Biostatistics Unit Seminar Series - Prof. Frank Dudbridge: Explaining heritability and predicting risk with polygenic scores

Friday June 12th, 14:30-15:30
LARGE Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Biomedical Campus.

Professor Frank Dudbridge
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

"Explaining heritability and predicting risk with polygenic scores"

Abstract: Much of the genetic basis of complex traits is present on current genotyping products, but the individual variants that affect the traits have largely not been identified. Polygenic scores, formed by summing risk alleles over thousands of markers, offer a simple yet effective way to access the heritability as a whole. I review applications of polygenic scores to establish a polygenic effect, demonstrate a shared genetic basis for related traits, predict individual disease risks, and infer causal effects using Mendelian randomization. I give a theoretical analysis of the method, showing that studies of hundreds of thousands of subjects are needed to achieve clinically useful genetic risk prediction. I describe new methods using polygenic scores to estimate the heritability explained by genotyping chips, the proportion of variants with effects on a trait, and the genetic covariance between related traits.

Seminars at the BSU are aimed at a general scientific audience and open to individuals throughout Cambridge. If you are not at the BSU and wish to attend an BSU seminar, please contact Shaun Seaman.

Seminars take place at the Large or Small Seminar Rooms, 1st Floor, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR. Please notice that start and finish hours may vary. Tea and coffee are served afterwards. All are welcome to attend.

Programme for the MRC Biostatistics Unit Seminar Series.