Adam Christian Naj, PhD

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

Contact information
229 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

Deming Yuetiva, Dumitrescu Logan, Barnes Lisa L, Thambisetty Madhav, Kunkle Brian, Gifford Katherine A, Bush William S, Chibnik Lori B, Mukherjee Shubhabrata, De Jager Philip L, Kukull Walter, Huentelman Matt, Crane Paul K, Resnick Susan M, Keene C Dirk, Montine Thomas J, Schellenberg Gerard D, Haines Jonathan L, Zetterberg Henrik, Blennow Kaj, Larson Eric B, Johnson Sterling C, Albert Marilyn, Moghekar Abhay, Del Aguila Jorge L, Fernandez Maria Victoria, Budde John, Hassenstab Jason, Fagan Anne M, Riemenschneider Matthias, Petersen Ronald C, Minthon Lennart, Chao Michael J, Van Deerlin Vivianna M, Lee Virginia M-Y, Shaw Leslie M, Trojanowski John Q, Peskind Elaine R, Li Gail, Davis Lea K, Sealock Julia M, Cox Nancy J, Goate Alison M, Bennett David A, Schneider Julie A, Jefferson Angela L, Cruchaga Carlos, Hohman Timothy J: Sex-specific genetic predictors of Alzheimer's disease biomarkers. Acta neuropathologica Jul 2018.

Naj Adam C, Lin Honghuang, Vardarajan Badri N, White Simon, Lancour Daniel, Ma Yiyi, Schmidt Michael, Sun Fangui, Butkiewicz Mariusz, Bush William S, Kunkle Brian W, Malamon John, Amin Najaf, Choi Seung Hoan, Hamilton-Nelson Kara L, van der Lee Sven J, Gupta Namrata, Koboldt Daniel C, Saad Mohamad, Wang Bowen, Nato Alejandro Q, Sohi Harkirat K, Kuzma Amanda, Wang Li-San, Adrienne Cupples L, van Duijn Cornelia, Seshadri Sudha, Schellenberg Gerard D, Boerwinkle Eric, Bis Joshua C, Dupuis Josée, Salerno William J, Wijsman Ellen M, Martin Eden R, DeStefano Anita L: Quality control and integration of genotypes from two calling pipelines for whole genome sequence data in the Alzheimer's disease sequencing project. Genomics May 2018.

Vardarajan Badri N, Barral Sandra, Jaworski James, Beecham Gary W, Blue Elizabeth, Tosto Giuseppe, Reyes-Dumeyer Dolly, Medrano Martin, Lantigua Rafael, Naj Adam, Thornton Timothy, DeStefano Anita, Martin Eden, Wang Li-San, Brown Lisa, Bush William, van Duijn Cornelia, Goate Allison, Farrer Lindsay, Haines Jonathan L, Boerwinkle Eric, Schellenberg Gerard, Wijsman Ellen, Pericak-Vance Margaret A, Mayeux Richard, Wang Li-San: Whole genome sequencing of Caribbean Hispanic families with late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Annals of clinical and translational neurology 5(4): 406-417, April 2018.

Lancour Daniel, Naj Adam, Mayeux Richard, Haines Jonathan L, Pericak-Vance Margaret A, Schellenberg Gerard D, Crovella Mark, Farrer Lindsay A, Kasif Simon: One for all and all for One: Improving replication of genetic studies through network diffusion. PLoS Genetics 14(4): e1007306, April 2018.

