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    Jeremy Willsey, PhD

    TitleAssistant Professor
    SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
    DepartmentPsychiatry
    Address675 Nelson Rising Lane
    San Francisco CA 94158
    Phone415-502-2503
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      Collapse Biography 
      Collapse Awards and Honors
      Autism Speaks2015Annual Top 10 Autism Research Papers
      UCSF2015CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship
      Yale University2014Carolyn Slayman Prize in Genetics
      Simons Foundation2013SFARI Notable Papers of 2013
      Autism Speaks2013Top Ten Advances in Autism Research
      Yale University2012 - 2015CIHR Doctoral Research Award
      Simon Fraser University2010Dean’s Medal for Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Science
      Simon Fraser University2010Quadra Chemicals Ltd. Scholarship
      Simon Fraser University2009Beverley Raymond Scholarship in Biological Sciences
      Simon Fraser University2009Undergraduate Open Scholarship
      Simon Fraser University2005CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Award
      Simon Fraser University2004 - 2009Gordon M Shrum Entrance Scholarship
      Peter Skene Ogden2004Governor General’s Academic Medal (Bronze)
      Innovation and Science Council of BC2004Science Achievement Award

      Collapse Overview 
      Collapse Overview
      Jeremy completed his BSc at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, CA followed by a PhD in Genetics from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Matthew W State.

      His current research aims to utilize a systems biological approach in order to understand mechanistic convergence among genes strongly implicated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other complex neuropsychiatric disorders.

      Recently, by leveraging several unique datasets including a spatiotemporal map of gene expression in the developing and adult human brain and maps of gene-gene regulatory relationships, we were able to demonstrate that the diverse set of ASD genes identified by whole-exome sequencing appear to converge at specific points of development and in specific regions of the developing human brain. More specifically, cortical projection neurons in the prefrontal cortex during midfetal development appear to be a critical nexus of ASD risk (Willsey et al. 2013). In addition to outlining a novel paradigm for understanding the underlying mechanisms of a complex disorder, this research has provided a path forward to an actionable understanding of ASD biology.

      We are currently following up this result in the wet lab with targeted in vitro and in vivo analyses as well as expanding the systems biology analysis to include the newest set of implicated genes, single cell gene expression data, and regulatory network information. Furthermore, by extending this approach to other neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, we aim to understand better the differences and commonalities between ASD and these disorders.

      Collapse Interests
      autism, ASD, genetics, bioinformatics, systems biology, statistics, network, whole exome, whole genome

      Collapse ORNG Applications 
      Collapse Websites
      Collapse In The News
      Collapse Featured Publications

      Collapse Bibliographic 
      Collapse Publications
      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
      List All   |   Timeline
