Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Research Assistant Professor, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research
Wei Zhao is a Research Assistant Professor at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan (UM) and is affiliated with the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health (CSEPH), the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging (MiCDA), the Eisenberg Family Depression Center, and the UM Precision Health. Dr. Zhao is an interdisciplinary researcher with training in genetic epidemiology, statistics, psychology, and neuroscience. Her research aims to understand the genetic architecture of complex human diseases and traits. She applies cutting-edge high-dimensional statistical models and methods to investigate the relationship between multi-omics (genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics), social/environmental factors, and complex traits in multi-ancestry populations. She has studied a variety of health outcomes and behaviors with a recent focus on cognition, dementia, and mental health-related traits. Dr. Zhao has been a key player in the genomic data cleaning and analytical efforts of multiple large-scale studies, including the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), The Longitudinal Study of Aging in Indian -Diagnostic Assessment of Dementia (LASI-DAD), the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy Study (GENOA), and the Study of Women’s health Across the Nation (SWAN). She currently leads the genomic data collection and dissemination efforts in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID).
- A Multi-Ancestry Study of Gene-Lifestyle Interactions and Multi-Omics in Cardiometabolic Traits
- Covid-19 Effects on Children & Families: 2021 Follow-Up of the PSID Child Development Supplement
- Family Dynamics, Fertility and Contraception, and Investments in Children across Generations
- Family Dynamics, Fertility, and Investments in Children across Generations
- Health and Well-being Over the Life Course and Across Multiple Generations
- PSID 2021-2024: Continuity and Change in American Economic and Social Life
- Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, Yunfeng Huang, Wei Zhao, Michelle L. Wright, Zeyuan Wang, Qin Hui, Stephanie Potts-Thompson, Veronica Barcelona, Laura Prescott, Yutong Yao, Cindy Crusto, Sharon L. R. Kardia, Jennifer Ann Smith, Yan V. Sun. 2023. Epigenome-wide association study of BMI in Black populations from InterGEN and GENOA. Obesity 31(1):243-255.
- Jinkook Lee, ..., Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao, Kenneth M Langa, et al.. 2023. Deep phenotyping and genomic data from a nationally representative study on dementia in India. Scientific Data 10:45.
- Chen, Fang, ..., Jessica Danielle Faul, Jennifer Ann Smith, David R Weir, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2023. Multi-ancestry transcriptome-wide association analyses yield insights into tobacco use biology and drug repurposing. Nature Genetics 55:291-300.
- Julie Hahn, ..., Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2023. DNA methylation analysis identifies novel genetic loci associated with circulating fibrinogen levels in blood. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
- Wei Zhao, Jennifer Ann Smith, Wang, Yi Zhe, Chintalapati, Manjusha, Ammous, Farah, Yu, Miao, Moorjani, Priya, Ganna, Andrea, Gross, Alden, Dey, Sharmistha, Benerjee, Joyita, Chatterjee, Prasun, Dey, Aparajit B, Lee, Jinkook, Kardia, Sharon L R. 2023. Polygenic risk scores for Alzheimer’s disease and general cognitive function are associated with measures of cognition in older South Asians from LASI-DAD. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A 78(5):743-752.
- Junyu Chen, Qin Hui, Zeyuan Wang, Francis P. Wilson, Kaku So-Armah, Matthew S. Freiberg, Amy C. Justice, Ke Xu, Wei Zhao, Farah Ammous, Jennifer Ann Smith, Sharon L. R Kardia, Marta Gwinn, Vincent C. Marconi, Yan V. Sun. 2023. Epigenome-wide meta-analysis reveals differential DNA methylation associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate among African American men with HIV. Kidney International Reports 8(5):1076-1086.
- Yuankai Zhang, ..., Wei Zhao, Jennifer Ann Smith, et al.. 2023. Association of Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number With Brain MRI Markers and Cognitive Function: A Meta-analysis of Community-Based Cohorts. Neurology 100(18):e1930-e1943.
- Shang, Lulu, Wei Zhao, Wang, Yi Zhe, Li, Zheng, Choi, Jerome J., Kho, Minjung, Mosley, Thomas H., Kardia, Sharon L. R., Jennifer Ann Smith, Zhou, Xiang. 2023. meQTL mapping in the GENOA study reveals genetic determinants of DNA methylation in African Americans. Nature Communications 14(1):1-16.
- Lahti, Jari, ..., Jessica Danielle Faul, Jennifer Ann Smith, David R Weir, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2022. Genome-wide meta-analyses reveal novel loci for verbal short-term memory and learning. Molecular Psychiatry [Epub] [Full Text]
- Yunju Yang, ..., Wei Zhao, et al.. 2022. Epigenetic and integrative cross-omics analyses of cerebral white matter hyperintensities on MRI. Brain 146(2):492–506.
