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Dr. Haroon I Sheikh


Ph.D. Molecular Genetics (University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada)
Postdoctoral Fellowship (The Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA)

Click here to view the complete CV

Dr. Haroon has joined the School of Life Sciences, FCCU in 2018 and has almost 20 years of research and teaching experience in molecular genetics with a focus on bioinformatics and computational biology. He has received Ph.D. training in molecular genetics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Shiva Singh and Dr. Elizabeth Hayden and subsequent postdoctoral research training as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellow under the supervision of Dr. James Potash, the current Chair of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. His research experience includes whole-exome and whole-methylome sequencing on NGS platforms including Illumina, Ion Torrent and Pacific Bio. His current research is focus is the identification of biomarkers via developing bioinformatics workflows in order to identify genes and gene networks involved in the molecular etiology of complex phenotypes such as cancers and psychiatric disorders.

Current projects under development:

  1. Creating analysis workflows for epigenome-wide microarray data-sets;
  2. Developing genome informatics strategies for analyzing large microarray data from cancer patients in Pakistan;
  3. Develop analytical pipelines for whole-genome NGS datasets with focus on Pakistani population.

Research Interests:

Molecular genetics, Epigenetics, Child brain development, Gene-environment interactions, and neurodevelopmental risk, Structural and functional imaging, Bioinformatics, Psychiatric genetics, and next generation sequencing.

Potential graduate students interested in pursuing MPhil or DPhil training in neurogenetics, bioinformatics, and human molecular genetics are encouraged to email their CVs.

Honors & Awards:

  1. 1. Allison Research Award in Psychiatry
  2. 2. Canadian Institute of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
  3. 3. International Society of Psychiatric Genetics Research Award
  4. 4. John D. Detwiler Prize for Best PhD Dissertation
  5. 5. Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Life Sciences
  6. 6. Ontario Graduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence
  7. 7. University of Western Ontario Graduate Teaching Award
  8. 8. Ruth Horner Arnold Research Fellowship Award
  9. 9. Lumsden Fellowship in Science
  10. 10. Ontario Mental Health Foundation Studentship Award

Ad-hoc reviewer: American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, BMC Neuroscience, Emotions, Genes, Brain, & Behavior, Journal of Affective Disorders, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Journal of Psychological Science, Neuroscience, Neuroscience Letters, PLoS ONE, Psychiatric Genetics, Psychiatry Research, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.

Ongoing collaborations:

Aga Khan University

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

National Institutes of Health

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital & Research Centre

Stony Brooks University

Western University Canada

Recent Published and In-Press Manuscripts: (>750 citation; h-index: 16)

  1. 1. Ali, O.M., Sheikh, H.I., Vandermeer, M.R.J., Joanisse, M.F., Singh, S.M., Hayden, E.P. (2019) Girls’ Internalizing Symptoms and White Matter Tracts in Cortico-Limbic Circuitry. Neuroimaging: Clinical 21:101650
  2. 2. Daoust, A., Thakur, A., Sheikh, H.I., Kleiber, M.L., Singh, S.M., Hayden, E. P. (2018). Associations between children’s telomere length and vulnerabilities in the early environment. Comprehensive Psychiatry 87:161-170.
  3. 3. Vandermeer, M.R.J., Sheikh, H.I., Singh, S.M., Klein, D.N., Olino, T.M., Dyson, M.W., Bufferd, S.J., Hayden, E.P. (2018) The BDNF gene val66met polymorphism and behavioural inhibition in early childhood. Social Development 27:543–554.
  4. 4. Sheikh, H.I., Hayden, E.P., Kryski, K.R., Smith, H.J., & Singh, S.M. (2017) Catechol-O-Methyltransferase gene (val158met) polymorphisms and anxiety symptoms in early childhood: The role of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity and stress. Neuroscience Letter 659:86-91.
  5. 5. Kotelnikova, Y., Sheikh, H.I., LeMoult, J., Mackrell, S.V.M., Singh, S. M., Joormann, J., Gotlib, H.I, & Hayden, E.P. (2016). The serotonin transporter promoter variant, stress, and attentional biases in middle childhood. Personality and Individual Differences 101:371-379.
  6. 6. Johnson, V.C., Sheikh, H.I., Kryski, K.R., Smith, H.J., Singh, S.M., Hayden, E.P. (2016) The Serotonin Transporter Promoter Polymorphism Moderates the Stability of Behavioural Inhibition in Early Childhood. Development & Psychopathology 28(4pt1):1103-1116.
  7. 7. Sheikh, H.I., Joanisse, M.F., Mackrell, S.M., Kryski, K.R., Smith, H.J., Singh, S.M., Hayden, E.P. (2014) Links between white matter microstructure and cortisol reactivity to stress in early childhood: Evidence for moderation by parenting. Neuroimage 6:77-85.
  8. 8. Mackrell, S.V.M., Sheikh, H.I., Kotelnikova, Y., Jordan, P.L., Singh, S.M., & Hayden, E.P. (2014). Child temperament and parental history of internalizing disorders: Associations with HPA axis reactivity in middle childhood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 123:106-16.
  9. 9. Sheikh, H.I., Kryski, K.R., Smith, H.J., Hayden, E.P. Singh, S.M. (2013) Catechol-O- Methyltransferase gene val158met polymorphism and depressive symptoms during early childhood. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics 162B(3):245-52.
  10. 10. Sheikh, H.I., Kryski, K.R., Smith, H.J., Hayden, E.P. Singh, S.M. (2013) Corticotrophin-releasing hormone system polymorphisms are associated with children’s cortisol reactivity. Neuroscience 29:1-11.
  11. 11. Hayden, E.P., Sheikh, H.I., Hanna, B., Laptook, R.S., Kim, J., Singh, S.M., Klein, D.N. (2013) Child dopamine transporter genotype and parenting: Evidence for evocative gene-environment correlations. Developmental Psychopathology 25:163–173.
  12. 12. Smith, H.J., Sheikh, H.I., Dyson, M.W., Olino, T.M., Laptook, R.S., Singh, S.M., Hayden, E.P., Klein, D.N. (2012) The Interaction of Parenting and Child DRD4 Genotype in Predicting Early Emerging Effortful Control. Child Development 83:1932-44.

Current Affiliations: Society of Biological Psychiatry, International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, The American Society of Human Genetics, Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences.

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