Francesca Luca, PhD

Francesca Luca, PhD
Associate 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. Our research is funded by the NIH.

Recent Publications


Resztak JA, Farrell AK, Mair-Meijers HE, Alazizi A, Wen X, Wildman DE, Zilioli S, Slatcher RB, Pique-Regi R, Luca F, Psychosocial experiences modulate asthma-associated genes through gene-environment interactions (2021) Elife. 2021;10:e63852. doi: 10.7554/eLife.63852

Findley  AS, Monziani  A, Richards AL, Rhodes K, Ward MC, Kalita CA, Alazizi A, Pazokitoroudi A, Sankararaman S, Wen X, Lanfear DE, Pique-Regi R, Gilad Y, Luca F. Functional dynamic genetic effects on gene regulation are specific to particular cell types and environmental conditions (2021)  eLife 2021;10:e67077 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.67077

Findley AS, Richards AL, Petrini C, Alazizi A, Doman E, Shanku AG, Davis GO, Hauff NJ, Sorokin Y, Wen X, Pique-Regi R, Luca F. Interpreting coronary artery disease risk through gene-environment interactions in gene regulation. Genetics October 2019 213: 651-663;

Richards AL,  Muehlbauer AL,  Alazizi A,  Burns MB,  Gould TJ,  Cascardo C,  Pique-Regi R,  Blekhman R,  Luca F. Gut microbiota has a widespread and modifiable effect on host gene regulation (2018) mSystems 4:e0032318.

Kalita CA,  Brown CD,  Freiman A,  Isherwood J,  Wen X,  Pique-Regi R,  Luca F (2018)  High throughput characterization of genetic effects on DNA:protein binding and gene transcription. Genome Res. 28(11):1701-1708. doi: 10.1101/gr.237354.118.

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:

Richards AL, Watza D,  Findley A,  Alazizi A,  Wen X,  Pai A,  Pique-Regi R, Luca F (2017) Environmental Perturbations Lead To Extensive Directional Shifts In RNA Processing. PLOS Genetics.

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.