- Shweta Ramdas, ..., Wei Zhao, et al.. 2022. A multi-layer functional genomic analysis to understand noncoding genetic variation in lipids. The American Journal of Human Genetics 109(8):1366-1387.
- Lauren L. Schmitz, Wei Zhao, Scott M. Ratliff, Julia Goodwin, Jiacheng Miao, Qiongshi Lu, Xiuqing Guo, Kent D. Taylor, Jingzhong Ding, Yongmei Liu, Morgan Levine, Jennifer Ann Smith. 2022. The Socioeconomic Gradient in Epigenetic Ageing Clocks: Evidence from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and the Health and Retirement Study. Epigenetics 17(6)
- Xiong, Zhuang, Yang, Fei, Li, Mengwei, Ma, Yingke, Wei Zhao, Wang, Guoliang, Li, Zhaohua, Zheng, Xinchang, Zou, Dong, Zong, Wenting, Kang, Hongen, Jia, Yaokai, Li, Rujiao, Zhang, Zhang, Bao, Yiming. 2022. EWAS Open Platform: integrated data, knowledge and toolkit for epigenome-wide association study. Nucleic Acids Research 50(D1):D1004-D1009.
- Yi Zhe Wang, Wei Zhao, Farah Ammous, Yanyi Song, Jiacong Du, Lulu Shang, Scott M. Ratliff, Kari Moore, Kristen M. Kelly, Belinda L. Needham, Ana V. Diez Roux, Yongmei Liu, Kenneth R. Butler, Sharon L. R. Kardia, Bhramar Mukherjee, Xiang Zhou, Jennifer Ann Smith. 2022. DNA Methylation Mediates the Association Between Individual and Neighborhood Social Disadvantage and Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine 9:848768.
- Zhang, Xinman, Ammous, Farah, Lin, Lisha, Ratliff, Scott M., Erin Bakshis Ware, Jessica Danielle Faul, Wei Zhao, Kardia, Sharon L. R., Jennifer Ann Smith. 2022. The Interplay of Epigenetic, Genetic, and Traditional Risk Factors on Blood Pressure: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study. Genes 13(11):1959.
- Chaar, Dima L., Nguyen, Kim, Wang, Yi-Zhe, Ratliff, Scott M., Mosley, Thomas H., Kardia, Sharon L. R., Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao. 2022. SNP-by-CpG Site Interactions in ABCA7 Are Associated with Cognition in Older African Americans. Genes 13(11):2150.
- Gretchen R. B. Saunders, ..., Jessica Danielle Faul, Jennifer Ann Smith, David R Weir, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2022. Genetic diversity fuels gene discovery for tobacco and alcohol use. Nature 612:720-724.
- Li, Xihao, ..., Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2022. Powerful, scalable and resource-efficient meta-analysis of rare variant associations in large whole genome sequencing studies. Nature Genetics 55:154-164.
- Sarah E. Graham, ..., Jessica Danielle Faul, Wei Zhao, David R Weir, et al.. 2021. The power of genetic diversity in genome-wide association studies of lipids. Nature 600(7890):675-679.
- Katherine S. Ruth, ..., Jessica Danielle Faul, Jennifer Ann Smith, David R Weir, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2021. Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing. Nature 596(7872):393-397.
- Mariaelisa Graff, ..., Jessica Danielle Faul, Erin Bakshis Ware, David R Weir, Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2021. Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry. American journal of human genetics 108(4):564-582.
- Bressler, Jan, ..., Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao, Erin Bakshis Ware, et al.. 2021. Association of low-frequency and rare coding variants with information processing speed. Translational Psychiatry 11:613.
- Wen, Jia, ..., Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2021. Transcriptome-Wide Association Study of Blood Cell Traits in African Ancestry and Hispanic/Latino Populations. Genes 12(7):1049.
- Praveen Surendran, Jessica Danielle Faul, Jennifer Ann Smith, David R Weir, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2020. Discovery of rare variants associated with blood pressure regulation through meta-analysis of 1.3 million individuals. Nature genetics 52(12):1314-1332.
- Amy R. Bentley, ..., Jessica Danielle Faul, Erin Bakshis Ware, David R Weir, Jennifer Ann Smith, Wei Zhao, et al.. 2019. Multi-ancestry genome-wide gene-smoking interaction study of 387,272 individuals identifies new loci associated with serum lipids. Nature Genetics 51(4):636-648.