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Academic Staff

Dr SONG, You-qiang 宋又强

Dr SONG, You-qiang 宋又强

  • BSc (Sichuan Agricultural U); PhD (U of Reading); Postdoc fellow (U of Toronto)
  • Associate Professor
L3-63, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9245
+852 2855 1254
  • Understanding the molecular basis of human complex diseases

Human genetics


The main research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding the molecular basis of human complex diseases. These complex diseases are caused by the interaction between genes and environmental factors. We are mapping the disease gene's location in the genome and identifying novel genes through genomics screens and next-generation sequencing technologies. By pinpointing the responsible genes, we expect to acquire a better knowledge about the etiology of these so far poorly understood diseases, which in turn will allow more accurate diagnosis and more specific genetic counseling. We are more interested in the following diseases

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases (Alzheimer disease)
  • Spine related disorders (Degenerative disc disease and scoliosis)
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)

Developing bioinformatic tools for the study of human diseases
In order to speed up study of human complex diseases, we are also interested in developing bioinformatic tools such as cartilage gene database (iCartiGD); tools for interrogation of genome-wide association data (IGG3:, Li et al., 2007; 2009) and tools incorporate biological function with statistic analysis (KGG:, Li et al., 2010).

Systems Genetics

Systems Genetics
Except the above traditional mapping approaches to study human complex diseases, we are using a powerful method, Systems Genetics, to study complex traits and the underline relationships between genes. We have detected several important regulators in the important genetic pathways linking Alzheimer disease and cancers.


