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Population Genomics

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Journal Club

Statistics for Integrative Genomics and Methods Advancement (SIGMA) Laboratory

Population Genomics Program McMaster University
Journal Club & Research Seminar Series

The Statistics for Integrative Genomics and Methods Advancement (SIGMA) Laboratory, Population Genomics Program, McMaster University is very pleased to announce the launch of a new weekly Journal Club and Research Seminar Series (JCRSS) starting September 10, 2013.

The meetings will take place on Tuesday's from 1:00pm to 2:00pm in MUMC room 4N55A, McMaster University.


The goal of the journal club and research seminar series is to foster discussion among researchers interested in statistical, computational and other methodological issues in statistical genetics/genomics and related areas. Our primary emphasis will be on integrative methods for elucidating etiologies of complex diseases and traits. The forum will be used to review and critically appraise recent literature in the field of statistical and computational genomics, high-dimensional data analysis, new technologies used to generate molecular data, as well as for providing a forum for trainees and other researchers to present work in progress. The seminars are for the most part intended to be informal and interactive. All interested individuals are welcome to attend this weekly journal club and research seminar series.

Specific Aims

Two specific aims that led to the launch of the JCRSS are:

(1) To facilitate the gradual development of local expertise that is needed (and will continue to be needed) in the fast-moving area of statistical and computational methods for the analysis of genetics/genomics data arising from microarray and related technologies by keeping abreast of cutting-edge research findings;

(2) To provide a forum for brainstorming and critically appraising statistical and methodological issues from which new research topics and fruitful collaborations may emerge.

We hope the forum will be used to promote discussion and allow for a stimulating conversation. Therefore, all interested are expected to actively participate by presenting a summary of peer-reviewed published papers (journal articles are chosen by the presenters); a progress report on on-going work of their own research and/or describing biological/experimental protocols.

If you would like to be added to our email list and receive all announcements regarding the seminars, please contact Joseph Beyene (

Venue and time

The meetings will take place on Tuesday's from 1:00pm to 2:00pm in MUMC room 4N55A,, McMaster University.

Suggested Focus Areas (to be discussed)

Presentations may focus on, but not limited to:

  1. Published papers on genotype-phenotype association studies, gene expression microarrays, next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods and protocols,  comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), epigenetics, biological signaling and regulatory networks in genomics or proteomics.

    This provides group members with a broader understanding of the bigger picture in this rapidly evolving field and keep them up-to-date on key findings and developments.

    • methodological/conceptual and novel applications
    • mathematical/theoretical advances or computational algorithms
    • good statistical modeling, data management and data presentation practices; creative approaches to dealing with large data sets
    • etc.
  2. On-going/preliminary results from own work

    This is a good opportunity to get helpful feedback on a broad range of issues regarding approaches, ideas and solutions put forward by the presenter(s).

    • comparison of methodologies
    • new modeling approaches
    • applications to new data types
    • etc.
  3. Biological/Experimental questions, procedures and protocols

    This is an excellent opportunity for biologists to introduce their field of investigation to a diverse group and present some of their biological questions for discussion. This will also provide graduate students in statistics, computational biology and related disciplines with an opportunity for a project topic for in depth follow-up and research. Postdocs and advanced graduate students doing experiments in a “wet­Page 3 of 3 lab” set up will also benefit from the interactive discussion and will enhance their statistical and data analytical skills.

    • specific experimental and/or laboratory designs; biological systems
    • human versus animal studies;
    • comparing genomic expression patterns across species;
    • new technology and experimental techniques;
    • etc.
  4. Novel clinical applications

    This provides a very useful perspective on all the hard work, innovations and advances in genomic research, i.e., synthesizing genetic information with clinical and epidemiological characteristics to better understand etiology of diseases; prevent and diagnose diseases; predict prognosis/outcome and so on. More and more interesting applications of gene expression and genotype data covering a wide range of predictive modeling strategies are appearing in traditionally clinically-oriented high impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine.

    • validation strategies
    • practical/cost considerations
    • etc.

***** Suggestions/comments welcome *****

Joseph Beyene, PhD Associate Professor of Biostatistics John D. Cameron Endowed Chair in the Genetic Determinants of Chronic Diseases Director, Statistics for Integrative Genomics and Methods Advancement (SIGMA) Laboratory Program in Population Genomics, Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University 1280 Main Street West, MDCL 3211, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1

: (905) 525-9140 x 21333 Fax: (905) 528-2814