The main research interest of Prof Jianjun Liu’s lab is to understand the genetic basis of human disease inheritance and susceptibility. Mainly focusing on complex diseases, his lab pursues collaborative research to discover genetic variants that influence disease susceptibility, progression and treatment outcome by employing both candidate gene-based and genome-wide association analyses. Largely working on Asian populations, his laboratory researches on diverse disease phenotypes, including cancers, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, neurological and psychiatric disorders, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, and infectious diseases, which have led to the discovery of many novel susceptibility genes for human complex diseases. Prof Liu’s research also covers pharmacogenomics, particularly the discovery of biomarkers for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in Asian populations. Recently, Prof Liu has expanded his research to population genomics, for example the SG10K project where 10,000 Singaporeans are being subjected to whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis. Such population genomic researches are not only driving various precision medicine programs around the world to explore the application of large-scale genomic data in improving clinical and health services, but also facilitating the understanding of genetic structure of modern human populations as well as the extent and distribution of disease predisposing genetic variation in current populations as the result of a long and complicated evolutionary, migratory, and demographic history of human species.
In addition, Prof Liu’s lab is also exploring new research directions. For example, his lab is exploring EMR-based genomics where large-scale EMR information and genomic data are being integrated to advance understanding on disease development. Another new direction of research is genome-genome interaction analysis, for example pathogen-host genome interaction in infectious diseases as well as the interaction between germline and somatic mutation in in cancer development.
Prof Liu’s lab has also been funded to provid support for many national research programs in Singapore. In particular, he has led the genetic studies of Singapore’s Translational & Clinical Research (TCR) programs on Heart Failure, Parkinson’s Disease and Schizophrenia as well as A*STAR Strategic Position Funding (SPF) programs on cardiovascular disease (ATTRaCT) and pharmacogenomics (SAPhIRE). More recently, his lab has been supporting the large-scale genotyping and WGS analysis for Singapore’s Large Collaborative Grant (LCG) on T2D related complications and the National Precision Medicine program.