Lindsay A. Farrer, PhD

Member, Bioinformatics Graduate Program

Lindsay Farrer
617.638.5393
72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)

Biography

Dr. Lindsay Farrer is a medical geneticist at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health where he is the Boston University Distinguished Professor of Genetics, Chief of Biomedical Genetics, and a Professor of Medicine, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics. Dr. Farrer is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, received his Ph.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine, and gained additional training in genetic epidemiology at Yale University. He holds adjunct faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bedford, Massachusetts. He is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. Dr. Farrer teaches several courses in human genetics and addiction science at Boston University, directs the BU Transformative Training Program in Addiction Science (TTPAS) that features transdisciplinary training for students enrolled in PhD programs across the Medical and Charles River campuses, directs Boston University’s Molecular Genetics Core Facility which offers DNA genotyping and sequencing services to investigators at Boston University and elsewhere, and provides genetic counseling and testing to patients with a variety of inherited conditions.

Dr. Farrer’s research has lead to more than 450 publications on genetic risk factors for several familial neurodegenerative and other chronic diseases. In collaboration with other laboratories worldwide, his group has localized genes causing a variety of rare and common disorders, most notably Alzheimer disease (AD), substance use disorders (SUDs), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Wilson disease, Machado-Joseph disease, Waardenburg syndrome, hypertension, sensorineural deafness, and osteoarthritis. His group identified a functional genetic variant in the complement factor H gene which accounts for more than 30% of the attributable risk for AMD, the leading cause of progressive vision loss and blindness in the elderly. In collaboration with other researchers, Dr. Farrer is conducting genome wide association studies (GWAS) and whole genome/exome sequencing studies for several disorders including AD, SUDs (cocaine, opiates, nicotine, alcohol and cannabis), and AMD. Dr. Farrer’s team is also developing methods for locating genes that influence the natural history of complex diseases and pharmacogenetic response.

Under Dr. Farrer’s leadership, the MIRAGE Project, a multi-center study of AD funded since 1991 by the National Institute on Aging, has made several important contributions to our understanding of the interactions between genetic and environmental factors for the disorder. This study has a particular emphasis on the genetics of AD in African Americans. MIRAGE was the first study to demonstrate that genetic factors have a major role in the development of AD and that APOE e4 is more weakly associated with disease in men and persons older than 75 years. Dr. Farrer co-directed the international effort which demonstrated that SORL1 is genetically and functionally associated with AD, thus implicating intracellular protein trafficking as integral pathway in AD. His laboratory conducted genome wide association studies (GWAS) for AD in several populations including African Americans and an inbred Israeli-Arab community, and identified rare AD causal mutations in the AKAP9 gene which are specific to African Americans. Dr. Farrer serves on the Executive Committee of the national Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium and co-directs the data analysis effort for this large NIH-funded project. He is also a Principal Investigator of the national Alzheimer Disease Sequencing Project and a study to identify AD risk and protective variants in Koreans.

Other Positions

  • Professor, Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Professor, Ophthalmology, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Professor, Biomedical Genetics, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Section Chief, Biomedical Genetics, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Professor, Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Professor, Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Boston University Distinguished Professor of Genetics, Biomedical Genetics, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Investigator, Framingham Heart Study
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University

Education

  • Indiana University School of Medicine, PhD
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA

Classes Taught

  • GMSMS710

Publications

  • Published on 5/26/2020

    Chen J, Loukola A, Gillespie NA, Peterson R, Jia P, Riley B, Maes H, Dick DM, Kendler KS, Damaj MI, Miles MF, Zhao Z, Li MD, Vink JM, Minica CC, Willemsen G, Boomsma DI, Qaiser B, Madden PAF, Korhonen T, Jousilahti P, Hällfors J, Gelernter J, Kranzler HR, Sherva R, Farrer L, Maher B, Vanyukov M, Taylor M, Ware JJ, Munafò MR, Lutz SM, Hokanson JE, Gu F, Landi MT, Caporaso NE, Hancock DB, Gaddis NC, Baker TB, Bierut LJ, Johnson EO, Chenoweth M, Lerman C, Tyndale R, Kaprio J, Chen X. Genome-Wide Meta-Analyses of FTND and TTFC Phenotypes. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 May 26; 22(6):900-909. PMID: 31294817.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/26/2020

