Dr. Jue Sheng Ong is an early career researcher, currently a research officer in the Statistical Genetics group (MacGregor lab) in the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. Dr. Ong completed his PhD training (conferred in 2021) in the same lab under the supervision of Prof. Stuart MacGregor, where his thesis had a strong focus on genetic causal inference on multiple cancers. Whilst Dr Ong’s primary expertise is in conducting and designing causal inference analyses for common cancers, Dr Ong also made significant contributions on various other consortia-led large gene-mapping efforts on various other human complex traits (ophthalmological traits, behavioural phenotypes and gut disorders).
Research Officer (2019-Present – QIMR Berghofer Statistical Genetics laboratory
Research Assistant (2019) – QIMR Berghofer Statistical Genetics laboratory
Exploration of novel statistical techniques to understand genetic substructures embedded in complex diseases. The current application of this techniques is on understanding why some reflux patients develop pathological forms of acid reflux, and hence progresses into Barrett’s Esophagus (and esophageal cancer), while others do not.
Investigating the influence of genetic ancestry on polygenic prediction of complex diseases. Currently, Dr. Ong is involved in designing statistical models for polygenic risk prediction for glaucoma and related ophthalmological traits that is robust towards genetic admixture.
Causal inference for cancers in diverse populations. As genomic research grows larger and achieves racial diversity to promote better health equity worldwide, it is important to understand which risk factors for cancers are potentially ancestry-specific, and why some of them aren’t. This work will involve the use of very large biobanks and collaboration with major cancer consortia in both Europeans as well as other ethnicities.
2021: Mapped more genetic risk loci for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Barrett’s Esophagus through multi-trait genetic association models, more than doubling the number of risk loci known to date for GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus. For the first time, showed that the genetic architecture of GERD is highly complex, nesting both pathological and non-pathological forms of GERD, which have different downstream implications on risk of Barrett’s Esophagus – confirming previous clinical observations.
2018: Applied Mendelian randomization framework in taste biology – showed that bitter taste perception is potentially causal towards consumption behaviour of tea, coffee and alcohol. The study received exceptional media attention; paper voted top 100 papers in Scientific Report for 2018.
2017: Initiated the series of Mendelian randomization studies utilizing a pan-cancer phenotype, to probe the association between overall cancer outcomes and a range of common modifiable risk factors (e.g. height, obesity, vitamin D, fatty acids). Study presented in a platform presentation in the prestigious American Society of Human Genetics meeting.
2016: Published the first Mendelian randomization studies for vitamin D and ovarian cancer risk. Showing that vitamin D is potentially protective towards high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
American Society of Human Genetics
Australian Society of Medical Research
Recipient of NHMRC Investigator grant 2022 (Category EL1).
2019 – Doctor of Philosophy, Medicine (University of Queensland)