Congratulations to Chris Foley, Stephen Burgess, Paul Kirk and Amy Mason for their paper, ‘MR-Clust: clustering of genetic variants in Mendelian randomization with similar causal estimates’, which has been selected as the IGES highlight from May 2021.
Mendelian randomization takes genetic variants associated with a risk factor, and assesses whether or not they also associate with an outcome. If several independent genetic predictors of a risk factor are also associated with the outcome, then it is plausible that the risk factor has a causal effect on the outcome. The MR-Clust method is a clustering algorithm that divides genetic predictors of a complex risk factor into clusters based on their associations with an outcome variable. Distinct clusters of (two or more) variants having similar proportional associations with the outcome would arise if there are different causal pathways by which the risk factor influences the outcome. We use the method to identify clusters amongst genetic predictors of blood pressure based on their associations with coronary heart disease risk, potentially identifying distinct mechanisms by which blood pressure influences coronary heart disease risk.
You can learn more from the paper and the author summary here: MR-Clust: clustering of genetic variants in Mendelian randomization with similar causal estimates | Bioinformatics | Oxford Academic (oup.com)