    Polimanti R, Walters RK, Johnson EC, McClintick JN, Adkins AE, Adkins DE, Bacanu SA, Bierut LJ, Bigdeli TB, Brown S, Bucholz KK, Copeland WE, Costello EJ, Degenhardt L, Farrer LA, Foroud TM, Fox L, Goate AM, Grucza R, Hack LM, Hancock DB, Hartz SM, Heath AC, Hewitt JK, Hopfer CJ, Johnson EO, Kendler KS, Kranzler HR, Krauter K, Lai D, Madden PAF, Martin NG, Maes HH, Nelson EC, Peterson RE, Porjesz B, Riley BP, Saccone N, Stallings M, Wall TL, Webb BT, Wetherill L, Edenberg HJ, Agrawal A, Gelernter J. Leveraging genome-wide data to investigate differences between opioid use vs. opioid dependence in 41,176 individuals from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Mol Psychiatry. 2020 Feb 26. PMID: 32099098.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/16/2020

    Munn-Chernoff MA, Johnson EC, Chou YL, Coleman JRI, Thornton LM, Walters RK, Yilmaz Z, Baker JH, Hübel C, Gordon S, Medland SE, Watson HJ, Gaspar HA, Bryois J, Hinney A, Leppä VM, Mattheisen M, Ripke S, Yao S, Giusti-Rodríguez P, Hanscombe KB, Adan RAH, Alfredsson L, Ando T, Andreassen OA, Berrettini WH, Boehm I, Boni C, Boraska Perica V, Buehren K, Burghardt R, Cassina M, Cichon S, Clementi M, Cone RD, Courtet P, Crow S, Crowley JJ, Danner UN, Davis OSP, de Zwaan M, Dedoussis G, Degortes D, DeSocio JE, Dick DM, Dikeos D, Dina C, Dmitrzak-Weglarz M, Docampo E, Duncan LE, Egberts K, Ehrlich S, Escaramís G, Esko T, Estivill X, Farmer A, Favaro A, Fernández-Aranda F, Fichter MM, Fischer K, Föcker M, Foretova L, Forstner AJ, Forzan M, Franklin CS, Gallinger S, Giegling I, Giuranna J, Gonidakis F, Gorwood P, Gratacos Mayora M, Guillaume S, Guo Y, Hakonarson H, Hatzikotoulas K, Hauser J, Hebebrand J, Helder SG, Herms S, Herpertz-Dahlmann B, Herzog W, Huckins LM, Hudson JI, Imgart H, Inoko H, Janout V, Jiménez-Murcia S, Julià A, Kalsi G, Kaminská D, Karhunen L, Karwautz A, Kas MJH, Kennedy JL, Keski-Rahkonen A, Kiezebrink K, Kim YR, Klump KL, Knudsen GPS, La Via MC, Le Hellard S, Levitan RD, Li D, Lilenfeld L, Lin BD, Lissowska J, Luykx J, Magistretti PJ, Maj M, Mannik K, Marsal S, Marshall CR, Mattingsdal M, McDevitt S, McGuffin P, Metspalu A, Meulenbelt I, Micali N, Mitchell K, Monteleone AM, Monteleone P, Nacmias B, Navratilova M, Ntalla I, O'Toole JK, Ophoff RA, Padyukov L, Palotie A, Pantel J, Papezova H, Pinto D, Rabionet R, Raevuori A, Ramoz N, Reichborn-Kjennerud T, Ricca V, Ripatti S, Ritschel F, Roberts M, Rotondo A, Rujescu D, Rybakowski F, Santonastaso P, Scherag A, Scherer SW, Schmidt U, Schork NJ, Schosser A, Seitz J, Slachtova L, Slagboom PE, Slof-Op't Landt MCT, Slopien A, Sorbi S, Swiatkowska B, Szatkiewicz JP, Tachmazidou I, Tenconi E, Tortorella A, Tozzi F, Treasure J, Tsitsika A, Tyszkiewicz-Nwafor M, Tziouvas K, van Elburg AA, van Furth EF, Wagner G, Walton E, Widen E, Zeggini E, Zerwas S, Zipfel S, Bergen AW, Boden JM, Brandt H, Crawford S, Halmi KA, Horwood LJ, Johnson C, Kaplan AS, Kaye WH, Mitchell J, Olsen CM, Pearson JF, Pedersen NL, Strober M, Werge T, Whiteman DC, Woodside DB, Grove J, Henders AK, Larsen JT, Parker R, Petersen LV, Jordan J, Kennedy MA, Birgegård A, Lichtenstein P, Norring C, Landén M, Mortensen PB, Polimanti R, McClintick JN, Adkins AE, Aliev F, Bacanu SA, Batzler A, Bertelsen S, Biernacka JM, Bigdeli TB, Chen LS, Clarke TK, Degenhardt F, Docherty AR, Edwards AC, Foo JC, Fox L, Frank J, Hack LM, Hartmann AM, Hartz SM, Heilmann-Heimbach S, Hodgkinson C, Hoffmann P, Hottenga JJ, Konte B, Lahti J, Lahti-Pulkkinen M, Lai D, Ligthart L, Loukola A, Maher BS, Mbarek H, McIntosh AM, McQueen MB, Meyers JL, Milaneschi Y, Palviainen T, Peterson RE, Ryu E, Saccone NL, Salvatore JE, Sanchez-Roige S, Schwandt M, Sherva R, Streit F, Strohmaier J, Thomas N, Wang JC, Webb BT, Wedow R, Wetherill L, Wills AG, Zhou H, Boardman JD, Chen D, Choi DS, Copeland WE, Culverhouse RC, Dahmen N, Degenhardt L, Domingue BW, Frye MA, Gäebel W, Hayward C, Ising M, Keyes M, Kiefer F, Koller G, Kramer J, Kuperman S, Lucae S, Lynskey MT, Maier W, Mann K, Männistö S, Müller-Myhsok B, Murray AD, Nurnberger JI, Preuss U, Räikkönen K, Reynolds MD, Ridinger M, Scherbaum N, Schuckit MA, Soyka M, Treutlein J, Witt SH, Wodarz N, Zill P, Adkins DE, Boomsma DI, Bierut LJ, Brown SA, Bucholz KK, Costello EJ, de Wit H, Diazgranados N, Eriksson JG, Farrer LA, Foroud TM, Gillespie NA, Goate AM, Goldman D, Grucza RA, Hancock DB, Harris KM, Hesselbrock V, Hewitt JK, Hopfer CJ, Iacono WG, Johnson EO, Karpyak VM, Kendler KS, Kranzler HR, Krauter K, Lind PA, McGue M, MacKillop J, Madden PAF, Maes HH, Magnusson PKE, Nelson EC, Nöthen MM, Palmer AA, Penninx BWJH, Porjesz B, Rice JP, Rietschel M, Riley BP, Rose RJ, Shen PH, Silberg J, Stallings MC, Tarter RE, Vanyukov MM, Vrieze S, Wall TL, Whitfield JB, Zhao H, Neale BM, Wade TD, et al. Shared genetic risk between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes: Evidence from genome-wide association studies. Addict Biol. 2020 Feb 16; e12880. PMID: 32064741.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/7/2020

