Invited Speakers 2017


Andrew Morris, PhD (2017 President)

Department of Biostatistics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK; Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Andrew Morris is Professor of Statistical Genetics and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science in the Department of Biostatistics, University of Liverpool, UK. He also has visiting appointments at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, UK, and the Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu, Estonia. The primary theme of his research is the development, evaluation and application of methodology for the analysis of genome-wide association and re-sequencing studies of complex human phenotypes, with a focus on type 2 diabetes and related metabolic traits, blood pressure, kidney function, women’s benign health disorders, and response to pharmaceutical drugs. His most recent research has focussed on “fine-mapping” complex trait association signals by aggregating genetic data from diverse populations to localise likely causal variants and genes, and to improve understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which they impact human disease. He currently co-leads analytical groups in international efforts to further understanding of the genetic architecture and pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes as part of the DIAGRAM and DIAMANTE Consortia, which have led to identification of more than 100 loci robustly associated with the disease. Within these efforts, his research has demonstrated that genetic association signals for type 2 diabetes are shared across ethnicities, and that specific signatures of transcription factor binding in disease-relevant tissues (pancreas and liver) are likely markers of causal variants.




                                                 Mark Caulfield, FRCP, FMEDSCI (Invited Speaker)

Chief Scientist, Genomics England

Mark Caulfield graduated in Medicine in 1984 from the London Hospital Medical College and trained in Clinical Pharmacology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital where he developed a research programme in molecular genetics of hypertension and translational clinical research. He was appointed Director of William Harvey Research Institute in 2002 and was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008 and was President of the British Hypertension Society (2009-2011). In 2013 he was appointed Chief Scientist for Genomics England, charged with delivery of the 100,000 Genomes Project on whole genome sequencing in rare disease, cancer and infection.



                                              Katerina Kechris, PhD (Invited Speaker)

Biostatistics and Informatics, Colorado School of Public Health, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Katerina Kechris’s research focuses on the development and application of statistical methods for analyzing high throughput omics data. She has several focus areas: (1) analyzing transcription factor binding and miRNA data to study the regulation of transcription and post-transcriptional processing, (2) examining the genetic and epigenetic factors controlling gene expression, and (3) integrating multiple omics data sets. Dr. Kechris collaborates with investigators studying alcohol abuse using animal models, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the COPDGene genetic epidemiology study, and diabetes and obesity in longitudinal cohorts.




                                            Pak Sham (Invited Speaker)

The University of Hong Kong

Pak Sham is Chair Professor of Psychiatric Genomics and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Hong Kong. He graduated with a PhD in Genetics in 2001 from the University of Cambridge. His research works focus on statistical methodology for genetics and epidemiological studies and genetics and epidemiology of psychiatric disorders. Pak has authored or co-authored over 375 peer-reviewed articles, and is the author of the popular book Statistics in Human Genetics.




                                             Chris Wallace (Invited Speaker)

University of Cambridge

The clinically distinct autoimmune diseases exhibit complex patterns of co-morbidity that are reflected in a partial sharing of genetic risk factors. Chris Wallace is a statistician whose work is focused on developing methods for horizontal integration of genetic, genomic and phenotypic information from multiple high and low dimensional data sources in order to better understand the causes of these diseases.




                                               Ele Zeggini (Invited Speaker)

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Ele obtained a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 1999 and a PhD in Immunogenetics of Juvenile Arthritis from the arc Epidemiology Unit, University of Manchester, in 2003. She then undertook a brief statistical genetics post doc focusing on rheumatic disorders, at the Centre for Integrated Genomic and Medical Research, University of Manchester, before moving to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, to work on the genetics of type 2 diabetes. In 2006, Ele was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship to examine design, analysis and interpretation issues in large-scale association studies. She joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Faculty in November 2008 and leads the Analytical Genomics of Complex Traits group. Ele’s scientific interests focus on the genetics and genomics of complex traits, primarily cardiometabolic and musculoskeletal phenotypes, and on addressing relevant statistical genetics issues.