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Statistical approaches for epigenetics workshop

13 December 2016

Statistical approaches for epigenetics: Challenges and potential solutions. A one day workshop. An engaged group of 31 researchers gathered for this one day workshop in Beacon House, Bristol on 9 December 2016.


Hosted by Professor Caroline Relton, Dr Laura Howe and Professor Kate Tilling, as part of the 'E4: Epigenetics: Environment, Embodiment and Equality' and 'Interstela: Interpreting epigenetic signatures in studies of early life adversity' projects (ESRC and BBSRC funded), as well as Professor Tilling's 'Modelling epigenetic change: Development of a multilevel and mixture modelling framework for the analysis of epigenetic change' (MRC funded).


The first sesssion consisted of the following presentations:

  • Methods for multiple imputation of missing data in epigenetic datasets (Professor Kate Tilling)
  • Principal Component Informed Dimensionality Reduction Approach for 450K Mehtylation data  (Tom Richardson)
  • Modelling epigenetic change (Dr Andrew Simpkin and Dr Riccardo Marioni)
  • Enrichment Analysis in Epigenome Wide Association Studies (Dr Benjamin Lehne)
  • Prediction modelling using epigenetic data (Dr Matthew Suderman and Ryan Langdon)

3 minute discussion session

The afternoon included an engaging quick fire 3 minute discussion session, with contributors presenting for 3 minutes, followed by discussion within the group.

The following subjects were presented:

  • Adapting the concept of 'heritability' to non-genetic high throughput data (Dr Gibran Hemani)
  • Identifying instruments for methylation in Mendelian Randomisation (MR) analysis (Dr Rebecca Richmond)
  • Adapting LD-score regression to adjust for confounding in EWAS (Dr Gibran Hemani)
  • Identifying biologically informative global DNA methylation summary statistics (Dr Paul Yousefi)
  • Collider in EWAS: the case of smoking status and adversity (Dr Lotte Houtepen)
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