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
Graduate Group Affiliations

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

Andrews SJ, Fulton-Howard B, O'Reilly P, Marcora E, Goate AM; collaborators of the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium.: Causal Associations Between Modifiable Risk Factors and the Alzheimer's Phenome. Annals of Neurology 89: 54-65, January 2021.

Placek K, Benatar M, Wuu J, Rampersaud E, Hennessy L, Van Deerlin VM, Grossman M, Irwin DJ, Elman L, McCluskey L, Quinn C, Granit V, Statland JM, Burns TM, Ravits J, Swenson A, Katz J, Pioro EP, Jackson C, Caress J, So Y, Maiser S, Walk D, Lee EB, Trojanowski JQ, Cook P, Gee J, Sha J, Naj AC, Rademakers R; CReATe Consortium, Chen W, Wu G, Paul Taylor J, McMillan CT.: Machine learning suggests polygenic risk for cognitive dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. EMBO Molecular Medicine 13: e12595, January 2021.

Kunkle BW, Schmidt M, Klein HU, Naj AC, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Larson EB, Evans DA, De Jager PL, Crane PK, Buxbaum JD, Ertekin-Taner N, Barnes LL, Fallin MD, Manly JJ, Go RCP, Obisesan TO, Kamboh MI, Bennett DA, Hall KS, Goate AM, Foroud TM, Martin ER, Wang LS, Byrd GS, Farrer LA, Haines JL, Schellenberg GD, Mayeux R, Pericak-Vance MA, Reitz C; Writing Group for the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC), Graff-Radford NR, Martinez I, Ayodele T, Logue MW, Cantwell LB, Jean-Francois M, Kuzma AB, Adams LD, Vance JM, Cuccaro ML, Chung J, Mez J, Lunetta KL, Jun GR, Lopez OL, Hendrie HC, Reiman EM, Kowall NW, Leverenz JB, Small SA, Levey AI, Golde TE, Saykin AJ, Starks TD, Albert MS, Hyman BT, Petersen RC, Sano M, Wisniewski T, Vassar R, Kaye JA, Henderson VW, DeCarli C, LaFerla FM, Brewer JB, Miller BL, Swerdlow RH, Van Eldik LJ, Paulson HL, Trojanowski JQ, Chui HC, Rosenberg RN, Craft S, Grabowski TJ, Asthana S, Morris JC, Strittmatter SM, Kukull WA.: Novel Alzheimer Disease Risk Loci and Pathways in African American Individuals Using the African Genome Resources Panel: A Meta-analysis. JAMA Neurology 78: 102-113, January 2021.

Naj AC, Sha J, Zhao Y, Leonenko G, Jian X, Grenier-Boley B, Dalmasso MC, van der Lee SJ, Sims R, Chouraki V, Bis JC, Kuzma A, Kunkle BW, Comic H, Pitsillides A, Xia R, Fulton-Howard B, Holmans P, Dupuis J, Wang L-S, Farrer LA, van Duijn C, Haines JL, DeStefano AL, Pericak-Vance MA, Ramirez A, Amouye P, Lambert J-C, Seshadri S, Williams J, and Schellenberg GD, on behalf of IGAP : Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis of Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (LOAD) in 65,602 Subjects of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, Online/San Diego, CA, USA October 2020.

Vergouw LJM, Melhem S, Donker Kaat L, Chiu WZ, Kuipers DJS, Breedveld G, Boon AJW, Wang LS, Naj AC, Mlynarksi E, Cantwell L, Quadri M, Ross OA, Dickson DW, Schellenberg GD, van Swieten JC, Bonifati V, de Jong FJ.: LRP10 variants in progressive supranuclear palsy. Neurobiology of Aging 94: 311, October 2020.

Greenfest-Allen E, Stoeckert CJ Jr., Wang L-S, Schellenberg GD, Naj AC : Pleiotropy analyses using TADs reveals pathways impacted by AD and stroke risk-associated variants. American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, Online/San Diego, CA, USA October 2020.

Naj AC, Rajabli F, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Kunkle B, Jian X, Wang Y, Peloso GM, Lin H, Sarnowski C, Pitsillides A, Satizabal C, Bush WS, Thornton TA, Wijsman E, Seshadri S, Haines JL, Dupuis J, Byrd GS, Mayeux R, DeStefano AL, Martin ER, Pericak-Vance MA, Fornage M, for the ADSP : Comparative Trans-Ethnic Meta-Analysis of Whole Exome Sequencing Variation for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in 18,402 individuals of the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), Online/Amsterdam, Netherlands July 2020.

Farrell J, Zhu C, Zhang X, Jun G, Naj A, Wang L-S, Mayeux R, Haines JL, Pericak-Vance MA, Schellenberg G, Lunetta KL, Farrer LA: Novel loci for Alzheimer disease identified in ADGC and UK Biobank GWAS datasets imputed with ADSP and TopMed reference panels. Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), Online/Amsterdam, Netherlands July 2020.

Kunkle BW, Bellenguez C, Rodriguez OG, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Jean-Francois M, Naj AC, Wang L, Kuzma AB, Beecham GW, Bush WS, Hohman T, Chung J, Wang L-S, Mayeux R, Haines JL, Farrer LA, Seshadri A, Schellenberg GD, Pericak-Vance MA, Williams J, Fournage M, Lambert J-C, Martin ER, and the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP): Sex-specific genome-wide meta-analysis identifies novel candidate genes for Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), Online/Amsterdam, Netherlands July 2020.

Peloso GM, Wang Y, Lin H, Sarnowski C, Pitsillides A, Lim E, Fornage M, Ramos J, Martin ER, Naj AC, Pericak-Vance MA, Beecham GW, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Thornton TA, Wijsman E, Seshadri S, Haines JL, Dupuis J, DeStefano AL, Kunkle BW, on behalf of the Alzheimer Disease Sequencing Project: Assessing whole genome sequencing variation for Alzheimer’s disease in 4732 individuals from the Alzheimer’s disease Sequencing Project (ADSP). Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), Online/Amsterdam, Netherlands July 2020.

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Last updated: 03/03/2021
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