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Shizhong Han, Ph.D.

Headshot of Shizhong Han
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Dr. Han earned his PhD in genetics from Fudan University, in Shanghai, China, in 2006. He did his postdoctoral training at Yale, where he started his research on the genetics of substance abuse in the laboratory of Dr. Joel Gelernter, a world leader in this area (2008-2012). Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, he was an Assistant Professor (2012-2017) and then a tenured Associate Professor (2017) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa. His research is focused on investigating the genetic basis of psychiatric disorders, especially alcoholism and substance abuse. He is also involved in developing statistical genetic approaches and computational tools that will facilitate the effort to identify disease susceptibility genes more broadly. Dr. Han has been a Principal Investigator on multiple projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and by private foundations. more


  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Departments / Divisions



  • Ph.D.; Fudan University (China) (2006)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Andersen AM, Pietrzak RH, Kranzler HR, Ma L, Zhou H, Liu X, Kramer J, Kuperman S, Edenberg HJ, Nurnberger JI, Rice JP, Tischfield JA, Goate A, Foroud TM, Meyers JL, Porjesz B, Dick DD, Hesselbrock V, Boerwinkle E, Southwick SM, Krystal JH, Weissman MM, Levinson DF, Potash JB, Gelernter J, Han S. Polygenic scores for major depressive disorder and risk of alcohol dependence. JAMA Psychiatry, 2017 Aug 16. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.2269

Martinez-Rivera A, Hao J, Tropea T, Giordano T, Kosovsky M, Lee A, Huganir, Striessnig J, Addy N, Han S*, Rajadhyaksha A. Enhancing VTA Cav1.3 L-type Ca2+ channel activity promotes cocaine and mood-related behaviors via overlapping AMPA receptor mechanisms in the nucleus accumbens. Molecular Psychiatry; 2017;doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.9; *co-corresponding author

Wang M,  Huang J,  Liu Y, Ma L, Potash J, Han S. COMBAT: A Combined Association Test for Genes using Summary Statistics. Genetics, 2017 Sep 6. pii: genetics.300257.2017. doi: 10.1534/genetics

Han S, Yang BZ, Kranzler HR, Liu X, Zhao H, Farrer LA, Boerwinkle E, Potash JB, Gelernter J. Integrating GWASs and human protein interaction networks identifies a gene subnetwork underlying alcohol dependence. American Journal of Human Genetics. 2013;93(6):1027-1034.

Nath SK, Han S, Kim-Howard X, Kelly JA, Viswanathan P, Gilkeson GS, Chen W, Zhu C, McEver RP, Kimberly RP, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Vyse TJ, Li QZ, Wakeland EK, Merrill JT, James JA, Kaufman KM, Guthridge JM, Harley JB. A nonsynonymous functional variant in integrin-alpha(M) (encoded by ITGAM) is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus. Nature Genetics. 2008;40(2):152-154 

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