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Yun Li Jason Stein Hongtu Zhu
Pictured clockwise from top left: Yun Li, Jason Stein, Hongtu Zhu

The laboratories of Drs. Yun Li (Professor, Genetics), Jason Stein (Associate Professor, Genetics) and Hongtu Zhu (Professor, Computer Science and Genetics) published a paper titled “Common variants contribute to intrinsic human brain functional networks” in Nature Genetics 2022 Apr 7.

Together with collaborators from around the world and the Biomedical Research Imaging Center at UNC, the authors describe a study of 47,276 resting-state functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) images from individuals to discover and validate common genetic variants influencing intrinsic brain activity.  They identified 45 new genetic regions associated with brain functional signatures, including associations to the central executive, default mode and salience networks involved in the triple-network model of psychopathology, as well as brain activity-associated loci associated with brain disorders (e.g., the APOE e4 locus with Alzheimer’s disease).  Variation in brain function was genetically correlated with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia.