Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Joint Seminars in Statistics & Biostatistics


Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Time: 11:30-12:30 Place: Jeffery Hall 225

Speaker: Qingling Duan (Queen's National Scholar in Bioinformatics, School of Computing and Dept. of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, Queen's University)

Title: Statistical methods for the study of genomic risk factors of complex traits

Abstract: The overarching goal of my research program is to identify and characterize genomic factors that modulate multifactorial traits such as drug response, allergies and asthma. My team leads the collection and analysis of multiple types of ‘omics (i.e. genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics and metagenomics) datasets from human cohorts. Specifically, we hypothesize that gene-gene and gene-environment interactions account in part for the missing heritability of complex traits. We test this using additive and multiplicative models in addition to network analysis and data integration to characterize novel biological pathways and underlying disease mechanisms. For example, we have identified main and interaction effects of genetic variants and environmental exposures (e.g., smoking, dog ownership, breastfeeding) on risk of early childhood asthma. In addition, we report novel gene networks associated with risk of asthma and response to chemotherapy among cancer patients. I am a lead investigator of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) cohort study and the Canadian Respiratory Research Network which supports the Canadian Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (CanCOLD). My laboratory is currently funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Queen’s University and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.