Can environment modify genetic effects on human anthropometric traits?

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Background: Large studies (including hundreds of thousands of individuals) identified genetic factors influencing human height, body-mass-index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). It is currently unknown whether the effect of the discovered genetic variants are modified by environmental factors.

Goal: The goal of this project is to use the Cohorte Lausannois (CoLaus) data to find environmental factors (e.g. smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity) that modify genetic effects influencing human height, BMI, WHR.

Mathematical tools: Statistics. The students will learn how to use Matlab to read in large data sets including genetic data; conduct linear and logistic regression and interaction analysis.

Biological or Medical aspects:

Supervisors: Zoltan Kutalik & Diana Marek

Students: Sven Conti & Samuele Testa

Presentation: Media:GWAS_projects_intro.ppt

References: <biblio>

  1. lango-allen2010 Lango Allen et al. Hundreds of variants clustered in genomic loci and biological pathways affect human height. Nature. 2010 Oct 14;467(7317):832-8.
  2. colaus Firmann M, Mayor V, Vidal PM, Bochud M, Pécoud A, Hayoz D, Paccaud F, Preisig M, Song KS, Yuan X, Danoff TM, Stirnadel HA, Waterworth D, Mooser V, Waeber G, Vollenweider P.The CoLaus study: a population-based study to investigate the epidemiology and genetic determinants of cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic syndrome. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2008 Mar 17;8:6.

</biblio> see Genome Wide Association Studies, Media: McCarthy_review_GWAS.pdf , GWAS papers

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