Professor Jian Yang

Queensland Brain Institute and Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland

Title: Finding genetic and modifiable risk factors for common diseases

Most human traits and common diseases are complex because they are influenced by many genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a large number of genetic variants associated with complex traits. However, genes or functional DNA elements through which the genetic variants exert their effects on the traits are largely unknown. In this talk, I will present a statistical method (called SMR) that integrates data from GWAS and large-scale genetic studies of molecular phenotypes (e.g. gene expression and DNA methylation) to predict putative causal genes and likely mechanisms underpinning complex trait variation. I will then demonstrate the use of data from genetic studies of gene expression in blood with very large sample sizes to identify putative functional genes for brain-related traits and disorders. I will further show how the SMR method can be generalized to detect putative causal associations between modifiable risk factors and common diseases.

About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

While seminars in the QBI Auditorium have been suspended due to COVID-19, we will still be holding seminars via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018