Harvard Catalyst Profiles

Contact, publication, and social network information about Harvard faculty and fellows.

Heming Wang, Ph.D.

Profile Picture

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OHPh.D.01/2017Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Michigan State University, Lansing, MIM.S.06/2011Statistics
Tianjin University, Tianjin, ChinaB.S.07/2008Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
GAW Student Travel Award
IGES Roger W. Williams Award Finalist
Doctoral Excellence Award
SRS Trainee Merit Based Award
SRN Abstract Scholarship
SRSF Career Development Award
Sleep Research Society Hypnos Cup champion
Reviewers’ Choice Abstract
F21 Chair’s Research Award

My primary research interest is genetic epidemiology with a focus on admixed population, family data, gene-environment interactions, multi-omics data analyses on sleep disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

Professional Societies:
American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)
International Genetic Epidemiology Society (IGES)
Sleep Research Society (SRS)
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Available: 01/10/22, Expires: 03/31/26

Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) affects 10-20% of the population and is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and mortality. Emerging data suggest reduction in EDS as novel intervention targets for improving CVD. However, findings are limited by self-reported data and heterogeneity. There is a need to dissect and understand the underlying drivers of EDS subtypes, and to determine whether there are subtypes causally related to CVD and potentially modifiable. Our recent work identified two primary subtypes of EDS sleep propensity (SP; characterized by objectively measured long sleep duration, high efficiency, and less fragmentation) and sleep fragmentation (SF; short sleep duration and low efficiency). Each of them is common in the population, associated with different genetic backgrounds and adverse cardiovascular outcomes. We hypothesize that SP is a novel sleep phenotype that reflects a property of the need of staying asleep; dissecting EDS into SP and SF subtypes will facilitate identification of genetic, behavioral and physiological mechanisms for EDS, and improve understanding of pleiotropic or causal associations with CVD risk. In order to test these hypotheses, we will leverage macro- and micro- sleep architecture measurements, genomics, and other -omics data in population-based cohorts. We will address the following specific aims: 1) To identify social behavior risk factors, comorbidities and neurophysiological characteristics (assessed by actigraphy and electroencephalography) for SP and SF, and refine classification of EDS subtypes if needed; 2) To identify genetic variants and molecular pathways associated with EDS subtypes and generate robust polygenetic risk score for risk stratification; 3) To systematically evaluate the causal or non-causal associations between EDS subtypes and CVD traits; 4) To identify the modification effect of each EDS subtype on genetic susceptibility of CVD using gene-environment interaction analyses. This work will advance our understanding of the heterogeneity of EDS, reveal biological mechanisms and pathways linking to CVD, and provide information that will guide clinical and public health interventions as well as provide directions for future laboratory research. The trainee will have the opportunity to lead one study of this project to investigate the neurophysiological/genetics background of EDS. He/she will use Python and R programming, often on a Linux-based computer cluster. He/she may also learn how to apply the most modern genetics statistical software to quantify genetic associations, model gene by environmental interactions, and generate polygenic risk scores.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R01HL153814 (WANG, HEMING) Apr 20, 2021 - Mar 31, 2026
    Dissecting heterogeneity of excessive daytime sleepiness and impact on cardiovascular diseases
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. SRSF 018-JP-18 (Heming Wang) Jun 27, 2018 - Jun 26, 2019
    Sleep Research Society Foundation’s Career Development Award
    Multi-Omics Investigation of Iron-Related Pathways in Sleep-Disordered Breathing
    Role Description: This proposal aims to identify and understand the iron-related genes and pathways contributing to sleep-disordered breathing. I am mentored by Drs. Susan Redline and Tamar Sofer to extend my knowledge of sleep-disordered breathing physiology and iron metabolism and apply cutting-edge genomics and other -omics techniques to address novel and timely questions relevant to the sleep medicine field.
    Role: PI

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
This operation might take several minutes to complete. Please do not close your browser.
Local representatives can answer questions about the Profiles website or help with editing a profile or issues with profile data. For assistance with this profile: HMS/HSDM faculty should contact contactcatalyst.harvard.edu. For faculty or fellow appointment updates and changes, please ask your appointing department to contact HMS. For fellow personal and demographic information, contact HMS Human Resources at human_resourceshms.harvard.edu. For faculty personal and demographic information, contact HMS Office for Faculty Affairs at facappthms.harvard.edu.
Wang's Networks
Click the
buttons for more information and interactive visualizations!
Concepts (191)
Co-Authors (44)
Similar People (60)
Same Department 
Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.