Dr Daniel Hwang

Research Fellow

Institute for Molecular Bioscience
d.hwang@uq.edu.au
+61 7 344 37976

Overview

Dr Daniel Liang-Dar Hwang is a genetic epidemiologist and statistical geneticist by training. His research interests include sensory nutrition, causal modelling, and personalized nutrition. Dr Hwang applies statistical models to big data to understand genetic and environmental factors contributing to individual differences in taste and olfactory perception, their relationship with dietary behaviour and chronic conditions (See his research on taste perception in The Conversation). He develops methods for increasing statistical power for gene discovery, estimating intergenerational causal relationships, and personalized intervention. He also works with clinicians to investigate impaired chemosensory perception in patients with cancers and COVID-19.

Daniel has a B.Sc from the National Taiwan University, majoring in Biochemical Science and Technology, and a M.Biotech from the University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, he worked as a research technician in Danielle Reed' lab at the Monell Chemical Senses Center where he first developed a keen interest in genetics and chemosensory perception. Later he was awarded scholarships to complete a M.Sc in Nutrition at the University of Washington, under the supervision of Glen Duncan, and a Ph.D in Genetic Epidemiology at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, under the supervision of Nicholas Martin and Margaret Wright. He then joined David Evans's group at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institue (now the Frazer Institute) as a postdoc. Dr Hwang is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

Dr Hwang has published more than 35 peer-review publications. His work has been referred in international health policy guidelines and a WHO report for the intervention of childhood obesity and in an international patent for personalized wine selection. He is on the editorial boards of BMC Medicine and Twin Research and Human Genetics. Dr Hwang is a Leadership Team member of the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research, a global initiative to understand the relationship between smell loss and COVID-19 and foster the advancement of chemosensory science at large. He currently drives an international collaborative project to investigate the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations on long-COVID symptoms. Dr Hwang is a member of the National Committee for Nutrition of the Australian Academy of Science where he contributes to the implementation of the decadal plan for the science of nutrition in Australia.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Coursework) of Science, University of Washington
  • Masters (Coursework) of Biotechnology, University of Pennsylvania

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • Polygenic risk scores have provided informative predictions for highly heritable traits and has been intergrated into risk prediction models along with traditional clinicial measurements to improvde risk prediction of cardiometabolic disease and other inherited health conditions. This project aims to develop novel polygenic scores specifically for priotising interventions or "personalised intervention" rather than risk prediction.

  • This project aims to investigate post-vaccination changes in the perception of smell and taste and other symptoms of long-COVID using data collected from the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (https://gcchemosensr.org/). The results will help assess the potential impact of COVID-19 vaccines and provide new clues to help us understand recovery from long-COVID.

  • This study will involve collecting genetic, dietary, and sensory data from young children and their parents to perform a comprehensive analysis to understand factors contributing to picking eating behaviour in young children.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Hwang, Liang-Dar, Davies, Neil M., Warrington, Nicole M. and Evans, David M. (2022). Integrating family-based and Mendelian randomization designs. Combining human genetics and causal inference to understand human disease and development. (pp. 137-150) edited by George Davey Smith, Rebecca Richmond and Jean-Baptiste Pingault. Cold Spring Harbor, NY, United States: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Ryoo, M., Hwang, D., Wright, O., Brown, J. and Roura, E. (2023). Consumption of diets rich in animal protein, saturated fat, or sodium, and low in fibre are associated with increased risk of acute appendicitis. 46th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of Australia, Perth, WA Australia, 29 November – 2 December 2022. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/s0029665123001258

  • Ryoo, M., Hwang, D., Wright, O., Brown, J. and Roura, E. (2023). Increased risk of acute appendicitis linked to biological sex, ethnic background, obesity, and smoking status. 46th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of Australia, Perth, WA Australia, 29 November – 2 December 2022. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/s0029665123001714

  • Wang, Geng, Bhatta, Laxmi, Moen, Gunn-Helen, Hwang, Liang-Dar, Kemp, John P., Bond, Tom A., Asvold, Bjorn Olav, Brumpton, Ben, Evans, David M. and Warrington, Nicole M. (2021). Investigating a Potential Causal Relationship Between Maternal Blood Pressure During Pregnancy and Future Offspring Cardiometabolic Health. NEW YORK: SPRINGER.

  • Cuéllar-Partida, Gabriel, Lundberg, Mischa, Campos-González, Adrian I., Kho, Pik Fang, D’Urso, Shannon, Hwang, Liang-Dar, Ngo, Trung Thanh and Rentería, Miguel E. (2019). Complex-Traits Genetics Virtual Lab: A community-driven web platform for post-GWAS analyses. American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 69th Annual Meeting, Houston, TX United States, 15–19 October 2019.

