Assistant Professor Foo Jia Nee

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Nanyang Assistant Professor Foo Jia Nee
PhD
National Research Foundation Fellow

Principal Investigator, Genetics and Genomics of Neurological Diseases
Email: jianee.foo@ntu.edu.sg
Website

 
 
Laboratory Staff
  • Ms Pang Ann Giat, Research Assistant
  • Mr Moses Tandiono, Research Associate

 

Introduction

Assistant Professor Foo Jia Nee is a Nanyang Assistant Professor at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). She also has a joint appointment as a Senior Research Scientist (Principal Investigator) at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), A*STAR.

Asst Prof Foo did her Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Biotechnology at Imperial College London and her PhD in Genetics at the Yale University School of Medicine. During her PhD training at Yale with Prof. Richard P. Lifton, she analysed rare coding variants in renal salt handling genes for a role in blood pressure variation and hypertension risk in the Framingham Heart Study cohort. She did her postdoctoral training at the GIS, working with Dr Liu Jianjun on whole-exome sequencing and genome-wide association studies of Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, IgA nephropathy and other rare skin and childhood neurological diseases. She has published over 50 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, including first or co-first authored publications in Nature Genetics, American Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Communications, PLoS Genetics and Nature Reviews Neurology.​

She was one of the recipients of the inaugural A*STAR Biomedical Research Council Young Investigator Grant in 2013, and the prestigious National Research Foundation (NRF) fellowship in 2016.

 
Research Focus
Every person carries coding changes in our DNA that disrupt the function of genes; many of these changes are rare in the population, and some are even unique to us and our relatives. These changes are heritable, naturally-occurring and contribute to our inter-individual differences. Asst Prof Foo’s research aims to identify these changes and use them as “experiments of nature” to gain insights into why some individuals are more susceptible to certain diseases than others. Identifying the underlying causes of such diseases will also help in the identification of new drug targets.
 
Her laboratory is working towards defining the full spectrum of rare and common germline genetic variation responsible for neurological diseases, with a focus on gene-disrupting variants. They are performing a rigorous interrogation of the entire protein coding regions of the human genome in large collections of patients and controls, to identify genes that are recurrently disrupted by germline variants in disease cases but not (or rarely) in controls. In collaboration with overseas brain banks, her team will also investigate the roles of somatic mutations in post-mortem diseased brain tissue, thus exploring an alternative mechanism through which gene-disrupting mutations may underlie a disease.
 
