Dr. Weihua Meng

Lecturer in Genetic Epidemiology

Identifying genetic variants for common disorders

Address:

Mackenzie Building
Kirsty Semple Way
Ninewells Hospital
Dundee
DD2 4BF

Phone Number:

+(44) 01382 383419

Email Address:

w.meng@dundee.ac.uk

Biography

Dr Weihua Meng is a lecturer in Genetic Epidemiology in the Division of Population Health Sciences since 2013.

He received his clinical and laboratory training from 1997 to 2005 at Zhejiang University, China. In 2008, he was awarded a PhD degree in Human Genetics after 3 years working with Prof Pascal McKeown, Prof Frank Kee and Prof Anne Hughes in the Queen’s University Belfast. With the rising of genome-wide association studies, he participated in the MYEUROPIA project led by Prof Patrick Calvas and Prof Francois Malecaze in the INSERM, France where he received further training in Genetic Statistics. In 2011, he came back to Belfast to identify genetic mutations for rare disorders using knowledge on bioinformatics of next generation sequencing.

He is currently working with Prof Blair Smith to locate genes for chronic pain using genome-wide association methods. Meanwhile, he still contributes to reveal genes for multiple eye phenotypes such as myopia and diabetic retinopathy with Prof Colin Palmer.

In 2015, He joined the DOLORisk project: Understanding risk factors and determinants for neuropathic pain (Horizon 2020) as a coPI.

In 2016, he was appointed as a leader for research-led teaching for the Division.

In 2016, he was granted permanent residentship within two hours for his unique expertise in human micro-evolution.

In 2017, he became a UK Biobank researcher to identify genetic variants for pain phenotypes using 500,000 UK Biobank participants.

Research

Dr Weihua Meng’s main research interest is to identify the genetic determinants of common complex disorders, which are normally affected by both environmental and genetic factors, such as high myopia and neuropathic pain. Using neuropathic pain as an example, satisfactory relief is only achieved in less than 30% of these patients, with consequent significant detriment to the quality of life of the remaining individuals. Once his work through genome-wide association studies find that variants in certain genes are associated with this disorder, it will confirm hypothesised pathways of pain mechanisms or suggest new ones, and provide possible drug targets for pain treatment, with potential patient benefit.

At the moment, he is datamining two datasets, the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research Tayside (GoDARTS) and Generation Scotland (GS), to find variants that are associated with pain.

Grants:

1.            Meng W (PI). Tenovus small grant. £15,000. A genome-wide association study to identify genetic contributors for diabetic retinopathy. 2016.03.01-2017.02.28.

2.            Meng W (PI) and Smith B. Anonymous trust. £10,000. Genome-wide association study of chronic pain using data from Generation Scotland: the Scottish Family Health Study. 2014.07.01-2015.07.01.

3.            Meng W (PI), Smith B, Hocking L and Hayward C. Pfizer £84,600. Genetics of Chronic Pain:  a meta-data analysis of Generation Scotland and 23&me Genome wide association studies. 2014.11.01-2015.06.01 (50% academic contribution)

4.            Palmer C, Kennedy G, Meng W. GSK. £ 90,042. The association between lp-PLA2 and diabetic retinopathy.  2014.07-2014.12.31 (30% academic contribution)

5.            Smith B, Palmer C, Meng W and collaborators from all over European. Horizon 2020. £600,000 to Dundee. DOLORisk: Understanding risk factors and determinants for neuropathic pain. (2015.07.01-2019.06.30) (25% academic contribution)