      1. Georgitsi M, Willsey AJ, Mathews CA, State M, Scharf JM, Paschou P. The Genetic Etiology of Tourette Syndrome: Large-Scale Collaborative Efforts on the Precipice of Discovery. Front Neurosci. 2016; 10:351. PMID: 27536211.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Willsey HR, Zheng X, Carlos Pastor-Pareja J, Willsey AJ, Beachy PA, Xu T. Localized JNK signaling regulates organ size during development. Elife. 2016; 5. PMID: 26974344.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Akbarian S, Liu C, Knowles JA, Vaccarino FM, Farnham PJ, Crawford GE, Jaffe AE, Pinto D, Dracheva S, Geschwind DH, Mill J, Nairn AC, Abyzov A, Pochareddy S, Prabhakar S, Weissman S, Sullivan PF, State MW, Weng Z, Peters MA, White KP, Gerstein MB, Amiri A, Armoskus C, Ashley-Koch AE, Bae T, Beckel-Mitchener A, Berman BP, Coetzee GA, Coppola G, Francoeur N, Fromer M, Gao R, Grennan K, Herstein J, Kavanagh DH, Ivanov NA, Jiang Y, Kitchen RR, Kozlenkov A, Kundakovic M, Li M, Li Z, Liu S, Mangravite LM, Mattei E, Markenscoff-Papadimitriou E, Navarro FC, North N, Omberg L, Panchision D, Parikshak N, Poschmann J, Price AJ, Purcaro M, Reddy TE, Roussos P, Schreiner S, Scuderi S, Sebra R, Shibata M, Shieh AW, Skarica M, Sun W, Swarup V, Thomas A, Tsuji J, van Bakel H, Wang D, Wang Y, Wang K, Werling DM, Willsey AJ, Witt H, Won H, Wong CC, Wray GA, Wu EY, Xu X, Yao L, Senthil G, Lehner T, Sklar P, Sestan N. The PsychENCODE project. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Nov 25; 18(12):1707-12. PMID: 26605881.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Sanders SJ, He X, Willsey AJ, Ercan-Sencicek AG, Samocha KE, Cicek AE, Murtha MT, Bal VH, Bishop SL, Dong S, Goldberg AP, Jinlu C, Keaney JF, Klei L, Mandell JD, Moreno-De-Luca D, Poultney CS, Robinson EB, Smith L, Solli-Nowlan T, Su MY, Teran NA, Walker MF, Werling DM, Beaudet AL, Cantor RM, Fombonne E, Geschwind DH, Grice DE, Lord C, Lowe JK, Mane SM, Martin DM, Morrow EM, Talkowski ME, Sutcliffe JS, Walsh CA, Yu TW, Ledbetter DH, Martin CL, Cook EH, Buxbaum JD, Daly MJ, Devlin B, Roeder K, State MW. Insights into Autism Spectrum Disorder Genomic Architecture and Biology from 71 Risk Loci. Neuron. 2015 Sep 23; 87(6):1215-33. PMID: 26402605; PMCID: PMC4624267 [Available on 09/23/16].
      5. Gockley J, Willsey AJ, Dong S, Dougherty JD, Constantino JN, Sanders SJ. The female protective effect in autism spectrum disorder is not mediated by a single genetic locus. Mol Autism. 2015; 6:25. PMID: 25973162; PMCID: PMC4429476.
      6. Cotney J, Muhle RA, Sanders SJ, Liu L, Willsey AJ, Niu W, Liu W, Klei L, Lei J, Yin J, Reilly SK, Tebbenkamp AT, Bichsel C, Pletikos M, Sestan N, Roeder K, State MW, Devlin B, Noonan JP. The autism-associated chromatin modifier CHD8 regulates other autism risk genes during human neurodevelopment. Nat Commun. 2015; 6:6404. PMID: 25752243; PMCID: PMC4355952.
      7. Maier R, Moser G, Chen GB, Ripke S, Coryell W, Potash JB, Scheftner WA, Shi J, Weissman MM, Hultman CM, Landén M, Levinson DF, Kendler KS, Smoller JW, Wray NR, Lee SH. Joint analysis of psychiatric disorders increases accuracy of risk prediction for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. Am J Hum Genet. 2015 Feb 5; 96(2):283-94. PMID: 25640677; PMCID: PMC4320268.
      8. Murdoch JD, Gupta AR, Sanders SJ, Walker MF, Keaney J, Fernandez TV, Murtha MT, Anyanwu S, Ober GT, Raubeson MJ, DiLullo NM, Villa N, Waqar Z, Sullivan C, Gonzalez L, Willsey AJ, Choe SY, Neale BM, Daly MJ, State MW. No evidence for association of autism with rare heterozygous point mutations in Contactin-Associated Protein-Like 2 (CNTNAP2), or in Other Contactin-Associated Proteins or Contactins. PLoS Genet. 2015 Jan; 11(1):e1004852. PMID: 25621974; PMCID: PMC4306541.
      9. Psychiatric genome-wide association study analyses implicate neuronal, immune and histone pathways. Nat Neurosci. 2015 Feb; 18(2):199-209. PMID: 25599223; PMCID: PMC4378867.
