Study has implications for the use of personalized genetic risk in populations with diverse ancestries.Timothy Thornton, associate professor of biostatistics at the UW School of Public Health is senior author and co-authors include Andréa Horimoto, acting instructor of biostatistics and Ellen Wijsman, UW professor of medicine and biostatistics.
In a new study of more than 3,000 Caribbean Hispanics, researchers from the University of Washington found that individuals with African ancestry at a key Alzheimer’s gene had 39 percent lower odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease than individuals with European ancestry at the gene. “The results from our study have important implications for the use of personalized genetic risk in populations with diverse ancestries, even for well-established risk factors,” said senior author Tim Thornton, associate professor of biostatistics at the UW School of Public Health.
Studies by Sarah Nelson (PHG, PhD ’18), a research scientist with the Genetic Analysis Center in the Department of Biostatistics, are cited in a recent Nature News article about a controversial third-party interpretation app based on a genetic study of same-sex sexual behavior. “While the app has since been taken down, it portends a growing trend for app developers to prematurely roll out potentially sensitive science in the interest of interpreting individual genomes,” says Nelson.
Several faculty and alumni from the University of Washington Department of Biostatistics and School of Public Health serve in leadership roles for the new FDA Sentinel Innovation Center. Jennifer Nelson, who is director of biostatistics at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), an affiliate professor of biostatistics at the UW, and a program alumni (PhD ’99), is one of these experts.
"When we have positive results, we tend to believe them whether or not we understand the mechanism. If we have a negative result, then we say it's by chance. It's an easy way out," said UW Professor of Biostatistics Susanne May, one of the dissenting votes on the FDA panel.
Amy Willis, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington has been awarded a $1.5M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve statistical tools used to profile the microbiome using sequencing.
A new mathematical model developed at North Carolina State University in partnership with Assistant Professor of Biostatistics Amy Willis from the University of Washington is profile in this story. Their work highlights a new calibration tool they developed that shows how bias distorts results when measuring bacterial communities through metagenomic sequencing.
A new study conducted by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that women who follow diets that are low in fat can yield serious health benefits over time, including preventing the onset of serious diseases. “The [Women’s Health Initiative’s] Dietary Modification Trial has provided women with nutrition and disease prevention insights for some years,” said Dr. Ross Prentice, Fred Hutch researcher and UW Professor of Biostatistics.