Fu Group – Integrative genomics

Dr Jingyuan Fu: “My group covers a wide range of disciplines, including genetics, genomics, systems biology and bioinformatics. I believe that “genetics” lies at the heart of biology and I see myself as a geneticist and bioinformatician who studies the effect of genetic variants in the wider scope of systems biology: from genotype to cellular functions and phenotype. Under this thematic banner, we are currently working on three specific themes:

Theme 1: The genetic and epigenetic variation of gene expression

How do genetic and epigenetic factors affect gene expression? To what extent is the regulation of expression tissue-specific? How relevant is the genetic variation of gene expression in complex diseases?

Theme 2: From genetic risk to disease etiology

What are the downstream effects of genetic variants discovered in genome-wide association studies? I use genetics and genomics approaches to illustrate the networks that underlie the etiology of various diseases.

Theme 3: Healthy ageing and study of the impact of genetic background and lifestyle on healthy metabolism at an older age

The process of ageing is closely tied to the progressive metabolic remodeling that results in older people having a high risk for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, etc. This aging-dependent metabolic remodeling can be affected by genetic background and lifestyle. For this project, we are working with the Systems Biology Centre for Metabolism and Ageing (SBC-EMA, University of Groningen) and aim to address what role metabolism plays in healthy ageing and to what extent a healthy metabolism is under genetic control. These projects involve national and international collaborations with UMCG departments and other research centers and foundations.


  • 2016 Young Investigator award (€183k) from the Dutch Heart Foundation (CVON), co-PI with Sasha Zhernakova
  • The Fu et al. (2015) paper, Gut Microbiome Contributes to a Substantial Proportion of the Variation in Blood Lipids” was recognized as one of Circulation Research’s Best Manuscripts of 2015. The paper received massive worldwide press coverage. See News item
  • 2015 NWO Aspasia grant (€100k)
  • Jingyuan Fu was awarded an NWO-VIDI grant awarded (2014) for her proposal “Understanding the causal relationships between the host genome, microbiota and lipids”

  • See also an article on her work (Op zoek naar onbekende verbanden en patronenin Dutch, 2014)

Selected publications

Novel mechanisms for prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, Naishi Li, PhD thesis, University of Groningen, Dec. 2013.

See all Jingyuan Fu’s papers in GoogleScholar

Team members

Associated projects