      10. Willsey AJ, State MW. Autism spectrum disorders: from genes to neurobiology. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Feb; 30:92-9. PMID: 25464374; PMCID: PMC4586254 [Available on 02/01/16].
      11. Iossifov I, O'Roak BJ, Sanders SJ, Ronemus M, Krumm N, Levy D, Stessman HA, Witherspoon KT, Vives L, Patterson KE, Smith JD, Paeper B, Nickerson DA, Dea J, Dong S, Gonzalez LE, Mandell JD, Mane SM, Murtha MT, Sullivan CA, Walker MF, Waqar Z, Wei L, Willsey AJ, Yamrom B, Lee YH, Grabowska E, Dalkic E, Wang Z, Marks S, Andrews P, Leotta A, Kendall J, Hakker I, Rosenbaum J, Ma B, Rodgers L, Troge J, Narzisi G, Yoon S, Schatz MC, Ye K, McCombie WR, Shendure J, Eichler EE, State MW, Wigler M. The contribution of de novo coding mutations to autism spectrum disorder. Nature. 2014 Nov 13; 515(7526):216-21. PMID: 25363768; PMCID: PMC4313871.
      12. Poultney CS, Samocha K, Kou Y, Liu L, Walker S, Klei L, Kosmicki J, Biscaldi M, Bolton PF, Brownfeld JM, Cai J, Campbell NG, Crawford EL, Crooks L, Curran SR, Dawson G, Duketis E, Fernandez BA, Gallagher L, Geller E, Guter SJ, Jimenez Gonzalez P, Kilpinen H, Klauck SM, Kolevzon A, Lee I, Lei J, Lehtimäki T, Lin CF, Ma'ayan A, Marshall CR, McInnes AL, Owen MJ, Ozaki N, Parr JR, Purcell S, Puura K, Rajagopalan D, Rehnström K, Reichenberg A, Sabo A, Sachse M, Sanders SJ, Schafer C, Schulte-Rüther M, Skuse D, Stevens C, Szatmari P, Tammimies K, Valladares O, Voran A, Wang LS, Weiss LA, Jeremy Willsey A, Yu TW, Yuen RK, Palotie A, Schellenberg GD, Sklar P, Sutcliffe JS, Walsh CA, Scherer SW, Zwick ME, Roeder K. Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism. Nature. 2014 Nov 13; 515(7526):209-15. PMID: 25363760; PMCID: PMC4402723.
      13. Dong S, Walker MF, Carriero NJ, DiCola M, Willsey AJ, Ye AY, Waqar Z, Gonzalez LE, Overton JD, Frahm S, Keaney JF, Teran NA, Dea J, Mandell JD, Hus Bal V, Sullivan CA, DiLullo NM, Khalil RO, Gockley J, Yuksel Z, Sertel SM, Ercan-Sencicek AG, Gupta AR, Mane SM, Sheldon M, Brooks AI, Roeder K, Devlin B, State MW, Wei L, Sanders SJ. De novo insertions and deletions of predominantly paternal origin are associated with autism spectrum disorder. Cell Rep. 2014 Oct 9; 9(1):16-23. PMID: 25284784; PMCID: PMC4194132.
      14. Chaste P, Klei L, Sanders SJ, Hus V, Murtha MT, Lowe JK, Willsey AJ, Moreno-De-Luca D, Yu TW, Fombonne E, Geschwind D, Grice DE, Ledbetter DH, Mane SM, Martin DM, Morrow EM, Walsh CA, Sutcliffe JS, Lese Martin C, Beaudet AL, Lord C, State MW, Cook EH, Devlin B. A genome-wide association study of autism using the Simons Simplex Collection: Does reducing phenotypic heterogeneity in autism increase genetic homogeneity? Biol Psychiatry. 2015 May 1; 77(9):775-84. PMID: 25534755; PMCID: PMC4379124 [Available on 05/01/16].
