Chris Wallace

SGX: Statistical Genomics
Telephone number: 01223 330368
Email Address: chris.wallace@mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk

Person overview

Chris Wallace is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and joined the MRC BSU as an honorary Programme Leader in February 2016. Prior to this, she held fellowships from the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation at other institutes in Cambridge and Queen Mary University of London, where she worked on various aspects of statistical genomics. Her focus is on the twin goals of using genomic analysis to make meaningful contributions to the understanding of human autoimmune disease and the development of statistical methodology to enable these contributions.

BSU Research overview

In the last ten years, genomewide association studies have identified hundreds of associations between genetic variation and autoimmune disease, but translation to biologicial understanding and clinical impact has been slow.

Chris Wallace's new research programme has two complementary aims. First, to develop the statistical tools needed to robustly and empirically link each genetic association with a gene, cell type, stimulatory condition and ultimately a biological pathway. Specifically, this requires methods for:

  • horizontal integration of different layers of omics data
  • adjustment for correlation and structure in omics data when testing association, without compromising computational efficiency
  • "fine mapping" causal genetic variants from amongst associated variants in genetic association data

While the methods are broadly applicable across a range of common complex diseases, Chris's second aim is to use the methods to understand the causes of autoimmune diseases, the links between different diseases, and identify pharmaceutical targets and opportunities for pharmaceutical re-purposing.

For further details of my group's research, including papers and code, see chr1swallace.github.io.

Selected Papers