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Department seminar by Jerry Lawless, University of WaterlooExport this event to calendar

Thursday, November 22, 2012 — 4:00 PM EST

 "Testing for association of rare genetic variants and human traits" 

In the search for genetic factors that are associated with diseases and complex human traits, considerable attention is now being focussed on rare variants (genotypes) that individually have small effects. Numerous recent papers have proposed testing strategies to assess association between a group of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) having rare minor alleles and a trait, with competing claims about the performance of various tests. This is a multivariate testing problem, and the power of a given test depends on the size and type of study, the nature of any association and the rareness of the variants in question. I will review this area within a general statistical framework that covers a wide range of genetic models and types of data. The performances of specific tests will be compared through exact or asymptotic power formulas and simulation studies, as well as with real data from the 1000 Genomes project. The results show that power to detect association in plausible genetic scenarios is low for studies of medium size unless a high proportion of the chosen variants are causal. Consequently, considerable attention must be given to relevant biological information that can guide the selection of variants for testing.

This talk is based on joint work with Andriy Derkach and Lei Sun.

Location 
M3 - Mathematics 3
3127
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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