Donna Werling, PhD
Position title: Assistant Professor, Genetics
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Laboratory of Genetics
5262 Genetics and Biotechnology Center
Madison, WI 53706-1580
Donna Werling is interested in characterizing sex-differential risk mechanisms in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). During her doctoral work in the laboratory of Dan Geschwind at the University of California, Los Angeles, Werling used functional genomics, human genetics and bioinformatics approaches to understand the relationship between sex and genetic risk in ASD.
During postdoctoral work in the laboratories of Matt State and Stephan Sanders at the University of California, San Francisco, she continued working on mechanisms underlying sex differences in ASD, while also expanding her expertise on ASD genetic risk through her collaborative efforts to develop the Category-Wide Associate Study (CWAS), an analytical framework for association testing of functional defined categories of coding and noncoding de novo variants.
Werling will utilize the expertise gained over the course of her Ph.D. and postdoctoral training to characterize sex differences at both the cellular and tissue level in both ASD mouse models and individuals with ASD to understand the mechanisms underlying male bias in ASD prevalence.
Science, 362(6420):eaat7615. doi: 10.1126/science.aat7615. PMID: 30545854
Whole-Genome and RNA Sequencing Reveal Variation and Transcriptomic Coordination in the Developing Human Prefrontal Cortex. Cell Reports, 31(1):107489. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.03.053. PMID: 32268104
Werling DM. (2019). Clinically Defined Subtypes of Bipolar Disorder Are Reflected in Genomic Architecture. Biological Psychiatry, 86(2):78-80. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.05.010.
An JY, Lin K, Zhu L, Werling DM, Dong S, Brand H, Wang HZ, Zhao X, Schwartz GB, Collins RL, et al. (2018). Genome-wide de novo risk score implicates promoter variation in autism spectrum disorder. Science, 14;362(6420). pii: eaat6576. doi: 10.1126/science.aat6576.
Li M, Santpere G, Imamura Kawasawa Y, Evgrafov OV, Gulden FO, Pochareddy S, Sunkin SM, Li Z, Shin Y, Zhu Y, Sousa AMM, Werling DM, et al. (2018). Integrative functional genomic analysis of human brain development and neuropsychiatric risks. Science, 14;362(6420). pii: eaat7615. doi: 10.1126/science.aat7615.
Werling DM, Brand H, An JY, Stone MR, Zhu L, Glessner JT, Collins RL, Dong S, Layer RM, Markenscoff-Papadimitriou E, Farrell A, et al. (2018). An analytical framework for whole-genome sequence association studies and its implications for autism spectrum disorder. Nature Genetics, 26;50(5):727-736. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0107-y.
Sanders SJ, Neale BM, Huang H, Werling DM, An JY, Dong S; Whole Genome Sequencing for Psychiatric Disorders (WGSPD), Abecasis G, Arguello PA, Blangero J, Boehnke M, Daly MJ, Eggan K, Geschwind DH, et al. (2017). Whole genome sequencing in psychiatric disorders: the WGSPD consortium. Nature Neuroscience, 20(12):1661-1668. doi: 10.1038/s41593-017-0017-9.
Bishop SL, Farmer C, Bal V, Robinson EB, Willsey AJ, Werling DM, Havdahl KA, Sanders SJ, Thurm A. (2017). Identification of Developmental and Behavioral Markers Associated With Genetic Abnormalities in Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(6):576-585. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.16101115.
Werling DM, Parikshak NN, Geschwind DH. (2016). Gene expression in human brain implicates sexually dimorphic pathways in autism spectrum disorders. Nature Communications, 7:10717. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10717.
Werling DM. (2016). The role of sex-differential biology in risk for autism spectrum disorder. Biology of Sex Differences, 16;7:58.