American Statistical Association
New York City
Metropolitan Area Chapter

Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University
Department of Biostatistics Colloquium



Karl Broman, Ph.D.
Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
University of Wisconsin, Madison


We consider the problem of identifying the genetic loci (called quantitative trait loci, QTL) contributing to variation in a quantitative trait, with data on an experimental cross (such as with mice). In the traditional approach to QTL mapping, one considers each genomic position, one at a time, and tests for association between genotype and the quantitative phenotype. Great attention has been placed on the adjustment for multiple hypothesis tests. The simultaneous consideration of multiple QTL can provide greater power, can better separate linked QTL, and allows the investigation of interactions between loci. The problem is best viewed as one of model selection. We describe the key issues and propose a penalized likelihood approach for model selection. Our approach provides an automated procedure that can enable biologists with limited statistical training to obtain a more complete understanding of the set of genetic loci contributing to variation in a quantitative trait.

Biographical Note

Karl Broman is a statistician focusing on problems in genetics, with a particular interest in recombination and in the genetic dissection of complex traits in model organisms. He received a Ph.D. in statistics, under the direction of Terry Speed, at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1997; he was then a postdoctoral fellow with Jim Weber at the Marshfield Medical Research Foundation in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where he developed comprehensive human genetic maps and investigated recombination rate variation and crossover interference in humans. A faculty member in the Department of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University for eight years, he moved to the Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007, where he is now Professor. He has served as Associate Editor for Genetics, Biostatistics, and the Journal of the American Statistical Association. He is, perhaps, most widely known as the developer of R/qtl, a software package for mapping quantitative trait loci in experimental crosses.

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Time: 4:00 - 5:00 P.M.
Location: Mailman School of Public Health
Department of Biostatistics
722 West 168th Street
Biostatistics Computer Lab
6th Floor - Room 656
New York, New York


Informal tea at 3:40 P.M.

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