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Molecular Genomics

Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics

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Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics Core


The Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics (GESG) Core creates comprehensive study designs and analyses to speed identification of genes for common complex traits. The core consists of eight Master’s- and PhD-level statisticians trained in analysis of genetic data guided by six CHG faculty members with training in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics. We have established an extensive suite of analysis programs developed by other researchers as well as methods developed by CHG researchers.

Using a multi-analytic strategy provides greater confidence in study results as well as a deeper understanding of why those results were obtained. We continually assess and develop new methods to ensure that our analysis capabilities remain state of the art. Our software development and methods are standard around the world. The GESG Core manages analysis of both family data and unrelated case-control data, and is skilled at managing high-throughput genotype data in large data sets. Integration between the GESG Core, the Molecular Genomics Core, and Clinical and Laboratory Informatics Core provides a seamless flow of laboratory and clinical data through analysis. The Core fills an essential role in data management, statistical analysis, and interpretation of results.

The GESG Core performs the following essential functions for the Duke CHG and their collaborators:

Study design
Assessment of project needs, clinical resources and statistical power analyses are used to develop study design.

Quality-control analysis
Quality-control programs developed in-house rigorously assess data entry and laboratory errors.

Linkage and association analysis
Analysis of genetic data is conducted using a multi-analytic approach using several software programs, including:

  • Publicly available software programs, such as parametric and nonparametric linkage analysis programs, family-based association analysis, and general statistical software such as SAS, S-plus and Stata.
  • CHG-developed analysis software for affected sibpair linkage analysis Siblink, OSA, APL, and the PDT for association studies and simulation software.
  • The CHG-developed data management tool, LAPIS (Linkage Analysis and Pedigree Information System), provides input for any needed statistical analysis program.

Gene-gene and gene-environment interaction
We also provide expertise in analysis of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in case-control and family data.

Analysis of expression data
Statistical analysts at the CHG have experience in analysis and interpretation of expression data from SAGE and microarrays.

Development and assessment of statistical methodology
The faculty and analysis group are actively involved in research to study existing statistical methods and develop novel methods for gene identification.

The mission of the Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics Core is to provide members of the Duke CHG and collaborators with statistical support for analysis of genetic data to aid the search for genes contributing to human genetic diseases.

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