zhu, B., … Wei, W.-H., & Song, R. (2019). Dyslexia associated functional variants in Europeans are not associated with dyslexia in Chinese. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32750

Molan, A.-L., Wei, W.-H., & Vuthijumnonk, J. (2019). Evaluation of anti-angiogenic activities of aqueous extracts of regular and selenium-rich green teas using chick chorioallantoic membrane as an experimental model. American Journal of Life Science Researches, 7(1), 1-8.

Lu, J., Dalbeth, N., Yin, H., Li, C., Merriman, T. R., & Wei, W.-H. (2019). Mouse models for human hyperuricaemia: A critical review. Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 15, 413-426. doi: 10.1038/s41584-019-0222-x

Leask, M., Dowdle, A., Salvesen, H., Topless, R., Fadason, T., Wei, W., … Marsman, J., … Merriman, T. R., & Horsfield, J. A. (2019). Functional urate-associated genetic variants influence expression of lincRNAs LINC01229 and MAFTRR. Frontiers in Genetics, 9, 733. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00733

Chapter in Book - Research

Molan, A. L., & Wei, W. H. (2011). Evaluation of antioxidant activity and appetite modulation of green teas with high and low levels of organic selenium in rats. In T. Shartava (Ed.), Nutrition and diet research: Appetite and weight loss. (pp. 207-222). New York, NY: Nova Science.

Molan, A. L., Liu, Z., & Wei, W. (2009). Teas are not all the same: In vitro and in vivo antioxidant activity and appetite modulation in rats of green teas with high and low levels of organic selenium. In H. McKinley & M. Jamieson (Eds.), Handbook of green tea and health research. (pp. 103-124). New York, NY: Nova Science.

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Journal - Research Article

Sun, X., Guo, Q., Wei, W., Robertson, S., Yuan, Y., & Luo, X. (2019). Current progress on MicroRNA-based gene delivery in the treatment of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2019, 6782653. doi: 10.1155/2019/6782653

Leask, M., Dowdle, A., Salvesen, H., Topless, R., Fadason, T., Wei, W., … Marsman, J., … Merriman, T. R., & Horsfield, J. A. (2019). Functional urate-associated genetic variants influence expression of lincRNAs LINC01229 and MAFTRR. Frontiers in Genetics, 9, 733. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2018.00733

Lu, J., Dalbeth, N., Yin, H., Li, C., Merriman, T. R., & Wei, W.-H. (2019). Mouse models for human hyperuricaemia: A critical review. Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 15, 413-426. doi: 10.1038/s41584-019-0222-x

Molan, A.-L., Wei, W.-H., & Vuthijumnonk, J. (2019). Evaluation of anti-angiogenic activities of aqueous extracts of regular and selenium-rich green teas using chick chorioallantoic membrane as an experimental model. American Journal of Life Science Researches, 7(1), 1-8.

Liu, L., Gu, H., Hou, F., Xie, X., Li, X., Zhu, B., … Wei, W.-H., & Song, R. (2019). Dyslexia associated functional variants in Europeans are not associated with dyslexia in Chinese. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32750

Jenkins, Z. A., Macharg, A., Chang, C.-Y., van Kogelenberg, M., Morgan, T., Frentz, S., Wei, W., … Markie, D. M., … Robertson, S. P. (2018). Differential regulation of two FLNA transcripts explains some of the phenotypic heterogeneity in the loss-of-function filaminopathies. Human Mutation, 39(1), 103-113. doi: 10.1002/humu.23355

Cameron-Christie, S. R., Wells, C. F., Simon, M., Wessels, M., Tang, C. Z. N., Wei, W., Takei, R., … Markie, D. M., Jenkins, Z. A., & Robertson, S. P. (2018). Recessive spondylocarpotarsal synostosis syndrome due to compound heterozygosity for variants in MYH3. American Journal of Human Genetics, 102(6), 1115-1125. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.04.008

Wei, W.-H., Massey, J., Worthington, J., Barton, A., & Warren, R. B. (2018). Genotypic variability-based genome-wide association study identifies non-additive loci HLA-C and IL12B for psoriasis. Journal of Human Genetics, 63, 289-296. doi: 10.1038/s10038-017-0350-6

Meng, L., Wang, Y., Wei, W.-H., & Zhang, H. (2018). Population genetic structure of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae): Host-driven genetic differentiation in China. Scientific Reports, 8, 1473. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-19533-5

Jones, G. T., Tromp, G., Kuivaniemi, H., Gretarsdottir, S., Baas, A. F., Giusti, B., … Phillips, L. V., Williams, M. J. A., Wei, W., … Thomson, I. A., Krysa, J., Hill, G. B., Roake, J., Merriman, T. R., … van Rij, A., … Bown, M. J. (2017). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for abdominal aortic aneurysm identifies four new disease-specific risk loci. Circulation Research, 120, 341-353. doi: 10.1161/circresaha.116.308765

