Professor Naomi Wray

Contact Information
Building: IMB Building #80
Room: 6.143
Tel: +61 7 334 66374

Mailing Address

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, 4072


Lab Home Page

Short biography

Research directions

Current major projects

Selected publications


Short Biography

Professor Naomi Wray holds joint appointments at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) within The University of Queensland. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. She is a Board Member of the International Society for Psychiatric Genetics, and is Associate Editor for the journals JAMA Psychiatry and Genetics. Her research focusses on development of quantitative genetics and genomics methodology with application to psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Naomi Wray, Prof Peter Visscher and A/Prof Jian Yang together comprise the Executive Team of the Complex Trait Genomics Group (CTGG) funded as an NHMRC Program Grant 2017-2021. The CTGG comprises a critical mass of more than 30 post-doctoral researchers plus research assistants and students, all supported by external grant funding. CTGG is structured into five research themes: Statistical Genomics, Systems Genomics, Psychiatric Genomics, MND Genomics and Genomics of Cognitive Ageing.

Research directions

My broad interest is to understand the genetic contribution to individual differences between people. My research programme focuses on methodology in statistical and quantitative genetics (particularly associated with prediction of genetic risk) and application of new methods to genetically informative data sets. My portfolio of current and recent grants reflects this mix of theory and application in psychiatric and neurological genetics.

Current major projects

    • Genomics of Motor Neuron Disease ALS genomics in collaboration with Prof Pam McCombe, UQCCR and A/Prof Rob Henderson, RBWH. The Sporadic ALS Australia Systems Genomics Consortium, funded by the MNDRIA IceBucket Challenge Grant, to implement consistent collection of clinical data and biological samples across Australia, and to use genetic and genomic date to understand the etiology of ALS motor neurone disease.
    • Genomics of autism spectrum disorders, funded by the Autism CRC with the ultimate goal of early predictors of autism spectrum disorders
    • Genomics of Parkinson’s Disease genomics in collaboration with Prof George Mellick, Griffith University and Prof Peter Silburn, QBI
    • Genomics of major depressive disorder, funded by NHMRC, in collaboration with Prof Nick Martin QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute we are establishing an online collection of MDD cases and controls asking participants to provide a spit sample for DNA.
    • Genomics of Postpartum Depression – the PPD-ACT study, in collaboration with A/Prof Samantha Meltzer-Brody, University of North Carolina
    • Genomics of schizophrenia, the Sweden3 study, in collaboration with Prof Patrick Sullivan, Karolinska Institutet & University of North Carolina

    Selected publications 

    University of Queensland Researcher:
    Complex Trait Genomics Core:
    ORCID researcher page:
    Google scholar researcher page:

    1. Witte JS, Visscher PM, Wray NR (2014) The contribution of genetic variants to disease depends on the ruler. Nat Rev Genet. 15:765-76.
    2. Gratten J, Wray NR, Keller MC, Visscher PM (2014) Large-scale genomics unveils the genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders. Nature neuroscience 17: 782-90.
    3. Wray NR, Lee SH, Mehta D, Vinkhuyzen AA, Dudbridge F, Middeldorp CM. (2014) Research review: Polygenic methods and their application to psychiatric traits. Child Psychol Psychiatry. 55:1068-87
    4. Marioni RE, Shah S, McRae AF, Ritchie SJ, Muniz-Terrera G, Harris SE, Gibson J, Redmond P, Cox SR, Pattie A, Corley J, Taylor A, Murphy L, Starr JM, Horvath S, Visscher PM, Wray NR*, Deary IJ*. (2015) The epigenetic clock is correlated with physical and cognitive fitness in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936. Int J Epidemiol. pii: dyu277.
    5. Lee SH…Wray NR (2015) New data and an old puzzle: the negative association between schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis. Intl J Epidemiology 44:1706-1721
    6. Gratten J, Wray NR, Peyrot WJ, McGrath JJ, Visscher PM, Goddard ME (2016) Risk of psychiatric illness from advanced paternal age is not predominantly from de novo mutations. Nature Genetics 48:718-724
    7. Han B…Wray NR, Raychaudhuri S (2016) A method to decipher pleiotropy by detecting underlying heterogeneity driven by hidden subgroups applied to autoimmune and neuropsychiatric diseases. Nature Genetics 48:803-810
    8. Peyrot WJ, Boomsma DI, Penninx BWJH, Wray NR (2016) Disease and polygenic architecture: avoid trio-design and appropriately account for unscreened controls for common disease. Am J Hum Gen 98:382-391
    9. Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Cross Disorder Group (last author) (2013) Genetic relationship between five psychiatric disorders estimated from genome-wide SNPs. Nature Genetics 45 (9), 984-994
    10. Wray NR & Maier R (2014) Genetic base of complex genetic disease: the contribution of disease heterogeneity to missing heritability. Current Epi Reports 1: 220