The Section of Statistical Genetics (SSG)

The overall goal of the Section of Statistical Genetics is to provide statistical, computational, and bioinformatic support to UAB investigators. The program maintains an internal structure/division of labor that draws on the talents of multiple individuals across campus to provide support and leadership in the statistical and bioinformatic aspects that are ever in demand on campus. It also aims to increase methodologic work in genomic science per se so that we have a stimulated and leading edge cadre of investigators in this area.

 

More specifically, our mission is to advance knowledge in the field of statistical genetics and in the biological, biomedical, and behavioral sciences through applications of statistical genetic methodology. We aim to achieve these ends by:

 

  1. implementing a high caliber teaching program in statistical genetic for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and others;
  2. conducting original research to develop and evaluate statistical genetic methodologies;
  3. conducting original biomedical and biological research using statistical methodology;
  4. collaborating with investigators on biomedical research that requires statistical genetic support.

 

To fulfill this mission, we have carefully developed a cadre of investigators at the faculty, postdoctoral fellow, and graduate student levels that collectively have expertise in multiple areas, including, but not limited to sequence, pathway, admixture, CNV, epigenetic, gene expression and other analyses, experimental crosses, theoretical/mathematical statistical genetics, and genome wide association studies.

The services available through the Section of Staticstical Genetics are:

Bioinformatic Support

Utilizing elements of design, analysis and computing to facilitate the research in high-dimensional, high-throughput genetic and genomics studies. The bioinformatic support component of the program will provide support for bioinformatic tools, data management, and bioinformatic methods for genetic and genomic experiments. The support team will create an intranet site that points to public resources, such as tools, tutorials, publications, and description of best practices for genetic and genomic experiments and their analyses. Finally, the bioinformatics team will assist investigators in integrating information from public gene and gene product data sets, utilization of data mining for comparative analysis, and deployment of tools for molecular analysis and scientific visualization of sets of genes, gene products, and signaling molecules that interact in a pathway or network.


Computational Support

High performance computing, and the infrastructure to enable such capacity, is a necessity to enable the rapid analysis of high-dimensional genetic and genomic data. The computational support component of the program will facilitate high performance computing and associated enabling technology infrastructure involving hardware, software, and human expertise to enhance performance and capabilities to address continuously increasing computer-intensive needs of the Center. 

Statistical Analysis

The SSG will provide statistical support for determining appropriate sample size and power for a variety of study designs, including:

  • linkage and association studies
  • association analysis pertaining to Next Generation Sequencing data including whole genome-wide exome sequencing and methylation
  • gene expression studies. 


It is necessary to enable the rapid analysis of high-dimensional genetic and genomic data through high performance computing, and the infrastructure. The SSG will facilitate high performance computing and associated enabling technology infrastructure involving hardware, software, and human expertise to enhance performance and capabilities to address continuously increasing computer-intensive needs of the Center. In addition, the BSGP will provide educational opportunities to UAB investigators in conjunction with other entities both from UAB and outside of UAB.