Xiangfei Meng, PhD
6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Office:E-3110, Perry Pavilion
Office phone: (514) 761-6131 x2352
Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Director, Division of Mental Health & Society, Douglas Research Centre
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Research Scholar, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), Junior 1
Lab name: Population mental health and early life stress in neuropsychiatric disorders across the lifespan
Division: Mental Health and Society
Dr. Meng’s research mainly focuses on population mental health and neuropsychiatric epidemiology in general and aging populations, using a wide range of analytic techniques to research the roles of biological (genetic predispositions), psycho-socio environmental risk factors, and their interplay of common mental disorders across the life span, especially focusing on the importance of prevention strategies in the diverse ethnocultural environment. She aims to identify biological and/or psychosocial attributes that signify the risk of psychopathology and potentially serving as targets for prevention and intervention purposes.
Our research group is working in two broad areas:
Population mental health and mental disorders
- exploring bio-psycho-social attributes related to common mental disorders and mental health, including psychosocial attributes tied to mental health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
- identification modifiable risk factors for population disease prevention and health promotion
Early life stress in neuropsychiatric disorders across the life span
- examining the role of child maltreatment in later-on mental health and mental illness
- exploring the underlying mechanism of intergenerational transmission of early life stressors and neuropsychiatric disorders
Our ongoing projects:
Dr. Meng received multidisciplinary training covering population health, psychiatry, genomics, epidemiology, and biostatistics. She received an MSc in Epidemiology & Biostatistics (2005) and a Ph.D. (2010) in Medical Genomics and then completed her postdoctoral fellowship (2010-2013) in psychiatry & neuro-degenerative diseases. As a psychiatric epidemiologist and population mental health researcher, Dr. Meng has been working on specific biopsychosocial characteristics (i.e., early-life exposures, social support, coping, socioeconomic status, common genetic variants), which are closely related, both directly or indirectly, to stress and act as both risk or protective factors for mental health/illness and cognitive impairment. Her leadership in understanding stress-related biopsychosocial characteristics in mental illnesses and population mental health through rigorous quantitative approaches is attested by the number and the quality of her publications. She has also contributed to the training of the next generation of scholars by in-class teaching and supervision on the relevant topic.
The poster by Xiangfei Meng et al., “Does More Education Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia? A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis” received First Prize awarded to posters at 2008 World Psychiatric Association Epidemiology and Public Health Section Meeting, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, May 11-14, 2008.
Sophie Alarie has acquired solid experience as a professional and research coordinator on drug use or mental health, from 1993 to 2020 in various research centers including the International Center for Comparative Criminology (CICC), Recherche et intervention sur les substances psychoactives- Québec (RISQ), le Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Douglas Hospital Research Center, the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM).
At the same time, she held the position of Assistant of the Director at the International Forum of Public Universities (IFPU) from 2009 to 2013 before working on the evaluation of the implementation of the Drug Treatment Program of the Quebec Courts from 2012 to 2014, then to the evaluation of the implementation of the Réseau infirmier, un partenaire de soin (RIUPS), in 2015 and 2016.
She is currently coordinating the development of population-based mental health research and the development of a biological material bank at the Douglas Hospital Research Center.
Gabriel Caron, M.Sc. Psychology from University of Montreal (2020). His master's thesis was on the manifestation of chronic cognitive fatigue following sports concussions. His research interests vary greatly but always share a focus on prevention and clinical utility.
Anne-Marie Saucier is a Research Assistant with the psychosocial team of the DISCoVER (Determining Infection Severity of CoV-2 in Elderly Residents) Project. She graduated with a major in first class honours psychology from McGill University in 2020. Her interests include the psychosocial development and maintenance factors of mental illness.
Muzi Li is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the McGill University and the Douglas Hospital Research Centre. She is working on a series of research programs related to “Big data for big insights in the field of common mental disorders” using a wide range of research methodologies to explore the scientific values of large scale datasets in the field of mental health and mental disorders. Muzi received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan. Her thesis was focused on the mental health in children and adolescents – prevention, psychosocial and epigenetic risk factors, and treatment
Yingying Su – Yingying Su is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the McGill University and the Douglas Hospital Research Centre. She completed her Postdoctoral degree in the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan. Her thesis explored the biopsychosocial model of stress: risk factors, mediating effects, moderating effects and impacts. Her research interests primarily concern with the examination of the relationship between childhood maltreatment and stress-related mental disorders based on the framework of the biopsychosocial model.
