Azmeraw Amare

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Dr. Azmeraw Amare is a clinical and genetic epidemiologist interested in Precision medicine, pharmacogenomics, and translational medicine. He has an interdisciplinary educational background, with academic qualifications in clinical epidemiology, Genetics, Medical Biostatistics, public health and completed a PhD in medicine at the University of Adelaide. PhD thesis: Genetic predictors of response to pharmacotherapy in patients with mood disorders: Steps on the Path to Personalized Psychiatry

Azmeraw has extensive experience in big clinical and genetic data analysis such as genome-wide DNA, polygenic and gene expression analysis using advanced genetic statistical tools.

He is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Azmeraw has authored (co) 75 articles (12 as the first author) in high impact journals and a book chapter;

Over 25,899 citations and H-index 41 (Scopus)

In his research, Azmeraw applies advanced bioinformatic techniques to identify predictors of response to treatment in psychiatric patients. He is particularly interested in the development of multivariable diagnostic/prognostic algorithms (tools) that can integrate individual’s genomic information with other predictors (e.g. omics pillars (including genomics, epigenomes, proteomics, metabolomics and microbiomes), neuroimaging and clinical characteristics) to finally predict therapeutic outcomes.

Currently, he assesses the polygenic predictors of treatment response to antidepressants (SSRIs) and mood stabilizers (lithium) in patients with mood disorders. This project is being conducted in collaboration with international consortia, including the International SSRI Pharmacogenomics Consortium (ISPC), the International Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLi+Gen) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Grants, Scholarships and Awards

  • 2020-2022 Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation NARSAD young investigator grant (AUD 102,000).
  • 2019 Recognised as one of Australia’s top 40 Rising stars (best of 5 in Health & Medical Sciences list) among all researchers under 10 years into their research career by The Australian newspaper research Review.
  • 2018 University of Adelaide Doctoral Research Medal for Outstanding research at PhD level and Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.
  • 2017 University of Adelaide international research travel grant (AUD 3000).
  • 2017 World Psychiatric Association Young Scientists Fellowship by the World Psychiatric Association [Germany].
  • 2015-2018 Adelaide Scholarship International [Australia].
  • 2014 University of Washington summer scholarship to attend the 19th summer institute in statistical genetics courses [USA].
  • 2012-2014 University of Groningen international scholarship for Postgraduate Study [Netherlands]
  • 2011-2012 Government of Belgium University Commission for Development (CIUF-CUD) Postgraduate Scholarship [Belgium].

