Lecturer in Genetic Epidemiology
Identifying genetic variants for common disorders
Kirsty Semple Way
+(44) 01382 383419
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 multiple pain phenotypes 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 passed his academic probation.
In 2017, he became a UK Biobank researcher to identify genetic variants for pain phenotypes using 500,000 UK Biobank participants.
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.
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)
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.
Abirami Veluchamy, started 1st December 2015.
- Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC) annual scientific meeting. Dundee. Mar 22nd, 2018.
- European Association for Vision and Eye Research annual conference. Nice, France. Sept 27th -30th, 2017.
- Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC) annual scientific meeting. Dundee. Mar 24th, 2017.
- EUROcleftNET conference. Dundee. June 30th, 2016.
- 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 6th - 9th, 2015.
- IASP 15th World Congress on Pain, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Octo 6th -11th, 2014.
- Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC) annual scientific meeting, Dundee, Mar 27th, 2014.
We have strong links with industries such as Pfizer and GSK.