      15. Glessner JT, Bick AG, Ito K, Homsy JG, Rodriguez-Murillo L, Fromer M, Mazaika E, Vardarajan B, Italia M, Leipzig J, DePalma SR, Golhar R, Sanders SJ, Yamrom B, Ronemus M, Iossifov I, Willsey AJ, State MW, Kaltman JR, White PS, Shen Y, Warburton D, Brueckner M, Seidman C, Goldmuntz E, Gelb BD, Lifton R, Seidman J, Hakonarson H, Chung WK. Increased frequency of de novo copy number variants in congenital heart disease by integrative analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism array and exome sequence data. Circ Res. 2014 Oct 24; 115(10):884-96. PMID: 25205790; PMCID: PMC4209190.
      16. Chaste P, Sanders SJ, Mohan KN, Klei L, Song Y, Murtha MT, Hus V, Lowe JK, Willsey AJ, Moreno-De-Luca D, Yu TW, Fombonne E, Geschwind D, Grice DE, Ledbetter DH, Lord C, Mane SM, Martin DM, Morrow EM, Walsh CA, Sutcliffe JS, State MW, Martin CL, Devlin B, Beaudet AL, Cook EH, Kim SJ. Modest impact on risk for autism spectrum disorder of rare copy number variants at 15q11.2, specifically breakpoints 1 to 2. Autism Res. 2014 Jun; 7(3):355-62. PMID: 24821083.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Tebbenkamp AT, Willsey AJ, State MW, Sestan N. The developmental transcriptome of the human brain: implications for neurodevelopmental disorders. Curr Opin Neurol. 2014 Apr; 27(2):149-56. PMID: 24565942; PMCID: PMC4038354.
      18. Liu L, Lei J, Sanders SJ, Willsey AJ, Kou Y, Cicek AE, Klei L, Lu C, He X, Li M, Muhle RA, Ma'ayan A, Noonan JP, Sestan N, McFadden KA, State MW, Buxbaum JD, Devlin B, Roeder K. DAWN: a framework to identify autism genes and subnetworks using gene expression and genetics. Mol Autism. 2014; 5(1):22. PMID: 24602502; PMCID: PMC4016412.
      19. Willsey AJ, Sanders SJ, Li M, Dong S, Tebbenkamp AT, Muhle RA, Reilly SK, Lin L, Fertuzinhos S, Miller JA, Murtha MT, Bichsel C, Niu W, Cotney J, Ercan-Sencicek AG, Gockley J, Gupta AR, Han W, He X, Hoffman EJ, Klei L, Lei J, Liu W, Liu L, Lu C, Xu X, Zhu Y, Mane SM, Lein ES, Wei L, Noonan JP, Roeder K, Devlin B, Sestan N, State MW. Coexpression networks implicate human midfetal deep cortical projection neurons in the pathogenesis of autism. Cell. 2013 Nov 21; 155(5):997-1007. PMID: 24267886; PMCID: PMC3995413.
