Francesca Luca, PhD

Francesca Luca, PhD
Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Scott Hall, Rm 3317
540 E. Canfield Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201


University of Calabria, PhD, 2006

Research Focus

My lab is interested in understanding the genetic and molecular basis of inter-individual and inter-population differences in complex phenotypes. We combine evolutionary and functional genomics approaches to study intermediate phenotypes (e.g.: transcription factor binding, gene expression, protein secretion, etc.) and how they are affected by gene-environment interactions. We are currently funded by the NIH and the American Heart Association.

Recent Publications


Wen X, Pique-Regi R, Luca F (2017) Integrating Molecular QTL Data into Genome-wide Genetic Association Analysis: Probabilistic Assessment of Enrichment and Colocalization. PLoS Genetics. In Press. Pre-print:

Gregory Moyerbrailean, Allison Richards, Daniel Kurtz, Cynthia Kalita, Gordon Davis, Chris Harvey, Adnan Alazizi, Donovan Watza, Yoram Sorokin, Nancy Hauff, Xiang Zhou, Xiaoquan Wen, Roger Pique-Regi*, and Francesca Luca* (2016) High-throughput allele-specific expression across 250 environmental conditions. Genome Research. doi:10.1101/gr.209759.116. *Corresponding authors.

Allison L Richards, Michael B Burns, Adnan Alazizi, Luis B Barreiro, Roger Pique-Regi, Ran Blekhman*, Francesca Luca* (2016) Genetic and transcriptional analysis of human host response to healthy gut microbiome. mSystems. 1 (4) e00067-16; DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00067-16. *Corresponding authors.

Moyerbrailean G, Harvey C, Kalita C, Wen X, Luca F*, Pique-Regi R* (2016) Which genetic variants in DNase I sensitivity regions are functional? PLoS Genetics 12(2): e1005875. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005875. *Corresponding authors.

Wen X, Lee Y, Luca F, Pique-Regi R (2016) Efficient Integrative Multi-SNP Association Analysis using Deterministic Approximation of Posteriors. AJHG, 98, 6: 1114-1129. 

G. Moyerbrailean, O. Davis, C. Harvey, D. Watza, X. Wen, R. Pique-Regi*, F. Luca*. (2015) A high-throughput RNA-seq approach to profile transcriptional responses. Sci Rep, 29;5:14976. doi: 10.1038/srep14976. *Corresponding authors.

Wen X, Luca F, Pique-Regi R (2015) Cross-Population Joint Analysis of eQTLs: Fine Mapping and Functional Annotation. PLoS Genet 11(4): e1005176. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005176

Chris Harvey, Gregory A Moyebrailean, Omar Davis, Xiaoquan Wen, Francesca Luca*, Roger Pique-Regi* (2014) QuASAR: Quantitative Allele Specific Analysis of Reads. Bioinformatics. 2014 Dec 4. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btu802. *Corresponding authors

Luca F, Maranville JC, Richards AL, Witonsky DB, Stephens M, Di Rienzo A. Genetic, functional and molecular features of glucocorticoid receptor binding. PLoS One. 2013 Apr 30;8(4):e61654. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061654. Print 2013. 

Luca F, Di Rienzo A. Allelic imbalance assays to quantify allele-specific gene expression and transcription factor binding. Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1015:201-11. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-435-7_13.