  1. Wang B, Bao S, Zhang Z (the three authors contributed equally), Zhou X, Wang J, Fan Y, Zhang Y, Li Y, Chen L, Jia Y, Li J, Li M, Zheng W, Mu N, Wang L, Yu Z, Wong DSM, Zhang Y, Kwan J, Ka-Fung Mak H, Ambalavanan A, Zhou S, Cai W, Zheng J, Huang S, Rouleau GA, Yang W, Rogaeva E, Ma X, St George-Hyslop P, Chu LW, Song YQ (2018) A rare variant in MLKL confers susceptibility to ApoE ɛ4-negative Alzheimer's disease in Hong Kong Chinese population. Neurobiol Aging 68:160.e1-160.e7. (Corresponding authors: MX, CLW, SYQ)
  2. Yu Z, Tang PL, Wang J (the three authors contributed equally), Bao S, Shieh JT, Leung AW, Zhang Z, Gao F, Wong SY, Hui AL, Gao Y, Dung N, Zhang ZG, Fan Y, Zhou X, Zhang Y, Wong DS, Sham PC, Azhar A, Kwok PY, Tam PP, Lian Q, Cheah KS, Wang B, Song YQ (2018) Mutations in Hnrnpa1 cause congenital heart defects. JCI Insight 3(2): e98555 (Corresponding authors: CKS, WB, SYQ)
  3. Li M, Li J (the two authors contributed equally), Li MJ, Pan Z, Hsu JS, Liu DJ, Zhan X, Wang J, Song Y, Sham PC (2017) Robust and rapid algorithms facilitate large-scale whole genome sequencing downstream analysis in an integrative framework. Nucleic Acids Res. 45(9):e75.
  4. Plani-Lam JH, Chow TC, Siu KL, Chau WH, Ng MH, Bao S, Ng CT, Sham P, Shum DK,  Ingley E, Jin DY, Song YQ (2015) PTPN21 exerts pro-neuronal survival and neuritic elongation via ErbB4/NRG3 signaling. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 61:53-62.
  5. Song YQ, Karasugi T (the two authors contributed equally), Cheung KMC, Chiba K,  Ho DWH, Miyake A, Kao PYP, Sze KL, Yee A, Takahashi A, Kawaguchi Y, Mikami Y, Matsumoto M, Togawa D, Kanayama D, Shi DQ, Dai J, Jiang Q, Wu CG, Tian W, Wang N, Leong JCY,  Luk KDK, Yip SP, Cherny SS, Wang JW, Mundlos S, Kelempisioti A, Eskola PJ, Männikkö M, Mäkelä P, Karppinen J, Järvelin MR, O'Reilly PF, Kubo M, Kimura T, Kubo T, Toyama Y, Mizuta Y, Cheah KSE, Tsunoda T, Sham P, Ikegawa S and Chan D (2013) Lumbar disc degeneration is linked to a carbohydrate sulfotransferase 3 variant. J Clin Invest 123(11):4909-4917. doi:10.1172/JCI69277. (Corresponding authors: SYQ, IS and CD)
  6. Chen LH, Kao PY, Fan YH, Ho DT, Chan CS, Yik PY, Ha JC, Chu LW, Song YQ (2012) Polymorphisms of CR1, CLU and PICALM confer susceptibility of Alzheimer's disease in a southern Chinese population. Neurobiol Aging 33(1):210.e1-7.
  7. Li MX, Jiang L, Kao PY, Sham PC, Song YQ (2009) IGG3: A tool to rapidly integrate large genotype datasets for whole-genome imputation and individual-level meta-analysis. Bioinformatics 25(11):1449-50.
  8. Song YQ, Cheung KMC, Ho DWH (the first three authors contributed equally), Poon SCS, Chiba K, Kawaguchi Y, Hirose Y, Alini M, Grad S, Yee AFY, Leong JCY, Luk KDK, Yip SP, Karppinen J, Cheah KSE, Sham P, Ikegawa S and Chan D (2008) Association of the asporin D14 allele with lumbar-disc degeneration in Asians. Am J Hum Genet 82(3):744-7.
  9. The International HapMap Consortium, including authors from the university of Hong Kong: Tsui LC, Mak W, Sham PC, Song YQ & Tam PKH (2007) A second generation human haplotype map of over 3.1 million SNPs. Nature 449, 851-861.
  10. Barker W, Harwood D, Rogaeva E, Duara R and St. George-Hyslop P, Song Y (1998) ApoE-e4 allele and the risk of Alzheimer's Disease among Hispanics. JAMA 280(19): 1661-1662.
  • Study of the pathogenic mechanisms of Hnrnpa1 in congenital heart defects (RGC 2015-2018)
  • Modeling host susceptibility to influenza H7N9 virus in inbred mice: a pilot study (HMRF 2015-2016)
  • Study of Population Specific Linkage Disequilibrium (LD) Patterns of Human Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Region for Cancers, Infectious and Autoimmunity Diseases in Southern Chinese (HMRF 2014-2015)
  • Investigation on Pax6 regulation of neuronal apoptosis in Alzheimer’s disease (NSFC 2013-2016)
  • Identification of a genetic variant for heart defects (CHD) on chromosome 15 in mice (RGC 2013-2015)
  • In silico identification of genetic variations that affect resistance to influenza A virus infection (RFCID 2012-2013)
  • Detecting and functional analysis of a novel gene (Cer1) significantly associated with bone mineral density (BMD) in mice. (CERG 2008-2011)
  • Fine mapping candidate loci for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in southern Chinese specifically linked to EBV aetiopathogenesis. (RFCID 2008-2010).
  • Mapping a genetic modifier for heart defects in Type IIA procollagen deficient mutant mice. (CERG 2006-2009)
  • Mapping and cloning a new gene for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in a large Chinese family. (CERG 2004-2007)
  • Genetic linkage analysis of early onset degenerative disc disease in Southern Chinese. (CERG 2003-2006)
  • Potentiating Host Immunity for HIV-1 Functional Cure. UGC: Theme-based Research (2019-2023)
  • The AoE on Developmental Genomics and Skeletal Research.UGC, 2004-2009.
  • The HK HapMap team. UGC and ITF: 2004-2005.
  • The National High Technology Research and Development Programme of China (国家高技术研究发展计划(863) 计划): 高效能计算机及网格服务环境---新药研发网格 (2006AA01A124)
  • Zhigang Zhang – PhD Student
  • Siwen Li – PhD Student
  • Yi Zhang – PhD Student
  • Mandy Liu – PhD Student
  • Bo Zhou – PhD Student
  • Ming Yue – PhD Student
  • Ruijun Chen – PhD Student
  • Dr. Zhe Yu – Postdoc
  • Dr. Li Yan – PhD (graduated 2007)
  • Dr. Daniel Ho – PhD (graduated 2008)
  • Lam To Kam Cherry – MPhil (graduated 2008)
  • Dr. Miaoxin Li – PhD (graduated 2009)
  • Dr. Paul Tung – PhD (graduated 2010)
  • Dr. Patrich Kao – PhD (graduated 2010)
  • Dr. Yalun Zhang – PhD (graduated 2011)
  • Dr. Luhua Chen – PhD (graduated 2012)
  • Dr. Fanhiu Fan – PhD (graduated 2012)
  • Mr. Philip Chau – MPhil (graduated 2013)
  • Dr. Janice Lam – PhD (graduated 2013)
  • Dr. Suying Bao – PhD (graduated 2014)
  • Dr. Yizhen Jia – PhD (graduated 2014)
  • Ms. Yunyan Zhao – Visiting student (2015)
  • Mr. Gordon Ng – MPhil (graduated 2015)
  • Dr. Jiang Li – PhD (graduated 2017)
  • Dr. Zhe Yu – PhD (graduated 2017)