Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Statistical Challenges Arising from Genome Resequencing

13 July - 6 August 2010

Organisers: Professor D Balding (UCL), Professor C Holmes (Oxford), Professor G McVean (Oxford)
and Professor M Stephens (Chicago)

Programme Theme

The current generation of high-throughput genetic and genomic platforms, has had a great impact on biomedical research, and given new impetus to studies of molecular mechanisms of genetic disease, and to systems biology. The next big technological step forward is the advent of cheap, fast, sequencing platforms that will allow near-complete genome sequences to be quickly and affordably obtained from individual members of any species. Individual genomes from humans, their pathogens and model organisms will have an enormous impact on population genetics and evolutionary theory, as well as on epidemiology, particularly our understanding of infectious disease.

The motivation for our workshop is to bring together leading mathematical and biological researchers in an interdisciplinary environment to discuss the mathematical, statistical and computational challenges that lie ahead. We plan to discuss the most pressing open problems and the most promising avenues of future research necessary to deliver the full benefits of genome resequencing.

Precise topics are yet to be decided in this fast-moving field, but they are likely to involve sequence assembly, and applications of resequencing to genetic epidemiology and metagenomics. The mathematical techniques involved will be wide-ranging, including statistical and machine-learning techniques for high-dimensional classification and regression, as well as techniques from signal processing and various mathematical models of evolutionary processes.

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