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Revisiting the use of families in complex genetic disease studies

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Professor Sylvia Richardson, Director of the MRC Biostatistics Unit, will introduce Professor Cordell.

Traditionally, genetic studies have focussed on using data from families (related individuals) in order to track the inheritance patterns of genetic material through a pedigree. In the last few years, there has been a shift in emphasis towards analysis of unrelated individuals, for example in large-scale genome-wide association studies involving population-based cohorts of unrelated cases and controls. In this talk I shall illustrate the utility of family-based collections for identifying genetic determinants of complex disease with reference to three ongoing projects: (1) an investigation of methods/software to correct for relatedness between individuals in genome-wide association studies, with particular application to a Brazilian family study of visceral leishmaniasis; (2) linkage/association mapping in an affected sib pair study of vesicoureteric reflux; (3) improving the power for detection of parent-of-origin effects in case/parent trios through haplotype estimation.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill Seminars series.

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