Wei, W.-H., Viatte, S., Merriman, T. R., Barton, A., & Worthington, J. (2017). Genotypic variability based association identifies novel non-additive loci DHCR7 and IRF4 in sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 5261. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-05447-1

Wei, W.-H., Bowes, J., Plant, D., Viatte, S., Yarwood, A., Massey, J., … Eyre, S. (2016). Major histocompatibility complex harbors widespread genotypic variability of non-additive risk of rheumatoid arthritis including epistasis. Scientific Reports, 6, 25014. doi: 10.1038/srep25014

Wei, W.-H., Loh, C.-Y., Worthington, J., & Eyre, S. (2016). Immunochip analyses of epistasis in rheumatoid arthritis confirm multiple interactions within MHC and suggest novel non-MHC epistatic signals. Journal of Rheumatology, 43(5), 839-845. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.150836

Wei, W.-H., Hemani, G., & Haley, C. S. (2014). Detecting epistasis in human complex traits. Nature Reviews Genetics, 15, 722-733. doi: 10.1038/nrg3747

Wei, W.-H., Guo, Y., Kindt, A. S. D., Merriman, T. R., Semple, C. A., Wang, K., & Haley, C. S. (2014). Abundant local interactions in the 4p16.1 region suggest functional mechanisms underlying SLC2A9 associations with human serum uric acid. Human Molecular Genetics, 23(19), 5061-5068. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu227

Wei, W., Gyenesei, A., Semple, C. A. M., & Haley, C. S. (2013). Properties of local interactions and their potential value in complementing genome-wide association studies. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e71203. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071203

Gyenesei, A., Moody, J., Laiho, A., Semple, C. A. M., Haley, C. S., & Wei, W.-H. (2012). BiForce toolbox: Powerful high-throughput computational analysis of gene—gene interactions in genome–wide association studies. Nucleic Acids Research, 40(W1), W628-W632. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks550

Gyenesei, A., Moody, J., Semple, C. A. M., Haley, C. S., & Wei, W.-H. (2012). High-throughput analysis of epistasis in genome-wide association studies with BiForce. Bioinformatics, 28(15), 1957-1964. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bts304

Wei, W.-H., Hemani, G., Gyenesei, A., Vitart, V., Navarro, P., Hayward, C., … Haley, C. S. (2012). Genome-wide analysis of epistasis in body mass index using multiple human populations. European Journal of Human Genetics, 20, 857-862. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.17

Tuiskula-Haavisto, M., Honkatukia, M., Preisinger, R., Schmutz, M., de Koning, D. J., Wei, W. H., & Vilkki, J. (2011). Quantitative trait loci affecting eggshell traits in an F2 population. Animal Genetics, 42(3), 293-299. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02131.x

Wei, W. H., Duan, Y., Haley, C. S., Ren, J., de Koning, D. J., & Huang, L. S. (2011). High throughput analyses of epistasis for swine body dimensions and organ weights. Animal Genetics, 42(1), 15-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02082.x

Hemani, G., Theocharous, A., Wei, W., & Haley, C. (2011). EpiGPU: Exhaustive pairwise epistasis scans parallelized on consumer level graphics cards. Bioinformatics, 27(11), 1462-1465. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr172

Wei, W., Hemani, G., Hicks, A. A., Vitart, V., Cabrera-Cardenas, C., Navarro, P., … Haley, C. S. (2011). Characterisation of genome-wide association epistasis signals for serum uric acid in human population isolates. PLoS ONE, 6(8), e23836. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023836

Wei, W.-H., Knott, S., Haley, C. S., & de Koning, D.-J. (2010). Controlling false positives in the mapping of epistatic QTL. Heredity, 104(4), 401-409. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2009.129

Molan, A. L., Flanagan, J., Wei, W., & Moughan, P. J. (2009). Selenium-containing green tea has higher antioxidant and prebiotic activities than regular green tea. Food Chemistry, 114(3), 829-835. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.10.028

Wei, W. H., de Koning, D. J., Penman, J. C., Finlayson, H. A., Archibald, A. L., & Haley, C. S. (2007). QTL modulating ear size and erectness in pigs. Animal Genetics, 38(3), 222-226. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2007.01591.x

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Journal - Research Other

Gyenesei, A., Semple, C. A. M., Haley, C. S., & Wei, W.-H. (2013). Corrigendum of 'High-throughput analysis of epistasis in genome-wide association studies with BiForce'. Bioinformatics, 29(20), 2667-2668. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt444

Wei, W. H., Skinner, T. M., Anderson, J. A., Southwood, O. I., Plastow, G., Archibald, A. L., & Haley, C. S. (2011). Mapping QTL in the porcine MHC region affecting fatness and growth traits in a Meishan/Large White composite population [Short communication]. Animal Genetics, 42(1), 83-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2010.02062.x

Gao, Y., Du, Z. Q., Wei, W. H., Yu, X. J., Deng, X. M., Feng, C. G., … Hu, X. X. (2009). Mapping quantitative trait loci regulating chicken body composition traits. Animal Genetics, 40(6), 952-954. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2009.01911.x

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