Faculty

Adam Christian Naj, PhD

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Department: Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Contact information
921 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 746-4180
Fax: (215) 573-1050
Lab: (215) 746-4180
Education:
BA (Biology (Genetics)/Psychology)
University of Chicago, 2000.
PhD (Epidemiology (Human Genetics))
The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2008.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Naj is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics, and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. His research focuses primarily on the genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and neurodegeneration, including his genome-wide association analyses in the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC) which resulted in a first-author paper that was the most cited Alzheimer’s study of 2011. Joining Penn in 2012, Dr. Naj has extended his roles in analysis and data management in the ADGC, and has been actively co-leading quality control and case-control analysis working groups in the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), which has collected data on nearly 600 whole genomes and more than 10,500 whole exomes of AD cases and controls to identify rare risk-increasing and protective genomic variants contributing to AD. Of late his work has included guiding development of a quality control pipeline for next-generation sequence data as part of the Genomic Center on Alzheimer’s Disease (GCAD). Dr. Naj is also one of several Penn co-founders and organizers of the annual Symposium on Advances in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics (SAGES), promoting the development of methods to analyze genomic datasets. He has recently expanded his research portfolio to include studies examining genetic loci contributing to multiple neurodegenerative diseases and phenotypes including AD, Parkinson’s disease, and progressive supranuclear palsy, among others, aspiring to identify key genetic contributors to the pathologies underlying neurodgeneration.

Selected Publications

Wang H, Chang TS, Dombroski BA, Cheng PL, Patil V, Valiente-Banuet L, Farrell K, Mclean C, Molina-Porcel L, Rajput A, De Deyn PP, Bastard NL, Gearing M, Kaat LD, Van Swieten JC, Dopper E, Ghetti BF, Newell KL, Troakes C, de Yébenes JG, Rábano-Gutierrez A, Meller T, Oertel WH, Respondek G, Stamelou M, Arzberger T, Roeber S, Müller U, Hopfner F, Pastor P, Brice A, Durr A, Ber IL, Beach TG, Serrano GE, Hazrati LN, Litvan I, Rademakers R, Ross OA, Galasko D, Boxer AL, Miller BL, Seeley WW, Van Deerlin VM, Lee EB, White CL, Morris H, de Silva R, Crary JF, Goate AM, Friedman JS, Leung YY, Coppola G, Naj AC, Wang LS; PSP genetics study group; Dickson DW, Höglinger GU, Schellenberg GD, Geschwind DH, Lee WP.: Whole-Genome Sequencing Analysis Reveals New Susceptibility Loci and Structural Variants Associated with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. medRxiv January 2024.

Leung YY, Naj AC, Chou YF, Valladares O, Schmidt M, Hamilton-Nelson K, Wheeler N, Lin H, Gangadharan P, Qu L, Clark K, Kuzma AB, Lee WP, Cantwell L, Nicaretta H; Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project; Haines J, Farrer L, Seshadri S, Brkanac Z, Cruchaga C, Pericak-Vance M, Mayeux RP, Bush WS, Destefano A, Martin E, Schellenberg GD, Wang LS: Human Whole-Exome Genotype Data for Alzheimer's Disease. Nature Communications 15: 684, January 2024.

Farrell K, Humphrey J, Chang T, Zhao Y, Leung YY, Kuksa PP, Patil V, Lee W-P, Kuzma AB, Valladares O, Cantwell LB, Wang H, Ravi A, De Sanctis C, Han N, Christie TD, Whitney K, Krassner MM, Walsh H, Kim SH, Dangoor D, Iida MA, Casella A, Walker RH, Nirenberg MJ, Renton AE, Babrowicz B, Coppola G, Raj T, Höglinger GU, Golbe LI, Morris HR, Hardy J, Revesz T, Warner TT, Jaunmuktane Z, Mok KY, Rademakers R, Dickson DW, Ross OA, Wang L-S, Goate A, Schellenberg G, Geschwind DH, PSP Genetics Study Group, Crary JF, Naj A: Genetic, transcriptomic, histological, and biochemical analysis of progressive supranuclear palsy implicates glial activation and novel risk genes. bioRxiv November 2023 Notes: doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.11.09.565552.