Her research will cover neurodegenerative diseases, childhood neurological diseases, mental health and cognition, and is also open to other genetically-tractable human traits. Newly-identified genes and variants will be followed up functionally and epidemiologically in the lab, in collaboration with other colleagues at LKCMedicine and GIS.
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Selected Publications
  1. Foo JN, Tan LC, Irwan ID, Au WL, Low HQ, Prakash KM, Ahmad-Annuar A, Bei J, Chan AY, Chen CM, Chen YC, Chung SJ, Deng H, Lim SY, Mok V, Pang H, Pei Z, Peng R, Shang HF, Song K, Tan AH, Wu YR, Aung T, Cheng CY, Chew FT, Chew SH, Chong SA, Ebstein RP, Lee J, Saw SM, Seow A, Subramaniam M, Tai ES, Vithana EN, Wong TY, Heng KK, Meah WY, Khor CC, Liu H, Zhang F, Liu J, Tan EK. (2016) Genome-wide association study of Parkinson's disease in East Asians. Hum Mol Genet. 2016 Dec 22 Epub ahead of print
  2. Foo JN, Chung SJ, Tan LC, Liany H, Ryu HS, Hong M, Koh TH, Irwan ID, Au WL, Prakash KM, Aung T, Cheng CY, Chong SA, Khor CC, Lee J, Tai ES, Vithana EN, Wong TY, Song K, Liu J, Tan EK. (2016) Linking a genome-wide association study signal to a LRRK2 coding variant in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. Apr;31(4):484-7
  3. Li M*, Foo JN*, Wang JQ*, Low HQ, Tang XQ, Tok KY, Yin PR, Khor CC, Goh YF, Irwan ID, Xu RC, Andiappan AK, Bei JX, Rotzschke O, Chen MH, Cheng CY, Sun LD, Jiang GR, Wong TY, Lin HL, Aung T, Liao YH, Saw SM, Ye K, Ebstein RP, Chen QK, Shi W, Chew SH, Chen J, Zhang FR, Li SP, Xu G, Tai ES, Wang L, Chen N, Zhang XJ, Zeng  YX, Zhang H, Liu ZH, Yu XQ, Liu JJ. (2015) Identification of new susceptibility loci for IgA nephropathy in Han Chinese.  Nat Commun. 6:7270 *indicates co-first authorship
  4. Siddiqi S*, Foo JN*#, Vu A, Azim S, Silver DL, Mansoor A, Tay SK, Abbasi S, Hashmi AH, Janjua J, Khalid S, Tai ES, Yeo GW, Khor CC. (2014)  A Novel Splice-Site Mutation in ALS2 Establishes the Diagnosis of Juvenile Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in a Family with Early Onset Anarthria and Generalized Dystonias. PLoS One. 9(12):e113258 *indicates co-first authorship # corresponding authorship
  5. Foo JN, Tan LC, Liany H, Koh TH, Irwan ID, Ng YY, Ahmad-Annuar A, Au WL, Aung T, Chan AY, Chong SA, Chung SJ, Jung Y, Khor CC, Kim J, Lee J, Lim SY, Mok V, Prakash KM, Song K, Tai ES, Vithana EN, Wong TY, Tan EK, Liu J. (2014) Analysis of non-synonymous-coding variants of Parkinson's disease-related pathogenic and susceptibility genes in East Asian populations. Hum Mol Genet. 23(14):3891-7
  6. Foo JN*, Smedby KE*, Akers NK, Berglund M, Irwan ID, Jia X, Li Y, Conde L, Darabi H, Bracci PM, Melbye M, Adami HO, Glimelius B, Khor CC, Hjalgrim H, Padyukov L, Humphreys K, Enblad G, Skibola CF, de Bakker PI, Liu J. (2013) Coding Variants at the Hexa-allelic Amino Acid 13 of the HLA-DRB1 Gene Explain Independent SNP Associations with Follicular Lymphoma Risk.  Am J Hum Genet. 93(1):167-72 *indicates co-first authorship
  7. Tan DE*, Foo JN*, Bei JX*, Chang J*, Peng R, Zheng X, Wei L, Huang Y, Lim WY, Li J, Cui Q, Chew SH, Ebstein RP, Kuperan P, Lim ST, Tao M, Tan SH, Wong A, Wong GC, Tan SY, Tan LH, Ng SB, Zeng YX, Khor CC, Lin D, Seow AL, Jia WH, Liu J. (2013) Genome-wide association study of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma identifies 3q27 as a susceptibility locus in the Chinese population. Nat Genet. 45(7):804-7 *indicates co-first authorship.​
  8. Foo JN, Liu JJ, Tan EK (2012) Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing in neurological diseases. Nat Rev Neurol. 8(9): 508-17​
  9. Smedby KE*, Foo JN*, Skibola CF, Darabi H, Conde L, Hjalgrim H, Kumar V, Chang ET, Rothman N, Cerhan JR, Brooks-Wilson AR, Rehnberg E, Irwan ID, Ryder LP, Brown PN, Bracci PM, ​Agana L, Riby J, Cozen W, Davis S, Hartge P, Morton LM, Severson RK, Wang SS, Slager SL, Fredericksen ZS, Novak AJ, Kay NE, Habermann TM, Armstrong B, Kricker A, Milliken S, Purdue MP, Vajdic CM, Boyle P, Lan Q, Zahm SH, Zhang Y, Zheng T, Leach S, Spinelli JJ, Smith MT, Chanock SJ, Padyukov L, Alfredsson L, Klareskog L, Glimelius B, Melbye M, Liu ET, Adami HO, Humphreys K, Liu J. (2011) GWAS of follicular lymphoma reveals allelic heterogeneity at 6p21.32 and suggests shared genetic susceptibility with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. PLoS Genet. 7(4):e1001378. *indicates co-first authorship.
  10. Ji W*, Foo JN*, O’Roak BJ, Zhao H, Larson MG, Simon DB, Newton-Cheh C, State MW, Levy D & Lifton RP.  (2008) Rare independent mutations in renal salt handling genes contribute to blood pressure variation. Nat Genet. 40(5): 592-9.*indicates co-first authorship.​