23rd Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics (SISG)

Module 6: Genetic Epidemiology

Session 2: Wed Jul 11 to Fri Jul 13

Module dates/times: Wednesday, July 11, 1:30-5 p.m.; Thursday, July 12, 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m., and Friday, July 13, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

This module provides an overview of genetic epidemiology with a focus on design, analysis and interpretation in studies of complex disease. The module is meant as an introduction to the field with a focus on surveying the various methods for discovering how genetic factors influence health and disease.

The course discusses classic genetic epidemiology methods and study designs, including twin studies, family studies, and population-based association studies, as well as more contemporary topics including gene-environment interactions, rare variant analysis, mendelian randomization and pharmacogenetics. These topics will be reinforced through in-class exercises along with critical reading and discussion of recent publications.

Alison Fohner is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She studies how genetic information can improve public health, focusing on how genetic variation affects the response of an individual to particular medications. She has training in pharmacogenetic research methods and data analysis, as well as the legal, ethical, and social implications of conducting and applying that research in health care systems.  She is completing a fellowship in informatics and delivery science at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, where she is applying machine learning to identify variation in response to medical treatment within extensive electronic medical record data. Her recent publications include "Carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A P479L and infant death: policy implications of emerging data.'' Genetics in Medicine 19:851-857.

Sara Lindstroem is Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on understanding the genetic contribution to common complex traits, with a primary emphasis on cancer and linked traits. By leveraging long-running large population-based studies, she investigates how our genetics and environment affect our risk of developing disease. Her current research projects include studying the shared genetic origin between common cancers and the genetics underlying childhood obesity, breast tissue composition and venous thromboembolism. She is also seeking approaches to incorporate information about the functional characteristics of the genome in her studies. She is involved in several large-scale international collaborations that study the genetics underlying breast and prostate cancer. Among her recent publications is "Assessing the causal relationship between obesity and venous thromboembolism through a Mendelian Randomization study.'' Human Genetics 136:897-902, 2017.

Access 2017 Course Materials (2018 materials will be uploaded to this page prior to the start of the module)