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Hao Yang Tan, M.D. is a Lead Investigator at the Lieber Institute. His work aims to understand the genetic and environmental mechanisms underlying dysfunctional information processing in brain networks relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders. He engages in multidisciplinary investigative strategies, including neuroimaging, machine learning, environmental science and genomics, in human and clinical populations, and in postmortem brain tissue.

A recent focus has been in defining, at the level of human genetic brain mechanisms, the impact of major climate and environmental change. He and his team collected and characterized special populations experiencing large changes in urbanization and exposure to environmental pollution. Leveraging functional MRI, machine learning and advanced network modeling of brain function, they studied how these exposures and psychiatric risk-associated gene networks impacted human brain function, cognition and mood regulation, and how environmental impacts upon in-vivo human brain functional networks also were reflected in the expression of the same gene networks across the same brain regions in post-mortem brain tissue. Gene networks engaged in neuroimmune, cell survival and mitochondrial function were implicated. Ongoing work aims to define further causal brain mechanisms, and potential drug and other mitigation strategies of environmental stress and climate change on neuropsychiatric risk across the lifespan.

Dr. Tan obtained his medical degree and psychiatric residency training from the National University of Singapore. He completed postdoctoral training in neuroimaging and genetics at the NIMH. He is board certified in psychiatry from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He was the recipient of the American Psychiatric Association – AstraZeneca Young Minds in Psychiatry Award, and the NIMH Seymour S Kety Memorial Fellowship Award. His research is funded in part by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation China.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Z Li, H Yan, X Zhang, S Shah, G Yang, Q Chen, S Han, D Zhang, DR Weinberger, W Yue, HY Tan. Air pollution interacts with genetic risk to influence cortical networks implicated in depression. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences 2021; 118 (46) e2109310118.

X Zhang, H Yan, H Yu, X Zhao, S Shah, Z Dong, G Yang, X Zhang, Q Chen, J Li, S Jiang, T Muse, J Liao, Y Zhang, W Yue, DR Weinberger, D Zhang, HY Tan. Childhood urbanization affects prefrontal responses to trait anxiety and polygenic risk for depression. Translational Psychiatry 2021; 11: 522.

J Zhou, Q Chen, PR Braun, KAP Mandell, AE Jaffe, HY Tan, TM Hyde, JE Kleinman, JB Potash, G Shinozaki, DR Weinberger, S Han. Deep learning predicts DNA methylation regulatory variants in human brain and elucidates the genetics of psychiatric disorders. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences 2022 (In press).

D Greenman, M La, S Shah, Q Chen, KF Berman, DR Weinberger, HY Tan. Parietal–prefrontal feedforward connectivity in association with schizophrenia genetic risk and delusions. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2020; 177(12): 1151-8. PMID: 32456505 (Accompanying scientific commentary: K Friston, Bayesian dysconnections. American Journal of Psychiatry 2020; 177(12):1110-2).

CM Kaplan, D Saha, JL Molina, W Hockeimer, E Postell, JA Apud, DR Weinberger, HY Tan. Estimating changing contexts in schizophrenia. Brain 2016; 139: 2082-95. PMID 27217338 (Accompanying scientific commentary: KE Stephan, AO Diaconescu, S Iglesias. Bayesian inference, dysconnectivity and neuromodulation in schizophrenia. Brain 2016; 139: 1874-6).