Eissman JM, Archer DB, Mukherjee S, Lee ML, Choi SE, Scollard P, Trittschuh EH, Mez JB, Bush WS, Kunkle BW, Naj AC, Gifford KA; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) | Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC) | The Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP); Cuccaro ML, Cruchaga C, Pericak-Vance MA, Farrer LA, Wang LS, Schellenberg GD, Mayeux RP, Haines JL, Jefferson AL, Kukull WA, Keene CD, Saykin AJ, Thompson PM, Martin ER, Bennett DA, Barnes LL, Schneider JA, Crane PK, Hohman TJ, Dumitrescu L.: Sex-specific genetic architecture of late-life memory performance. Alzheimer's & Dementia November 2023 Notes: Online ahead of print; DOI: 10.1002/alz.13507.

Archer DB, Eissman JM, Mukherjee S, Lee ML, Choi SE, Scollard P, Trittschuh EH, Mez JB, Bush WS, Kunkle BW, Naj AC, Gifford KA; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI); Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC); Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP); Cuccaro ML, Pericak-Vance MA, Farrer LA, Wang LS, Schellenberg GD, Mayeux RP, Haines JL, Jefferson AL, Kukull WA, Keene CD, Saykin AJ, Thompson PM, Martin ER, Bennett DA, Barnes LL, Schneider JA, Crane PK, Dumitrescu L, Hohman TJ.: Longitudinal change in memory performance as a strong endophenotype for Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's & Dementia November 2023 Notes: Online ahead of print; DOI: 10.1002/alz.13508.

Zhang X, Gomez L, Below J, Naj A, Martin E, Kunkle B, Bush WS.: An X Chromosome Transcriptome Wide Association Study Implicates ARMCX6 in Alzheimer's Disease. bioRxiv October 2023.

Lee WP, Choi SH, Shea MG, Cheng PL, Dombroski BA, Pitsillides AN, Heard-Costa NL, Wang H, Bulekova K, Kuzma AB, Leung YY, Farrell JJ, Lin H, Naj A, Blue EE, Nusetor F, Wang D, Boerwinkle E, Bush WS, Zhang X, De Jager PL, Dupuis J, Farrer LA, Fornage M, Martin E, Pericak-Vance M, Seshadri S, Wijsman EM, Wang LS, Schellenberg GD, Destefano AL, Haines JL, Peloso GM.: Association of Common and Rare Variants with Alzheimer's Disease in over 13,000 Diverse Individuals with Whole-Genome Sequencing from the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project. medRxiv September 2023.

Katsumata Y, Fardo DW, Shade LMP; Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium; Nelson PT.: LATE-NC risk alleles (in TMEM106B, GRN, and ABCC9 genes) among persons with African ancestry. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 82: 760-768, August 2023.

