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1.  Whole genome sequencing data from pedigrees suggests linkage disequilibrium among rare variants created by population admixture 
BMC Proceedings  2014;8(Suppl 1):S44.
Next-generation sequencing technologies have been designed to discover rare and de novo variants and are an important tool for identifying rare disease variants. Many statistical methods have been developed to test, using next-generation sequencing data, for rare variants that are associated with a trait. However, many of these methods make assumptions that rare variants are in linkage equilibrium in a gene. In this report, we studied whether transmitted or untransmitted haplotypes carry an excess of rare variants using the whole genome sequencing data of 15 large Mexican American pedigrees provided by the Genetic Analysis Workshop 18. We observed that an excess of rare variants are carried on either transmitted or nontransmitted haplotypes from parents to offspring. Further analyses suggest that such nonrandom associations among rare variants can be attributed to population admixture and single-nucleotide variant calling errors. Our results have significant implications for rare variant association studies, especially those conducted in admixed populations.
PMCID: PMC4143626  PMID: 25519326
2.  A novel method to detect rare variants using both family and unrelated case-control data 
BMC Proceedings  2011;5(Suppl 9):S80.
To detect rare variants associated with a phenotype, we develop a novel statistical method that can use both family and unrelated case-control data. Unlike the currently existing methods, we first use family data to calculate weights to be given to rare variants, differentiating between concordantly affected and discordant sib pairs. These weights are then used in an association test applied to the unrelated case-control data. We applied the proposed method to the simulated sequencing data in Genetic Analysis Workshop 17 and identified two genes associated with the disease.
PMCID: PMC3287921  PMID: 22373319
3.  Comparison of a unified analysis approach for family and unrelated samples with the transmission-disequilibrium test to study associations of hypertension in the Framingham Heart Study 
BMC Proceedings  2009;3(Suppl 7):S22.
Population stratification is one of the major causes of spurious associations in association studies. A unified association approach based on principal-component analysis can overcome the effect of population stratification, as well as make use of both family and unrelated samples combined to increase power (family-case-control, or FamCC). In this study, we compared FamCC and the transmission-disequilibrium test (TDT) using data on hypertension, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure in the Framingham Heart Study. Our study indicated FamCC has reasonable type I error for both the unrelated sample and the family sample for all three traits. For these three traits, we found results from FamCC were inconsistent with those from the TDT. We discuss the reasons for this inconsistency. After correcting for multiple tests, we did not detect any significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms by either FamCC or the TDT.
PMCID: PMC2795919  PMID: 20018012
4.  Assessing the impact of global versus local ancestry in association studies 
BMC Proceedings  2009;3(Suppl 7):S107.
To account for population stratification in association studies, principal-components analysis is often performed on single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome. Here, we use Framingham Heart Study (FHS) Genetic Analysis Workshop 16 data to compare the performance of local ancestry adjustment for population stratification based on principal components (PCs) estimated from SNPs in a local chromosomal region with global ancestry adjustment based on PCs estimated from genome-wide SNPs.
Standardized height residuals from unrelated adults from the FHS Offspring Cohort were averaged from longitudinal data. PCs of SNP genotype data were calculated to represent individual's ancestry either 1) globally using all SNPs across the genome or 2) locally using SNPs in adjacent 20-Mbp regions within each chromosome. We assessed the extent to which there were differences in association studies of height depending on whether PCs for global, local, or both global and local ancestry were included as covariates.
The correlations between local and global PCs were low (r < 0.12), suggesting variability between local and global ancestry estimates. Genome-wide association tests without any ancestry adjustment demonstrated an inflated type I error rate that decreased with adjustment for local ancestry, global ancestry, or both. A known spurious association was replicated for SNPs within the lactase gene, and this false-positive association was abolished by adjustment with local or global ancestry PCs.
Population stratification is a potential source of bias in this seemingly homogenous FHS population. However, local and global PCs derived from SNPs appear to provide adequate information about ancestry.
PMCID: PMC2795878  PMID: 20017971
5.  A method to correct for population structure using a segregation model 
BMC Proceedings  2009;3(Suppl 7):S104.
To overcome the "spurious" association caused by population stratification in population-based association studies, we propose a principal-component based method that can use both family and unrelated samples at the same time. More specifically, we adapt the multivariate logistic model, which is often used in segregation analysis and can allow for the family correlation structure, for association analysis. To correct the effect of hidden population structure, the first ten principal-components calculated from the matrix of marker genotype data are incorporated as covariates in the model. To test for the association, the marker of interest is also incorporated as a covariate in the model. We applied the proposed method to the second generation (i.e., the Offspring Cohort), in the Genetic Analysis Workshop 16 Framingham Heart Study 50 k data set to evaluate the performance of the method. Although there may have been difficulty in the convergence while maximizing the likelihood function as indicated by a flat likelihood, the distribution of the empirical p-values for the test statistic does show that the method has a correct type I error rate whenever the variance-covariance matrix of the estimates can be computed.
PMCID: PMC2795875  PMID: 20017968
6.  A method dealing with a large number of correlated traits in a linkage genome scan 
BMC Proceedings  2007;1(Suppl 1):S84.
We propose a method to perform linkage genome scans for many correlated traits in the Genetic Analysis Workshop 15 (GAW15) data. The proposed method has two steps: first, we use a clustering method to find the tight clusters of the traits and use the first principal component (PC) of the traits in each cluster to represent the cluster; second, we perform a linkage scan for each cluster by using the representative trait of the cluster. The results of applying the method to the GAW15 Problem 1 data indicate that most of the traits in the same cluster have the same regulators, and the representative trait measure, the first PC, can explain a large part of the total variation of all the traits in each cluster. Furthermore, considering one cluster of traits at a time may yield more linkage signals than considering traits individually.
PMCID: PMC2367490  PMID: 18466587

Results 1-6 (6)