Selected Publications

  1. Amare AT, Schubert KO, Hou L, Clark SR, Papiol S, Heilbronner U et al. Association of Polygenic Score for Schizophrenia and HLA Antigen and Inflammation Genes With Response to Lithium in Bipolar Affective Disorder: A Genome-Wide Association Study. JAMA Psychiatry 2018; 75(1): 65-74.
  2. Amare AT, Ahmad Vaez, Yi-Hsiang Hsu, Nese Direk, Zoha Kamali, David M. Howard, Andrew M. McIntosh, Henning Tiemeier, Ute Bültmann, Harold Snieder, Catharina A. Hartman. Bivariate genome-wide association analyses of a broad depression phenotype combined with major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia reveal eight novel genetic loci for depression. Nature: Molecular Psychiatry, 2019
  3.   Amare AT, Schubert KO, Klingler-Hoffmann M, Cohen-Woods S, Baune BT. The genetic overlap between mood disorders and cardiometabolic diseases: a systematic review of genome-wide and candidate gene studies. Translational Psychiatry 2017; 7: e1007.
  4. Amare AT, Schubert KO, Baune BT. Pharmacogenomics in the treatment of mood disorders: Strategies and Opportunities for personalized psychiatry. The EPMA journal 2017; 8(3): 211-227.
  5.  Amare AT, Schubert KOT, Schulze TG, Baune B. Association of Polygenic Score for Major Depression with Response to Lithium in Patients with Bipolar Disorder. Nature: Molecular Psychiatry, 2020.
  6. Amare AT, Schubert KO, Tekola-Ayele F, Hsu YH, Sangkuhl K, Jenkins G et al. Association of the Polygenic Scores for Personality Traits and Response to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry 2018; 9: 65.
  7. Amare AT, Schubert KO, Tekola-Ayele F, Hsu YH, Sangkuhl K, Jenkins G et al. The association of obesity and coronary artery disease genes with response to SSRIs treatment in major depression. Journal of neural transmission  2019.
  8. Tekola-Ayele F, Workalemahu T, Amare AT. High burden of birthweight-lowering genetic variants in Africans and Asians. BMC medicine 2018; 16(1): 70.
  9.  Stacey D, Schubert KO, Clark SR, Amare AT, Milanesi E, Maj C et al. A gene co-expression module implicating the mitochondrial electron transport chain is associated with long-term response to lithium treatment in bipolar affective disorder. Transl Psychiatry 2018; 8(1): 183.
  10. Opel N, Amare AT, Redlich R, Repple J, Kaehler C, Grotegerd D et al. Cortical surface area alterations shaped by the genetic load for neuroticism. Molecular Psychiatry 2018.
  11. Nolte IM, Munoz ML, Tragante V, Amare AT, Jansen R, Vaez A et al. Genetic loci associated with heart rate variability and their effects on cardiac disease risk. Nature Communications 2017; 8: 15805.
  12.  Haljas K, Amare AT, Alizadeh BZ, Hsu YH, Mosley T, Newman A et al. Bivariate Genome-Wide Association Study of Depressive Symptoms With Type 2 Diabetes and Quantitative Glycemic Traits. Psychosomatic medicine 2018; 80(3): 242-251.
  13. Ni G, Amare AT, Zhou X, Mills N, Gratten J, Lee SH. The genetic relationship between female reproductive traits and six psychiatric disorders. Sci Rep 2019; 9(1): 12041.
  14. Direk N, Williams S, Smith JA, Ripke S, Air T, Amare AT, et al. An Analysis of Two Genome-wide Association Meta-analyses Identifies a New Locus for Broad Depression Phenotype. Biological Psychiatry 2017; 82(5): 322-329.
  15.  Ciobanu LG, Ferrari AJ, Erskine HE, Santomauro DF, Charlson FJ, Leung J Amare AT et al. The prevalence and burden of mental and substance use disorders in Australia: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry 2018; 52(5): 483-490.
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 - 2022 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2018 Postdoc South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide
    2015 - 2018 PhD University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Award 2018 Doctoral Research Medal for Outstanding research at PhD level University of Adelaide Australia Gold Medal
    2018 Research Award Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence University of Adelaide Australia
    2017 Fellowship 2017 World congress of psychiatry Young Fellowship Programme World Psychiatric Association Germany
    2015 Scholarship Adelaide Scholarship International (ASI) University of Adelaide Australia
    2014 Scholarship 19th summer institute in statistical genetics courses in Seattle University of Washington United States
    2012 Scholarship CPE-SHARE research institute, University Medical center Groningen University of Groningen Netherlands
    2011 Scholarship CIUF-CUD Scholarship for postgraduate Study Belgium University Commission for Development (CIUF-CUD) Belgium
    2006 Award Top student and gold medal among 2006 graduates in the faculty of public health Hawassa University Ethiopia Gold Medal
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2015 - 2018 University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Medicine
    2014 - 2014 University of Groningen, Groningen Netherlands Master of Science in Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology (Research master)
    2011 - 2012 Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels Belgium Master in research methodology
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2014 19th Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics University of Washington United States
  • Research Interests


    Lecturer of the Biological Psychiatry course  (the University of Adelaide, School of Medicine) covering the following section of the course

    Introduction to quantitative genetics

    Pharmacogenomics in Psychiatry

    Personalised medicine in Psychiatry

    • Phone: 83137438
    • Email:
    • Campus: North Terrace
    • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 7
    • Room: WS7062.37
    • Org Unit: Health and Medical Sciences Faculty Office

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