    Lin Y, Kranzler HR, Farrer LA, Xu H, Henderson DC, Zhang H. An analysis of the effect of mu-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) promoter region DNA methylation on the response of naltrexone treatment of alcohol dependence. Pharmacogenomics J. 2020 Feb 07. PMID: 32029903.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/3/2020

    Reiman EM, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Quiroz YT, Huentelman MJ, Beach TG, Caselli RJ, Chen Y, Su Y, Myers AJ, Hardy J, Paul Vonsattel J, Younkin SG, Bennett DA, De Jager PL, Larson EB, Crane PK, Keene CD, Kamboh MI, Kofler JK, Duque L, Gilbert JR, Gwirtsman HE, Buxbaum JD, Dickson DW, Frosch MP, Ghetti BF, Lunetta KL, Wang LS, Hyman BT, Kukull WA, Foroud T, Haines JL, Mayeux RP, Pericak-Vance MA, Schneider JA, Trojanowski JQ, Farrer LA, Schellenberg GD, Beecham GW, Montine TJ, Jun GR. Exceptionally low likelihood of Alzheimer's dementia in APOE2 homozygotes from a 5,000-person neuropathological study. Nat Commun. 2020 02 03; 11(1):667. PMID: 32015339.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/27/2020

    Dalvie S, Maihofer AX, Coleman JRI, Bradley B, Breen G, Brick LA, Chen CY, Choi KW, Duncan LE, Guffanti G, Haas M, Harnal S, Liberzon I, Nugent NR, Provost AC, Ressler KJ, Torres K, Amstadter AB, Bryn Austin S, Baker DG, Bolger EA, Bryant RA, Calabrese JR, Delahanty DL, Farrer LA, Feeny NC, Flory JD, Forbes D, Galea S, Gautam A, Gelernter J, Hammamieh R, Jett M, Junglen AG, Kaufman ML, Kessler RC, Khan A, Kranzler HR, Lebois LAM, Marmar C, Mavissakalian MR, McFarlane A, Donnell MO, Orcutt HK, Pietrzak RH, Risbrough VB, Roberts AL, Rothbaum AO, Roy-Byrne P, Ruggiero K, Seligowski AV, Sheerin CM, Silove D, Smoller JW, Stein MB, Teicher MH, Ursano RJ, Van Hooff M, Winternitz S, Wolff JD, Yehuda R, Zhao H, Zoellner LA, Stein DJ, Koenen KC, Nievergelt CM. Genomic influences on self-reported childhood maltreatment. Transl Psychiatry. 2020 Jan 27; 10(1):38. PMID: 32066696.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/9/2020

    Cox JW, Sherva RM, Lunetta KL, Johnson EC, Martin NG, Degenhardt L, Agrawal A, Nelson EC, Kranzler HR, Gelernter J, Farrer LA. Genome-Wide Association Study of Opioid Cessation. J Clin Med. 2020 Jan 09; 9(1). PMID: 31936517.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/18/2019

    Cheng Z, Phokaew C, Chou YL, Lai D, Meyers JL, Agrawal A, Farrer LA, Kranzler HR, Gelernter J. A regulatory variant of CHRM3 is associated with cannabis-induced hallucinations in European Americans. Transl Psychiatry. 2019 11 18; 9(1):309. PMID: 31740666.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/4/2019

    Marees AT, Gamazon ER, Gerring Z, Vorspan F, Fingal J, van den Brink W, Smit DJA, Verweij KJH, Kranzler HR, Sherva R, Farrer L, Gelernter J, Derks EM. Post-GWAS analysis of six substance use traits improves the identification and functional interpretation of genetic risk loci. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Jan 01; 206:107703. PMID: 31785998.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/21/2019

    Bis JC, Jian X, Kunkle BW, Chen Y, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Bush WS, Salerno WJ, Lancour D, Ma Y, Renton AE, Marcora E, Farrell JJ, Zhao Y, Qu L, Ahmad S, Amin N, Amouyel P, Beecham GW, Below JE, Campion D, Cantwell L, Charbonnier C, Chung J, Crane PK, Cruchaga C, Cupples LA, Dartigues JF, Debette S, Deleuze JF, Fulton L, Gabriel SB, Genin E, Gibbs RA, Goate A, Grenier-Boley B, Gupta N, Haines JL, Havulinna AS, Helisalmi S, Hiltunen M, Howrigan DP, Ikram MA, Kaprio J, Konrad J, Kuzma A, Lander ES, Lathrop M, Lehtimäki T, Lin H, Mattila K, Mayeux R, Muzny DM, Nasser W, Neale B, Nho K, Nicolas G, Patel D, Pericak-Vance MA, Perola M, Psaty BM, Quenez O, Rajabli F, Redon R, Reitz C, Remes AM, Salomaa V, Sarnowski C, Schmidt H, Schmidt M, Schmidt R, Soininen H, Thornton TA, Tosto G, Tzourio C, van der Lee SJ, van Duijn CM, Valladares O, Vardarajan B, Wang LS, Wang W, Wijsman E, Wilson RK, Witten D, Worley KC, Zhang X, Bellenguez C, Lambert JC, Kurki MI, Palotie A, Daly M, Boerwinkle E, Lunetta KL, Destefano AL, Dupuis J, Martin ER, Schellenberg GD, Seshadri S, Naj AC, Fornage M, Farrer LA. Correction: Whole exome sequencing study identifies novel rare and common Alzheimer's-Associated variants involved in immune response and transcriptional regulation. Mol Psychiatry. 2019 Oct 21. PMID: 31636380.

    Read at: PubMed

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