      20. Lee SH, Ripke S, Neale BM, Faraone SV, Purcell SM, Perlis RH, Mowry BJ, Thapar A, Goddard ME, Witte JS, Absher D, Agartz I, Akil H, Amin F, Andreassen OA, Anjorin A, Anney R, Anttila V, Arking DE, Asherson P, Azevedo MH, Backlund L, Badner JA, Bailey AJ, Banaschewski T, Barchas JD, Barnes MR, Barrett TB, Bass N, Battaglia A, Bauer M, Bayés M, Bellivier F, Bergen SE, Berrettini W, Betancur C, Bettecken T, Biederman J, Binder EB, Black DW, Blackwood DH, Bloss CS, Boehnke M, Boomsma DI, Breen G, Breuer R, Bruggeman R, Cormican P, Buccola NG, Buitelaar JK, Bunney WE, Buxbaum JD, Byerley WF, Byrne EM, Caesar S, Cahn W, Cantor RM, Casas M, Chakravarti A, Chambert K, Choudhury K, Cichon S, Cloninger CR, Collier DA, Cook EH, Coon H, Cormand B, Corvin A, Coryell WH, Craig DW, Craig IW, Crosbie J, Cuccaro ML, Curtis D, Czamara D, Datta S, Dawson G, Day R, De Geus EJ, Degenhardt F, Djurovic S, Donohoe GJ, Doyle AE, Duan J, Dudbridge F, Duketis E, Ebstein RP, Edenberg HJ, Elia J, Ennis S, Etain B, Fanous A, Farmer AE, Ferrier IN, Flickinger M, Fombonne E, Foroud T, Frank J, Franke B, Fraser C, Freedman R, Freimer NB, Freitag CM, Friedl M, Frisén L, Gallagher L, Gejman PV, Georgieva L, Gershon ES, Geschwind DH, Giegling I, Gill M, Gordon SD, Gordon-Smith K, Green EK, Greenwood TA, Grice DE, Gross M, Grozeva D, Guan W, Gurling H, De Haan L, Haines JL, Hakonarson H, Hallmayer J, Hamilton SP, Hamshere ML, Hansen TF, Hartmann AM, Hautzinger M, Heath AC, Henders AK, Herms S, Hickie IB, Hipolito M, Hoefels S, Holmans PA, Holsboer F, Hoogendijk WJ, Hottenga JJ, Hultman CM, Hus V, Ingason A, Ising M, Jamain S, Jones EG, Jones I, Jones L, Tzeng JY, Kähler AK, Kahn RS, Kandaswamy R, Keller MC, Kennedy JL, Kenny E, Kent L, Kim Y, Kirov GK, Klauck SM, Klei L, Knowles JA, Kohli MA, Koller DL, Konte B, Korszun A, Krabbendam L, Krasucki R, Kuntsi J, Kwan P, Landén M, Långström N, Lathrop M, Lawrence J, Lawson WB, Leboyer M, Ledbetter DH, Lee PH, Lencz T, Lesch KP, Levinson DF, Lewis CM, Li J, Lichtenstein P, Lieberman JA, Lin DY, Linszen DH, Liu C, Lohoff FW, Loo SK, Lord C, Lowe JK, Lucae S, MacIntyre DJ, Madden PA, Maestrini E, Magnusson PK, Mahon PB, Maier W, Malhotra AK, Mane SM, Martin CL, Martin NG, Mattheisen M, Matthews K, Mattingsdal M, McCarroll SA, McGhee KA, McGough JJ, McGrath PJ, McGuffin P, McInnis MG, McIntosh A, McKinney R, McLean AW, McMahon FJ, McMahon WM, McQuillin A, Medeiros H, Medland SE, Meier S, Melle I, Meng F, Meyer J, Middeldorp CM, Middleton L, Milanova V, Miranda A, Monaco AP, Montgomery GW, Moran JL, Moreno-De-Luca D, Morken G, Morris DW, Morrow EM, Moskvina V, Muglia P, Mühleisen TW, Muir WJ, Müller-Myhsok B, Murtha M, Myers RM, Myin-Germeys I, Neale MC, Nelson SF, Nievergelt CM, Nikolov I, Nimgaonkar V, Nolen WA, Nöthen MM, Nurnberger JI, Nwulia EA, Nyholt DR, O'Dushlaine C, Oades RD, Olincy A, Oliveira G, Olsen L, Ophoff RA, Osby U, Owen MJ, Palotie A, Parr JR, Paterson AD, Pato CN, Pato MT, Penninx BW, Pergadia ML, Pericak-Vance MA, Pickard BS, Pimm J, Piven J, Posthuma D, Potash JB, Poustka F, Propping P, Puri V, Quested DJ, Quinn EM, Ramos-Quiroga JA, Rasmussen HB, Raychaudhuri S, Rehnström K, Reif A, Ribasés M, Rice