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Dr. Bhramar Mukherjee at the SickKids Genetics Grand Rounds
April 3, 2014 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
The Genetics Grand Rounds, Division of Clinical and Metabolic Genetics at The Hospital for Sick Children proudly presents
Talk title: Genetic association and gene-environment interaction: Are we making progress with targeted disease prevention and treatment?
In this talk I will discuss how the paradigm of studying genetic architecture of a complex trait has shifted from linkage studies to genomewide association studies (GWAS) over the last two decades, and how important it is to characterize the complex interplay of genes and environment in trying to learn about disease etiology. Taking colorectal cancer as an example, I will share my experience as a biostatistician working on the interface of cancer epidemiology and genetics, trying to understand multiple aspects of predicting disease risk. On one hand are the high-risk families with familial colorectal cancer coming to genetic counseling clinic, wanting to know about disease risk and prevention; on the other hand are large-scale post-GWAS studies of sporadic colorectal cancer, trying to search for susceptibility loci in an agnostic way, with each loci contributing very modestly to disease risk. I will explain how we are learning from fragments of data from these different study designs and then trying to integrate them into a cohesive disease risk model. I will also try to quantify the added information from the genes in presence of established environmental risk factors in terms of risk prediction and risk stratification. The talk will end with a discussion of an important question: the era of personalized medicine and targeted prevention, has it arrived, or are we still far away?
Bhramar Mukherjee is currently a Professor of Biostatistics at the School of Public Health, University of Michigan. She did her Ph.D in Statistics from Purdue University in 2001. She was an Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Florida from 2002-2006, before coming to Michigan. Her research interests are gene-environment interactions, Bayesian methods in genetic and environmental epidemiology and statistical analysis under outcome dependent sampling. Dr. Mukherjee has authored more than one hundred articles in reputed Statistics, Biostatistics and Epidemiology journals. She is leading multiple NIH and NSF grants on gene-environment interaction analysis as principal investigator. She is the director of Biostatistics core in two large center grants related to environmental health. She is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. She is a member of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Director of the Cancer Biostatistics Training Grant. She has won multiple awards for her teaching accomplishments including the 2012 School of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award at University of Michigan.
Directions: The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning is accessible to the public through the staircase that is south of the main entrance security desk.