Wenqianglong (Ayden) Li

PhD Student


Research Focus

I’m a Molecular Psychiatry PhD student at UCL with curiosity in developmental neuroscience, genetics, and psychiatry. I am particularly interested in alcohol dependence (AD) syndrome, conduct disorder, and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). ASPD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that influences patients’ interpersonal, behavioural, cognitive and mood domains. It inflicts substantial costs on health and social service agencies. To date, there are no medical treatments could prevent or cure this disorder. The exact causes of ASPD are unknown. The aims of my PhD are to understand the genetic architecture and to provide insight into molecular mechanisms of ASPD, and to explore the shared genetic risk factors between ASPD and AD. By conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), I can explore the genetic architecture of ASPD and AD. By performing genome-wide trans-ethnic meta-analysis that covers different ancestries, it could potentially help to identify more genetic risk variation of ASPD present in the human genome, and to develop an etiological model of ASPD, and to improve the certainty of clinical variant interpretation. Additionally, I design imaging genetic studies to identify potential imaging biomarkers and test association of polygenic risk for ASPD and AD with brain structures and functions.

I started my PhD in February 2018 and am funded by China Scholarships Council (CSC). My primary supervisor is Professor Andrew McQuillin and my secondary supervisor is Dr Nick Bass.