Deciphering the Genetic Components of Human Diseases
Understanding the genetic factors leading to a disease may lead almost immediately to better diagnosis and treatment of the disease. In the last few decades the scientific community has been able to pin down many mutations and other genetic variants that are correlated with human diseases. These discoveries have recently accelerated due to revolutionary improvements in sequencing and genotyping technologies. In an attempt to push the new technologies to their limits of statistical power, we are facing the challenge of designing efficient studies under budget constraints, and the challenge of accurately inferring missing and ambiguous data from noisy measurements. In this talk I will give a few examples of the challenges we are currently facing and I will present the current solutions. Particularly, I will discuss computational and statistical challenges in the analysis of studies involving families, and in studies of recently admixed populations, which are populations that came about by the mixing of two or more distant ancestral populations over a few hundred years (e.g., African Americans or Latinos).
Dr. Eran Halperin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science and in the department of Biotechnology in Tel-Aviv University. He is also affiliated as a principal investigator in the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in Berkeley, California. He is a computational biologist who develops methods to analyze human genetic variation in the context of complex human diseases. His group has developed methods that have been used by hundreds of researchers worldwide to understand the genetic causes of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and breast cancer.
Dr. Halperin has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles across different disciplines such as human genetics, computational biology, computer science, and operations research. His works have been published in journals such as Science, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, and Bioinformatics. He received various honors for academic achievements, including the Rothschild Fellowship and the Krill Prize.
Dr. Halperin received his Ph.D. in computer science from Tel-Aviv University. Prior to his current positions, he held research and postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Berkeley, and in Princeton University. Additionally, Dr Halperin held positions in the industry, including in Compugen, a Bioinformatics company, and recently he held the position of the Director of Bioinformatics in Navigenics, a personalized genomics company.