Emerging Statistical Challenges and Methods For Analysis of Massive Genomic Data in Complex Human Disease Studies (14w5011)

Arriving in Banff, Alberta on Sunday, June 22 and departing Friday June 27, 2014

Organizers

Shelley Bull (University of Toronto)
Michael Epstein (Emory University)
Xihong Lin (Harvard University)
Lei Sun (University of Toronto)
Michael Wu (University of North Carolina)

Objectives

The objectives of this workshop are: i) to address emerging statistical problems and challenges in the analysis of large-scale genetic/genomic data using cutting-edge technology; ii) to bring together researchers who specialize in relevant areas to exchange ideas and problems, with the ultimate goal of establishing productive collaborations; iii) to discuss directions of future research in this areas; iv) to encourage graduate students and new researchers, and women to work in statistical genetics; v) to facilitate interactions between theoretical and applied statisticians; vi) to disseminate the findings and consensus of discussions to the scientific community.

The workshop aims to strengthen collaboration and communication among various research groups and consolidate existing ones. The proposed workshop participants include leading researchers in the area as well as junior researchers and graduate students across Canada and the United States who are interested in the genetic analysis of complex human traits. Consequently, the workshop provides the opportunity for new collaborations between established and junior researchers in this important field. BIRS is ideal for the development of such collaborations since we believe such interactions are difficult to achieve at traditional conferences like Joint Statistical Meetings and American Society of Human Genetics given the enormous number of participants and the wide scope of topics found at such meetings.

Although there are sessions on statistical genetics in most statistical conferences, there is great need for a workshop that exclusively focuses on timely and important problems arising from the use of cutting-edge sequencing and genomics technology that assists in dissecting the genetic origins of complex traits. We also feel this workshop would be a great learning opportunity for graduate students and new researchers in Canada and the United States and would potentially assist them on their career development. Therefore, the proposed workshop is timely, and will provide a great platform for collaborative research between senior researchers and new researchers as well as between theoretical and applied statisticians. We believe that this workshop will be a catalyst for substantial advancement in this important field that hopefully will lead to improvements in public health. If the workshop is approved, we have arranged with the editors of the journal Statistics in Biosciences to publish a special issue that disseminates the findings from the workshop.