Publications

  1. A genome-wide association study suggested that the mitogen-activated protein kinase 14 gene (MAPK14) is associated with diabetic foot ulcer. British Journal of Dermatology. Meng W, A Veluchamy, HL Hébert, A.Campbell, HM Colhoun, CNA Palmer. 2017 Jul 3. doi: 10.1111/bjd.15787. [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Cohort Profile: Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (GoDARTS). Harry L Hébert, Bridget Shepherd, Keith Milburn, Abirami Veluchamy, Weihua Meng , Fiona Carr , Louise A Donnelly , Roger Tavendale , Graham Leese , Helen M Colhoun, Ellie Dow , Andrew D Morris , Alexander S Doney , Chim C Lang, Ewan R Pearson, Blair H Smith , Colin N A Palmer*. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2017 Sep 7. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyx140. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Genetic and environmental risk for chronic pain and the contribution of risk variants for major depressive disorder: a family-based mixed-model analysis. McIntosh A,…Meng W (19/21),… Hocking L. PLOS Medicine. PLoS Med. 2016;13:e1002090.
  4. Sequence and expression of complement factor H gene cluster variants and their roles in age-related macular degeneration risk. Hughes AE, Bridgett S, Meng W, Li M, Curcio CA, Stambolian D, Bradley DT. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016;57:2763-2769.
  5. A genome-wide association study provides new evidence that CACNA1C gene is associated with diabetic cataract. Chang C, Zhang K, Veluchamy A, Hébert HL, Looker HC, Colhoun HM, Palmer CNA, Meng W. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016;57:2246-2250.
  6. A Genome-wide Association Study Provides Evidence of Sex-specific Involvement of Chr1p35.1 (ZSCAN20-TLR12P) and Chr8p23.1 (HMGB1P46) With Diabetic Neuropathic Pain. Meng W, Deshmukh HA, Donnelly LA; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2); Surrogate Markers for Micro- and Macro-Vascular Hard Endpoints for Innovative Diabetes Tools (SUMMIT) Study Group, Colhoun HM, Palmer CN, Smith BH. EBioMedicine. 2015;2:1386-1393.
  7. Rare CFH mutations and early-onset age-related macular degeneration. Hughes AE, Meng W, Bridgett S, Bradley D. Acta Ophthalmologica. 2016;94:247-248.
  8. Directional dominance on stature and cognition in diverse human populations. Joshi P,……Meng W(70/350), ……Wilson J. Nature. 2015;523:459-462.
  9. A genome-wide association study suggests an association of Chr8p21.3 (GFRA2) with diabetic neuropathic pain. Meng W, Deshmukh HA, van Zuydam NR, Liu Y, Donnelly LA, Zhou K; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2); Surrogate Markers for Micro- and Macro-Vascular Hard Endpoints for Innovative Diabetes Tools (SUMMIT) Study Group, Morris AD, Colhoun HM, Palmer CN, Smith BH. Eur J Pain. 2015;19(3):392-9.
  10. Whole Exome Sequencing Identifies a Mutation for a Novel Form of Hereditary Benign Intraepithelial Dyskeratosis. Soler VJ, Tran-Viet KN, Galiacy SD, Limviphuvadh V, Klemm TP, St Germain E, Fournié PR, Guillaud C, Maurer-Stroh S, Hawthorne F, Suarez C, Kantelip B, Afshari NA, Creveaux I, Luo X, Meng W, Calvas P, Cassagne M, Arné JL, Rozen SG, Malecaze F, Young TL. J Med Genet. 2013;50:245-254.
  11. A genome-wide association study provides evidence for association of chromosome 8p23 (MYP10) and 10q21.1 (MYP15) with high myopia in the French population. Meng W, Butterwrth J, Soler V, Bradley D, Hughes A, Calvas P, Malecaze F. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:7983-7988. (top 10% in Ophthalmology)
  12. A novel GUCY2D mutation, V933A, causes central areolar choroidal dystrophy. Hughes AE, Meng W, Lotery A, Bradley D. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012;53:4748-4753.
  13. Genetic Factors for Choroidal Neovascularization Associated with High Myopia. Leveziel N, Yu Y, Reynolds R, Tai A, Meng W, Caillaux V, Calvas P, Rosner B, Malecaze F, Souied EH, Seddon JM. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012:53:5004-5009.
  14. Macular degeneration genetics. Bradley D, Meng W, Huges AE. Ophthalmology. 2012;119:1287-1288.
  15. Myopia and iris colour: A possible connection? Meng W, Butterworth J, Calvas P, Malecaze F. Med Hypotheses. 2012:78:778-780.
  16. A linear regression model to differentiate axial myopia from non-axial myopia. Meng W, Butterworth J, Malecaze F, Calvas P. Ophthalmic Genet. 2012;33:53-55.
  17. Axial length of myopia: a review of current research. Meng W, Butterworth J, Malecaze F, Calvas P. Ophthalmologica. 2011;225:127-134.
  18. Characterization of the biometric eye profile of a high myopic population: does high myopia correspond to a homogenous phenotype? Auriol S, Butterworth J, Mace M, Meng W, Malecaze F. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2011;34:217-228.
  19. Axial length: an underestimated endophenotype of myopia. Meng W, Butterworth J, Malecaze F, Calvas P. Med Hypotheses. 2010;74:252-253.
  20. Variants in the nestin gene and coronary heart disease. Meng W, Patterson CC, Belton C, Hughes A, McKeown PP. Circ J. 2008 ;72:1538-1539.
  21. Chromosome 9p21.3 is associated with early-onset coronary heart disease in the Irish population.  Meng W, Hughes A, Patterson CC, Belton C, Kee F, McKeown PP. Disease Markers. 2008:25;81-85.
  22. Genetic variants of complement factor H gene are not associated with premature coronary heart disease: a family-based study in the Irish population. Meng W, Hughes A, Patterson CC, Belton C, Kamaruddin MS, Horan PG, Kee F, McKeown PP. BMC Med Genet. 2007; 8: 62.
  23. Polymorphism of angiotensin converting enzyme in Han populations and its relevance to the severity of coronary atherosclerosis. Shi YP, Meng W, Shan J, Fu GS, Xu G. Zhejiang Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2006; 35:287-291.

 

 

 

Teaching

Annually invited lectures on Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for undergraduate medical students in the Queen’s University Belfast (invited by Prof Chris Patterson from Centre for Public Health)

Contribute to the teaching of Master of Public Health programme in Dundee.

He supervises one PhD student (as a co-supervisor) and two MSc students (as a main supervisor) and one MPH student for a dissertation (as a main supervisor) in 2015/2016.

He starts to supervise two MSc students (as a main supervisor) in 2016/2017.

PhD Supervision

Abirami Veluchamy, started 1st December 2015.

Conferences

  • Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC) annual scientific meeting. Dundee. Mar 18th, 2016.
  • NADEGS annual conference (GP and NHS education for Scotland). Carnoustie, Scotland. Jan 21st -22nd, 2016.
  • European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG), Glasgow, June 6 - 9th, 2015. 
  • IASP 15th World Congress on Pain, Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 6th -11th, 2014.
  • Speaker: Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC) annual scientific meeting, Dundee, March 27th, 2014.

Impact

We have strong links with industries such as Pfizer and GSK.