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Core Curriculum in Statistical Genetics

Details of course offerings have been removed from this page, due to changes. For planned course offerings over the period 2008-2013, please see the course offerings page.

A three course core sequence in statistical genetics is offered jointly by the departments of Statistics and Biostatistics. The sequence was first offered during the 1999-2000 academic year under the heading of special topics in advanced biostatistics. As of Fall 2000, the courses are established as BIOST/STAT 550-1-2.

STAT 550 Statistical Genetics I: Mendelian Traits (3) Thompson, Minin
Course web page (2012)
Mendelian genetic traits. Population genetics; Hardy-Weinberg, allelic variation, subdivision. Likelihood inference, information and power; latent variables and EM algorithm. Pedigree relationships and gene identity. Meiosis and recombination. Linkage detection. Multipoint linkage analysis. Prerequisite: STAT 390 and STAT 394, or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with BIOST 550.

By the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • statistically relate Mendelian trait data on related individual to the underlying inheritance of genes and gene identity by descent patterns
  • identify procedures for estimation of allele frequencies, recombination frequencies, and other genetic parameters underlying observations on Mendelian traits
  • identify computational and analytical methods for linkage likelihood analysis of Mendelian trait and marker data
  • read and understand the current applied and theoretical literature involving gene identity by descent and linkage mapping of Mendelian traits
  • lead a discussion of a relevant paper from the literature or of material from the text (that has not been covered in class).

BIOST 551 Statistical Genetics II: Quantitative Traits (3) Weir,Thornton
Course web page (2012)
Statistical basis for describing variation in quantitative traits. Decomposition of trait variation into components representing genes, environment and gene-environment interaction. Methods of mapping and characterizing quantitative trait loci. Prerequisite: STAT/BIOST 550; STAT 423 or BIOST 515; or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with STAT 551.

By the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • statistically relate genetic and environmental effects to a quantitative trait
  • identify procedures for estimation of genetic and environmental effects
  • identify methods for localization of genes that influence variation in quantitative traits
  • read/understand the current applied and theoretical literature involving genetic influences on quantitative traits
  • lead a discussion of a relevant paper from the literature or of material from the text (that has not been covered in class)

BIOST 552 Statistical Genetics III: Design and Analysis(3) Wijsman
Current web page (2012)
Use of discrete and quantitative genetic models for design and analysis for traits with a genetic basis. Different approaches to linkage analysis, finescale mapping, interpretation, real-life constraints, choosing among alternative designs, sample size estimation, and ascertainment. Prerequisites: STAT/BIOST 550, 551; or permission of instructor. Offered jointly with STAT 552.

By the end of the course, the student should be able to

 

  • Choose among methods for analysis of genetic traits, and apply them appropriately,
  • Discuss strengths and weaknesses of methods for such analyses, using statistical principles to form the basis for discussion,
  • Provide interpretation of results of such analyses,
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of commonly-used study designs,
  • Understand the impact of ascertainment on analysis results and conclusions,
  • Design a study of a complex trait with justification of analytic methods and required sample sizes,
  • Read, understand, and critically evaluate the current literature involving genetic influences on complex traits.

In addition, the following classes are required:

GENOME 562 Population Genetics (4) Felsenstein
Current web page:2013
Mathematical and experimental approaches to the genetics of natural populations, especially as they relate to evolution. Emphasis on theoretical population genetics. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

GENOME 540 Genome and Protein Sequence Analysis (4) Green
Current web page:2013
Algorithmic and probabilistic methods for analysis of DNA and protein analysis. Students must be able to write computer programs for data analysis. Prior coursework in biology and probability highly desirable. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

as well as three consecutive quarters of participation in

Biostat 581 Seminar in Biostatistics: Statistical Genetics (max. 9) Wijsman, Weir, Thompson
Presentation and discussion of special topics and research results in statistical genetics.

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