Abstract: In biomedical studies of common health traits, a shift towards large scale, unprejudiced, “global” approaches has been taken during the past decade. Such strategies are often denoted as “-omics”. The trend has been particularly clear in the field of genetic epidemiology, with a development in terms of number of robust findings going from virtually zero to hundreds for many diseases and traits. This development has raised the potential for improved individualization of diagnostics, health care and therapeutics. During the talk I will discuss important implications of the “-omics” thinking in research in general and also briefly bring up some recent examples with relevance for health and social science. If you want a glimpse beforehand I can for example recommend:

  • Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature. 2014 Jul 24;511(7510):421-7.
  • Locke AE et al. Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology. Nature. 2015 Feb 12;518(7538):197-206.
  • Rietveld CA et al GWAS of 126,559 individuals identifies genetic variants associated with educational attainment. Science. 2013 Jun 21;340(6139):1467-71.
  • Rietveld CA, Conley D, Eriksson N, Esko T, Medland SE, Vinkhuyzen AA, Yang J, Boardman JD, Chabris CF, Dawes CT, Domingue BW, Hinds DA, Johannesson M, Kiefer AK, Laibson D, Magnusson PK, Mountain JL, Oskarsson S, Rostapshova O, Teumer A, Tung JY, Visscher PM, Benjamin DJ, Cesarini D, Koellinger PD; Social Science Genetics Association Consortium. Replicability and robustness of genome-wide-association studies for behavioral traits. Psychol Sci. 2014 Nov;25(11):1975-86.
  • Payrot WJ et al. The association between lower educational attainment and depression owing to shared genetic effects? Results in ~25 000 subjects. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Apr 28.

Patrik Magnusson, MSc PhD, is a senior researcher affiliated to the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet. Patrik trained as a biologist at the Uppsala University and his recent research has focused on genetic epidemiology, and twin studies in particular. The research areas of interest cover fundamental aspects of the twin model, heritability, variance partitioning, large scale gene mapping for complex disease, genetic susceptibility and predisposition, and epigenetics. Dr Magnusson is currently in charge of the Swedish Twin Registry with responsibility for data collection, handling of research applications, data withdrawals and research collaborations and is also the chair of the STR Steering Committee at KI.

The seminar will take place in room No 549 (CHESS Library) at CHESS, 5th floor, Sveavägen 160 (Sveaplan), on Wednesday 20 May at 1.30 pm.