Basic Medical Genetics (SNU106) in the Nanchang Joint Programme
My main research interest is genetics and genomics of complex human diseases and traits. I use genetic associations and omics approaches to discover underlying pathways and reveal predictive biomarkers. I am particularly interested in genetics of pain syndromes, allergy, and infectious disorders. Most recent projects included large-scale genetic and omics studies of low back pain, chronic widespread pain, fatigue, intervertebral disc degeneration, and hearing loss.
Currently, the area of my special interest is genetic basis of multimorbidity, a combination of more than one disease in the same patients. There are multiple examples for such combinations occurring more often than expected by chance, suggesting shared molecular mechanisms underlying them. Even more interesting is a situation when diseases rarely or never co-occur (called inverse comorbidity, or dystropy), suggesting mechanisms of mutual exclusion for some pathological pathways. Examples of such dystropic diseases include allergic disorders and tuberculosis, Chagas disease and cancer, Alzheimer's disease and cancer, multiple sclerosis and pulmonary diseases. Understanding molecular mechanisms of inverse comorbidity may provide novel treatment targets and biomarkers for complex human diseases. For the time being, I am using genetic epidemiology and bioinformatics approaches, while setting up experimental pipelines to investigate genetics of some examples of inverse comorbidity.