Sven Furberg Seminar: Dr. Chris Wallace

Dr. Chris Wallace, Senior Research Fellow, MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge University, UK, will present her research on "Conditional false discovery rates in genetic association studies of rare diseases and disease subtypes”.

Photo of Chris Wallace

Dr Chris Wallace. Photo: University of Cambridge

As is the tradition with Sven Furberg seminars, we will have a 10-minute "junior talk" before the main presentation. The junior talk will be given by Haakon Nystad. After the seminar there will be pizza & soft drinks and the opportunity to talk with the speakers.


Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of variants associated with altered risk of human disease. The GWAS design enables testing a large multiplicity of hypotheses, but therefore also requires large numbers of samples. This has prevented its application to less common diseases. Additionally, while the goals of stratified medicine would be aided by a genetic understanding of disease subsets, GWAS design encourages a "lumping" rather than "splitting" approach. In this talk, I argue that the phylogeny of human diseases can be exploited to increase GWAS power in smaller samples by application of the the conditional false discovery rate (cFDR) which enables leveraging of information from related diseases. I will describe its estimation, and use examples from immune-related diseases to demonstrate increased genetic discovery. I will also describe a 2D GWAS approach for identifying aetiologically-relevant disease subtypes, and show how the cFDR can be used to identify subtype-distinguishing disease variants by leveraging overall case-control comparisons.

Meeting Dr Wallace

If you would like to meet Dr. Wallace, please book a time slot at

Read more about Dr. Wallace's Group at

We are looking forward to seeing you all!

Published Mar. 21, 2018 12:15 PM - Last modified Mar. 21, 2018 12:20 PM