  • Ngo, Trung Thanh, Lundberg, Mischa, Campos-González, Adrian, Kho, Pik Fang, D’Urso, Shannon, Hwang, Liang-Dar, Rentería, Miguel and Cuéllar-Partida, Gabriel (2019). Genetic epidemiology of back pain: Examining causality with Complex Traits Virtual Lab. Australasian Epidemiological Association 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting — 'Epidemiology in the real world', South Brisbane, QLD Australia, 23–25 October 2019.

  • Evans, David, Warrington, Nicole, Partida, Gabriel Cuellar and Hwang, Daniel (2019). Using Mendelian randomization to estimate the causal effect of maternal (intrauterine) exposures on late onset offspring outcomes. 49th Annual Meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association (BGA), Stockholm, Sweden, 26-29 June, 2019. New York, NY, United States: Springer New York LLC. doi: 10.1007/s10519-019-09973-8

  • Long, Elizabeth, Ong, Jue-Sheng, Hwang, Liang-Dar, Savage, Jeanne E., Edwards, Alexis, Prom-Wormley, Elizabeth, Salvatore, Jessica E., Kendler, Kenneth S., Vassileva, Jasmin and Gillespie, Nathan A. (2018). F271. The Moderating Roles of Parental Monitoring and Peer Group Deviance on Polygenic Risk for Alcohol Use Across Adolescence. 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, New York, United States, 10-12 May 2018. Philadelphia, PA, United States: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.02.885

  • Hwang, Liang-Dar, Gharahkhani, Puya, Zhu, Gu, Gordon, Scott D., Breslin, Paul A. S., Martin, Nicholas G., Reed, Danielle R. and Wright, Margaret J. (2018). Replication and discovery of genetic variants influencing human bitter taste perception. 39th Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, Bonita Springs, FL, United States, 26 - 29 April 2017. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjy003

  • Hwang, Liang-Dar, Breslin, Paul A., Reed, Danielle R., Zhu, Gu, Martin, Nicholas G. and Wright, Margaret J. (2016). Is the Association between Sweet and Bitter Perception due to Genetics?. 38th Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Chemoreception-Sciences (AChemS), Bonita Springs Fl, Apr 20-23, 2016. OXFORD: OXFORD UNIV PRESS.

  • Hwang, Liang-Dar, Reed, Danielle, Breslin, Paul, Zhu, Gu, Martin, Nicholas and Wright, Margaret (2016). GWAS of bitter taste perception in Australian adolescents. 46th Annual Meeting of the Behavior-Genetics-Association, Brisbane Australia, 20-23 June 2016. New York, NY, United States: Springer.

  • Mennella, Julie A., Lowenthal, Elizabeth D., Mathew, Phoebe, Roberts, Kristi, Mansfield, Corrine, Hwang, Liang-Dar, Lin, Cailu and Reed, Danielle R. (2016). The Molecular Basis of Individual Differences in the Taste of an HIV Treatment Drug. 38th Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Chemoreception-Sciences (AChemS), Bonita Springs, Fl United States, 20-23 April 2016. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

  • Reed, Danielle R., Lipchock, Sarah V., Evans, Emily, Mansfield, Corrine, Hwang, Liang-Dar, Spielman, Andrew and Mennella, Julie A. (2015). Epigenetics of the human TAS2R38 gene. 37th Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Chemoreception-Sciences (AChemS), Bonita Spring, FL, United States, 22-25 April 2015. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjv029

  • Hwang, Liang-Dar, Zhu, Gu, Wright, Margaret J., Martin, Nicholas G., Reed, Danielle R. and Breslin, Paul A. S. (2015). Genetic Modeling of Human Intensity Ratings of Four Sweeteners. 15th Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Association for ChemoSensory Science (AACSS), Brisbane, QLD Australia, 03-05 December 2014. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjv008

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Polygenic risk scores have provided informative predictions for highly heritable traits and has been intergrated into risk prediction models along with traditional clinicial measurements to improvde risk prediction of cardiometabolic disease and other inherited health conditions. This project aims to develop novel polygenic scores specifically for priotising interventions or "personalised intervention" rather than risk prediction.

  • This project aims to investigate post-vaccination changes in the perception of smell and taste and other symptoms of long-COVID using data collected from the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (https://gcchemosensr.org/). The results will help assess the potential impact of COVID-19 vaccines and provide new clues to help us understand recovery from long-COVID.

  • This study will involve collecting genetic, dietary, and sensory data from young children and their parents to perform a comprehensive analysis to understand factors contributing to picking eating behaviour in young children.