Professor Peter Visscher

Program in Complex Trait Genomics

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

Title: "The genetics of educational attainment"

Abstract :  Educational attainment ranges from completion of high school through to PhD graduation and reflects a complex mixture of factors such as intelligence, perseverance, resilience and opportunity. Variation between people in the number of years of schooling is (therefore) attributable to both environmental and genetic factors. Twin studies have implied that about 20-40% of variation is genetic and we now have the tools and data to dissect this variation into contributions from individual genetic loci and to study their biology. I will show results from a genome-wide association study of more than 1 million individuals, from which >1200 associated loci were detected, implicating genes involved in brain-development processes and neuron-to-neuron communication. A joint multi-phenotype analysis of educational attainment and related cognitive phenotypes generates polygenic scores that explain 11–13% of the variance in educational attainment and 7–10% of the variance in cognitive performance. This prediction accuracy substantially increases the utility of polygenic scores as tools in research.

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.

The scheduled QBI Neuroscience Seminar series are held on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm in the Level 7 Auditorium of the Queensland Brain Institute, Building 79, St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland. Additional seminars may be held at other times as listed below.


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018