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Investigating Complex Disease Epidemiology Through Multi-omics
March 31 @ 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
The Department of Epidemiology Seminar Series
Liming Liang, PhD
Associate Professor of Statistical Genetics
Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Complex diseases such as asthma and cardiometabolic diseases are heterogeneous, reflecting distinct pathobiology mechanisms. These mechanisms are based, at least partly, on different genetic factors shared by many other conditions, such as allergic diseases and obesity. Investigating their shared genetic effects enables better understanding of the mechanisms of phenotypic correlations and is less subject to confounding by environmental factors. The increasing availability of large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) for complex diseases has enabled researchers to examine the genetic contributions to the epidemiologic associations between disease subtypes and between coexisting diseases and/or traits, providing insight into subtype-specific etiology and opportunity for more precise disease intervention and prevention. The current advancement in omics biotechnologies also provide a unique opportunity to objectively measure an individual’s health status, such as polygenic risk and metabolic signature for dietary adherence, and an individual’s responses due to genetic variability and the gastrointestinal microbiome. Dr. Liang will discuss his lab’s recent developments and applications of these tools in epidemiological investigation for complex disease. These tools provide high level evidence with the aim to unravel the complex interaction between lifestyle, biological constitution and disease resulting in more precise and personalized prevention.