Methods to unlock the genetic investigation into complex traits
Associate Professor Benjamin Neale, Broad Institute co-director of the program in Medical and Population Genetics
Friday, 16 September 2022, 3.30pm to 4.30pm
The widespread adoption of genomic technologies has advanced the efforts to systematically assess the genetic architecture of complex traits including severe mental illnesses. Here I will review the progress made in mapping complex traits but will focus on the development of methods and approaches to advance the discovery of genes and variants. In particular, bringing together mutation rate models with surveys of human genetic variation enables the identification of genes and regions under strong natural selection. Doing so prioritizes genes and regions of interest, particularly in the context of severe mental illnesses. I will conclude by reviewing the major open questions around the biological interpretation of genetic associations.
Ben’s research and training focuses heavily on the development and application of statistical methodology with a focus on methods specifically for genetic analysis. Ben has a strong track record of conducting analyses for genetic data with a heavy focus on psychiatric illness, particularly ADHD and Autism, but also Tourette’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia and Eating Disorders.