JP, Rietschel M, Roeder K, Roeyers H, Rossin L, Rothenberger A, Rouleau G, Ruderfer D, Rujescu D, Sanders AR, Sanders SJ, Santangelo SL, Sergeant JA, Schachar R, Schalling M, Schatzberg AF, Scheftner WA, Schellenberg GD, Scherer SW, Schork NJ, Schulze TG, Schumacher J, Schwarz M, Scolnick E, Scott LJ, Shi J, Shilling PD, Shyn SI, Silverman JM, Slager SL, Smalley SL, Smit JH, Smith EN, Sonuga-Barke EJ, St Clair D, State M, Steffens M, Steinhausen HC, Strauss JS, Strohmaier J, Stroup TS, Sutcliffe JS, Szatmari P, Szelinger S, Thirumalai S, Thompson RC, Todorov AA, Tozzi F, Treutlein J, Uhr M, van den Oord EJ, Van Grootheest G, Van Os J, Vicente AM, Vieland VJ, Vincent JB, Visscher PM, Walsh CA, Wassink TH, Watson SJ, Weissman MM, Werge T, Wienker TF, Wijsman EM, Willemsen G, Williams N, et al. Genetic relationship between five psychiatric disorders estimated from genome-wide SNPs. Nat Genet. 2013 Sep; 45(9):984-94. PMID: 23933821; PMCID: PMC3800159.
      21. Chaste P, Klei L, Sanders SJ, Murtha MT, Hus V, Lowe JK, Willsey AJ, Moreno-De-Luca D, Yu TW, Fombonne E, Geschwind D, Grice DE, Ledbetter DH, Lord C, Mane SM, Lese Martin C, Martin DM, Morrow EM, Walsh CA, Sutcliffe JS, State MW, Devlin B, Cook EH, Kim SJ. Adjusting head circumference for covariates in autism: clinical correlates of a highly heritable continuous trait. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Oct 15; 74(8):576-84. PMID: 23746936; PMCID: PMC3772969.
      22. Watson CT, Steinberg KM, Huddleston J, Warren RL, Malig M, Schein J, Willsey AJ, Joy JB, Scott JK, Graves TA, Wilson RK, Holt RA, Eichler EE, Breden F. Complete haplotype sequence of the human immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable, diversity, and joining genes and characterization of allelic and copy-number variation. Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Apr 4; 92(4):530-46. PMID: 23541343; PMCID: PMC3617388.
      23. Klei L, Sanders SJ, Murtha MT, Hus V, Lowe JK, Willsey AJ, Moreno-De-Luca D, Yu TW, Fombonne E, Geschwind D, Grice DE, Ledbetter DH, Lord C, Mane SM, Martin CL, Martin DM, Morrow EM, Walsh CA, Melhem NM, Chaste P, Sutcliffe JS, State MW, Cook EH, Roeder K, Devlin B. Common genetic variants, acting additively, are a major source of risk for autism. Mol Autism. 2012; 3(1):9. PMID: 23067556; PMCID: PMC3579743.
      24. Moreno-De-Luca D, Sanders SJ, Willsey AJ, Mulle JG, Lowe JK, Geschwind DH, State MW, Martin CL, Ledbetter DH. Using large clinical data sets to infer pathogenicity for rare copy number variants in autism cohorts. Mol Psychiatry. 2013 Oct; 18(10):1090-5. PMID: 23044707; PMCID: PMC3720840.
      25. Sanders SJ, Murtha MT, Gupta AR, Murdoch JD, Raubeson MJ, Willsey AJ, Ercan-Sencicek AG, DiLullo NM, Parikshak NN, Stein JL, Walker MF, Ober GT, Teran NA, Song Y, El-Fishawy P, Murtha RC, Choi M, Overton JD, Bjornson RD, Carriero NJ, Meyer KA, Bilguvar K, Mane SM, Sestan N, Lifton RP, Günel M, Roeder K, Geschwind DH, Devlin B, State MW. De novo mutations revealed by whole-exome sequencing are strongly associated with autism. Nature. 2012 May 10; 485(7397):237-41. PMID: 22495306; PMCID: PMC3667984.
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