Sajag is an undergraduate student at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and a MITACS Research intern at Douglas Research Centre – McGill University.
Google Summer of Code 2021 participant with Python Software Foundation.
Yinneth Andrea Arismendy Lopez
Undergraduate student of the Faculty of Medicine and coordinator of the Positive Psychiatry group of the Universidad de Santander (Colombia), Founder and secretary of the International Network for Stigma Reduction, MITACS research intern at Douglas Center-McGill University.
- Ruiyang Wang
- Yelin Chen
- Lily Sul
- Xin Yi
Former students & trainees
- Jungkyu Park
- Wenwang Rao
- TingTing Gao
- Baekyun (Peter) Park
- Elias Chalet
- Yingzhe Zhang
- Pallavi Misra
- Sibei Liu
- Yuan Shuai
- Xintong Li
- X Meng, M Wang, KJ O’Donnell, J Caron, M Meaney, Y Li. 2022. Integrative PheWAS analysis in risk categorization of major depressive disorder and identifying their associations with genetic variants using a latent topic model approach. Translational Psychiatry.12:240.
- Y Su, M Li, C D'Arcy, X Meng. 2022. Trends and patterns of life satisfaction, Canada, 2009 to 2018: Is the level of social support tied to the trend of life satisfaction? Scientific Reports. 12:9720.
- Y Su, C D’Arcy, M Li, K O’Donnell, J Caron, M Meaney, X Meng. 2022. Specific and cumulative lifetime stressors in the etiology of major depression: A longitudinal community-based population study. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences. 31:1-12.
- Y Su, C D’Arcy, X Meng. 2022. Intergenerational Effect of Maternal Childhood Maltreatment on Next Generation’s Vulnerability to Psychopathology: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Trauma, Violences, & Abuse. 23:152-162.
- Y Su, C D’Arcy, X Meng. 2021. Social support and positive coping skills act as mediators buffering the impact of childhood maltreatment on psychological distress and positive mental health in adulthood: Analysis of a national population-based sample. American Journal of Epidemiology. 189:394-402.
- Y Su, C D’Arcy, X Meng. 2020. Intergenerational Effect of Maternal Childhood Maltreatment on Next Generation’s Vulnerability to Psychopathology: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Trauma, Violences, & Abuse. doi: 10.1177/1524838020933870.
- Y Su, C D’Arcy, X Meng. 2020. Developmental origins of depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.13358.
- M Li, C D’Arcy, X Li, T Zhang, R Joober, X Meng. 2019. What do DNA methylation studies tell us about depression: A systematic review. Translational Psychiatry. 9:68.
- X Meng, M-J Fleury, Y-T Xiang, M Li, C D’Arcy. 2018. Resilience and protective factors among people with a history of child maltreatment: A systematic review. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology. 53:453-475.
- X Meng, A Brunet, G Turecki, A Liu, C D’Arcy, J Caron. 2017. Risk factor modifications on depression incidence: A 4-year longitudinal Canadian cohort of the Montreal Catchment Area Study. BMJ Open. 7:e015156.
- M Li, C D’Arcy, X Meng. 2016. Maltreatment in childhood substantially increases the risk of adult depression and anxiety in prospective cohort studies: systematic review, meta-analysis, and proportional attributable fractions. Psychological Medicine. 46: 717-730.
- X Meng, C D’Arcy. 2015. Coping strategies and distress reduction in psychological well-being? A structural equation modeling analysis using a national population sample. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences. 16: 1-14.
- X Meng, C D’Arcy. 2014. The projected effect of risk factor reduction on major depression incidence: A 16-year longitudinal Canadian Cohort of the National Population Health Survey. Journal of Affective Disorders. 158:56-61.
- X Meng, C D’Arcy. 2013. The projected effect of increasing physical activity on reducing the prevalence of common mental disorders among Canadian men and women: A national population-based community study. Preventive Medicine. 56:59-63.