Rajabli F, Benchek P, Tosto G, Kushch N, Sha J, Bazemore K, Zhu C, Lee WP, Haut J, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Wheeler NR, Zhao Y, Farrell JJ, Grunin MA, Leung YY, Kuksa PP, Li D, Lucio da Fonseca E, Mez JB, Palmer EL, Pillai J, Sherva RM, Song YE, Zhang X, Iqbal T, Pathak O, Valladares O, Kuzma AB, Abner E, Adams PM, Aguirre A, Albert MS, Albin RL, Allen M, Alvarez L, Apostolova LG, Arnold SE, Asthana S, Atwood CS, Ayres G, Baldwin CT, Barber RC, Barnes LL, Barral S, Beach TG, Becker JT, Beecham GW, Beekly D, Benitez BA, Bennett D, Bertelson J, Bird TD, Blacker D, Boeve BF, Bowen JD, Boxer A, Brewer J, Burke JR, Burns JM, Buxbaum JD, Cairns NJ, Cantwell LB, Cao C, Carlson CS, Carlsson CM, Carney RM, Carrasquillo MM, Chasse S, Chesselet MF, Chin NA, Chui HC, Chung J, Craft S, Crane PK, Cribbs DH, Crocco EA, Cruchaga C, Cuccaro ML, Cullum M, Darby E, Davis B, De Jager PL, DeCarli C, DeToledo J, Dick M, Dickson DW, Dombroski BA, Doody RS, Duara R, Ertekin-Taner N, Evans DA, Faber KM, Fairchild TJ, Fallon KB, Fardo DW, Farlow MR, Fernandez-Hernandez V, Ferris S, Foroud TM, Frosch MP, Fulton-Howard B, Galasko DR, Gamboa A, Gearing M, Geschwind DH, Ghetti B, Gilbert JR, Goate AM, Grabowski TJ, Graff-Radford NR, Green RC, Growdon JH, Hakonarson H, Hall J, Hamilton RL, Harari O, Hardy J, Harrell LE, Head E, Henderson VW, Hernandez M, Hohman T, Honig LS, Huebinger RM, Huentelman MJ, Hulette CM, Hyman BT, Hynan LS, Ibanez L, Jarvik GP, Jayadev S, Jin LW, Johnson K, Johnson L, Kamboh MI, Karydas AM, Katz MJ, Kauwe JS, Kaye JA, Keene CD, Khaleeq A, Kim R, Knebl J, Kowall NW, Kramer JH, Kukull WA, LaFerla FM, Lah JJ, Larson EB, Lerner A, Leverenz JB, Levey AI, Lieberman AP, Lipton RB, Logue M, Lopez OL, Lunetta KL, Lyketsos CG, Mains D, Margaret FE, Marson DC, Martin ERR, Martiniuk F, Mash DC, Masliah E, Massman P, Masurkar A, McCormick WC, McCurry SM, McDavid AN, McDonough S, McKee AC, Mesulam M, Miller BL, Miller CA, Miller JW, Montine TJ, Monuki ES, Morris JC, Mukherjee S, Myers AJ, Nguyen T, O'Bryant S, Olichney JM, Ory M, Palmer R, Parisi JE, Paulson HL, Pavlik V, Paydarfar D, Perez V, Peskind E, Petersen RC, Pierce A, Polk M, Poon WW, Potter H, Qu L, Quiceno M, Quinn JF, Raj A, Raskind M, Reiman EM, Reisberg B, Reisch JS, Ringman JM, Roberson ED, Rodriguear M, Rogaeva E, Rosen HJ, Rosenberg RN, Royall DR, Sager MA, Sano M, Saykin AJ, Schneider JA, Schneider LS, Seeley WW, Slifer SH, Small S, Smith AG, Smith JP, Sonnen JA, Spina S, St George-Hyslop P, Stern RA, Stevens AB, Strittmatter SM, Sultzer D, Swerdlow RH, Tanzi RE, Tilson JL, Trojanowski JQ, Troncoso JC, Tsuang DW, Van Deerlin VM, van Eldik LJ, Vance JM, Vardarajan BN, Vassar R, Vinters HV, Vonsattel JP, Weintraub S, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Whitehead PL, Wijsman EM, Wilhelmsen KC, Williams B, Williamson J, Wilms H, Wingo TS, Wisniewski T, Woltjer RL, Woon M, Wright CB, Wu CK, Younkin SG, Yu CE, Yu L, Zhu X, Kunkle BW, Bush WS, Wang LS, Farrer LA, Haines JL, Mayeux R, Pericak-Vance MA, Schellenberg GD, Jun GR, Reitz C, Naj AC.: Multi-ancestry genome-wide meta-analysis of 56,241 individuals identifies LRRC4C, LHX5-AS1 and nominates ancestry-specific loci PTPRK , GRB14 , and KIAA0825 as novel risk loci for Alzheimer's disease: the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium. medRxiv July 2023.

Walters S, Contreras AG, Eissman JM, Mukherjee S, Lee ML, Choi SE, Scollard P, Trittschuh EH, Mez JB, Bush WS, Kunkle BW, Naj AC, Peterson A, Gifford KA, Cuccaro ML, Cruchaga C, Pericak-Vance MA, Farrer LA, Wang LS, Haines JL, Jefferson AL, Kukull WA, Keene CD, Saykin AJ, Thompson PM, Martin ER, Bennett DA, Barnes LL, Schneider JA, Crane PK, Hohman TJ, Dumitrescu L; Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium, and Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project.: Associations of Sex, Race, and Apolipoprotein E Alleles With Multiple Domains of Cognition Among Older Adults. JAMA Neurology 80(9): 929-939, July 2023.

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Last updated: 02/12/2024
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