Blue Elizabeth E, Bis Joshua C, Dorschner Michael O, Tsuang Debby W, Barral Sandra M, Beecham Gary, Below Jennifer E, Bush William S, Butkiewicz Mariusz, Cruchaga Carlos, DeStefano Anita, Farrer Lindsay A, Goate Alison, Haines Jonathan, Jaworski Jim, Jun Gyungah, Kunkle Brian, Kuzma Amanda, Lee Jenny J, Lunetta Kathryn L, Ma Yiyi, Martin Eden, Naj Adam, Nato Alejandro Q, Navas Patrick, Nguyen Hiep, Reitz Christiane, Reyes Dolly, Salerno William, Schellenberg Gerard D, Seshadri Sudha, Sohi Harkirat, Thornton Timothy A, Valadares Otto, van Duijn Cornelia, Vardarajan Badri N, Wang Li-San, Boerwinkle Eric, Dupuis Josée, Pericak-Vance Margaret A, Mayeux Richard, Wijsman Ellen M: Genetic Variation in Genes Underlying Diverse Dementias May Explain a Small Proportion of Cases in the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders 45(1): 1-17, February 2018.

Teslovich Tanya M, Kim Daniel Seung, Yin Xianyong, Stancáková Alena, Jackson Anne U, Wielscher Matthias, Naj Adam, Perry John R B, Huyghe Jeroen R, Stringham Heather M, Davis James P, Raulerson Chelsea K, Welch Ryan P, Fuchsberger Christian, Locke Adam E, Sim Xueling, Chines Peter S, Narisu Narisu, Kangas Antti J, Soininen Pasi, Ala-Korpela Mika, Gudnason Vilmundur, Musani Solomon K, Jarvelin Marjo-Riitta, Schellenberg Gerard D, Speliotes Elizabeth K, Kuusisto Johanna, Collins Francis S, Boehnke Michael, Laakso Markku, Mohlke Karen L: Identification of seven novel loci associated with amino acid levels using single variant and gene-based tests in 8,545 Finnish men from the METSIM study. Human molecular genetics 27(9): 1664-1674, February 2018.

Mukherjee Shubhabrata, Russell Joshua C, Carr Daniel T, Burgess Jeremy D, Allen Mariet, Serie Daniel J, Boehme Kevin L, Kauwe John S K, Naj Adam C, Fardo David W, Dickson Dennis W, Montine Thomas J, Ertekin-Taner Nilufer, Kaeberlein Matt R, Crane Paul K: Systems biology approach to late-onset Alzheimer's disease genome-wide association study identifies novel candidate genes validated using brain expression data and Caenorhabditis elegans experiments. Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 13(10): 1133-1142, October 2017.

Rehker Jan, Rodhe Johanna, Nesbitt Ryan R, Boyle Evan A, Martin Beth K, Lord Jenny, Karaca Ilker, Naj Adam, Jessen Frank, Helisalmi Seppo, Soininen Hilkka, Hiltunen Mikko, Ramirez Alfredo, Scherer Martin, Farrer Lindsay A, Haines Jonathan L, Pericak-Vance Margaret A, Raskind Wendy H, Cruchaga Carlos, Schellenberg Gerard D, Joseph Bertrand, Brkanac Zoran: Caspase-8, association with Alzheimer's Disease and functional analysis of rare variants. PloS one 12(10): e0185777, October 2017.

Beecham Gary W, Bis J C, Martin E R, Choi S-H, DeStefano A L, van Duijn C M, Fornage M, Gabriel S B, Koboldt D C, Larson D E, Naj A C, Psaty B M, Salerno W, Bush W S, Foroud T M, Wijsman E, Farrer L A, Goate A, Haines J L, Pericak-Vance Margaret A, Boerwinkle E, Mayeux R, Seshadri S, Schellenberg G: The Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project: Study design and sample selection. Neurology. Genetics 3(5): e194, Oct 2017.

