Perspectives of a Statistical Geneticist, an interview with BioSocial Methods Collaborative Member Mike Boehnke
I study the genetic basis of human disease using statistical methods, including techniques like genome-wide association (GWA). I lead several studies to identify genetic variations that predispose individuals to type 2 diabetes. In one such study, we have sequenced the portion of the genome that codes for protein in 13,000 people from different cultural origins: Europeans, Africans, Hispanics, East Asians and South Asians, and we are now extending that study to another 25,000 individuals. I am also working on a project focused on the genetics of bipolar disease in which we are sequencing the genomes of 4,000 European participants, and on a study of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in which we plan to sequence the genomes of 10,000 individuals of European, African and Hispanic descent. To do this type of work successfully necessitates collaborating extensively with others.