Sims R*, van der Lee SJ*, Naj AC*, Bellenguez C*, Badarinarayan N, Jakobsdottir J, Kunkle BW, Boland A, Raybould R, Bis JC, Martin ER, Grenier-Boley B, Heilmann-Heimbach S, Chouraki V, Partch A, Sleegers K, Vronskaya M, Ruiz A, Graham RR, Olaso R, Hoffmann P, Grove ML, Vardarajan BN, Hiltunen M, Nöthen MM, White CC, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Epelbaum J, Maier W, Choi S-H, Beecham GW, Dulary C, Herms S, Smith AV, Funk CC, Derbois C, Forstner AJ, Ahmad S, Li H, Bacq D, Harold D, Satizabal CL, Valladares O, Squassina A, Thomas R, Brody JA, Qu L, Sanchez-Juan P, Morgan T, Wolters FJ, Zhao Y, Garcia FS, Denning N, Fornage M, Malamon J, Naranjo MCD, Majounie E, Mosley TH, Dombroski B, Wallon D, Lupton MK, Dupuis J, Whitehead PL, Fratiglioni L, Medway C, Jian X, Mukherjee S, Keller L, Brown K, Lin H, Cantwell LB, Panza F, McGuinness B, Moreno-Grau S, Burgess JD, Solfrizzi V, Proitsi P, Adams HH, Allen M, Seripa D, Pastor P, Cupples LA, Price ND, Hannequin D, Frank-García A, Levy D, Chakrabarty P, Caffarra P, Giegling I, Beiser AS, Giedraitis V, Hampel H, Garcia ME, Wang X, Lannfelt L, Mecocci P, Eiriksdottir G, Crane PK, Pasquier F, Boccardi V, Henández I, Barber RC, Scherer M, Tarraga L, Adams PM, Leber M, Chen Y, Albert MS, Riedel-Heller S, Emilsson V, Beekly D, Braae A, Schmidt R, Blacker D, Masullo C, Schmidt H, Doody RS, Spalletta G, Longstreth Jr WT, Fairchild TJ, Bossù P, Lopez OL, Frosch MP, Sacchinelli E, Ghetti B, Sánchez-Juan P, Yang Q, Huebinger RM, Jessen F, Li S, Kamboh MI, Morris J, Sotolongo-Grau O, Katz MJ, Corcoran C, Himali JJ, Keene CD, Tschanz J, Fitzpatrick AL, Kukull WA, Norton M, Aspelund T, Larson EB, Munger R, Rotter JI, Lipton RB, Bullido MJ, Hofman A, Montine TJ, Coto E, Boerwinkle E, Petersen RC, Alvarez V, Rivadeneira F, Reiman EM, Gallo M, O’Donnell CJ, Reisch JS, Bruni AC, Royall DR, Dichgans M, Sano M, Galimberti D, St George-Hyslop P, Scarpini E, Tsuang DW, Mancuso M, Wendland JR, Bonuccelli U, Winslow AR, Daniele A, Wu C-K, GERAD/PERADES, CHARGE, ADGC, EADI, Peters O, Nacmias B, Riemenschneider M, Heun R, Brayne C, Rubinsztein DC, Bras J, Guerreiro R, Hardy J, Al-Chalabi A, Shaw CE, Collinge J, Mann D, Tsolaki M, Clarimón J, Sussams R, Lovestone S, O'Donovan MC, Owen MJ, Behrens TW, Mead S, Goate AM, Uitterlinden AG, Holmes C, Cruchaga C, Ingelsson M, Bennett DA, Powell J, Golde TE, Graff C, De Jager PL, Morgan K, Ertekin-Taner N, Cambarros O, Psaty BM, Passmore P, Younkin SG, Berr C, Gudnason V, Rujescu D, Dickson DW, Dartigues J-F, DeStefano AL, Ortega-Cubero S, Hakonarson H, Campion D, Boada M, Kauwe JSK, Farrer LA, Van Broeckhoven C, Ikram MA, Jones L, Haines JL, Tzourio C, Launer LJ, Escott-Price V, Mayeux RP, Deleuze J-F, Amin N, Holmans PA, Pericak-Vance MA, Amouyel P, van Duijn CM, Ramirez A, Wang L-S, Lambert J-C, Seshadri S, Williams J, Schellenberg GD (*co-first authors): Novel rare coding variants in PLCG2, ABI3 and TREM2 implicate microglial-mediated innate immunity in Alzheimer’s disease. Nature Genetics (in press) September 2017.

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Last updated: 05/15/2018
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