The methodological approaches of genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics are primarily focused on the identification of genetic variation underlying complex disease. Here at IBG, there is a particular interest in the genetics of psychiatric, behavioral and neurologic disorders. IBG researchers make use of well-characterized longitudinal data arising from both family-based and population-based samples. Statistical and epidemiological approaches being used at IBG include genome-wide array and sequence-based association, polygenic scores, Genomic SEM, and SNP-based heritability.


All human studies utilize statistical genetics. IBG uses data from the following studies, and others:


The following faculty specialize in Statistical Genetics Research:

Matthew Keller    Michael C. Stallings     John Hewitt     Luke Evans   Andrew Grotzinger


Publication Highlights:

  1. Border R, O’Rourke S, de Candia T, Goddard ME, Visscher PM, Yengo L, Jones MC, Keller MC. 2021 Assortative mating biases marker-based heritability estimators. Nature Communications, 13, 1-10.
  2. Sapin E, Keller MC. 2021. Novel approach for parallelizing pairwise comparison problems as applied to detecting segments identical by decent in whole-genome data. Bioinformatics, 10, 2121-2125PMCID: PMC8352502
  3. Evans LM, Jang S, Hancock DB, Ehringer MA, Otto JM, Vrieze SI, Keller MC. 2021. Genetic architecture of four smoking behaviors using partitioned SNP heritability. Addiction116, 2498-2508. 
  4. Balbona JV, Kim Y, Keller MC. 2021. Estimation of parental effects using polygenic scores. Behavior Genetics, 51, 264-278[PMCID: PMC8093180]
  5. Kim Y, Balbona JV, Keller MC. 2021. Bias and precision of parameter estimates from models using polygenic scores to estimate environmental and genetic parental influences. Behavior Genetics, 51, 279-288[PMCID: PMC8093160]
  6. Evans, LM, R Tahmasbi, SI Vrieze, G Abecasis, S Das, D Bjelland, T DeCandia, Haplotype Reference Consortium, ME Goddard, BM Neale, J Yang, PM Visscher, MC Keller. 2018. Comparison of methods that use whole genome data to estimate the heritability and genetic architecture of complex traits. Nature Genetics. 50:737-745. DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0108-x. PMC5934350
  7. Evans, LM, R Tahmasbi, SI Vrieze, G Abecasis, S Das, D Bjelland, T DeCandia, Haplotype Reference Consortium, ME Goddard, J Yang, PM Visscher, MC Keller. 2019. IBD haplotypes can account for the missing heritability of complex traits in homogeneous samples. Heredity. DOI:10.1038/s41437-018-0067-0
  8. Evans, LM, MC Keller. 2018. Correspondence: Using partitioned heritability methods to explore genetic architecture. Nature Reviews Genetics. DOI:10.1038/nrg.2018.6
  9. Johnson, EC, LM Evans, MC Keller. 2018 Relationship between estimated autozygosity and complex traits in the UK Biobank. PLoS Genetics. 14(7):e1007556. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1007556.
  10. Stallings M.C., Corley R.P., Dennehey B., Hewitt J.K., Krauter K.S., Lessem J.M., Mikulich-Gilbertson S.K., Rhee S.H., Smolen A., Young S.E., & Crowley T.J. (2005). A genome-wide search for quantitative trait Loci that influence antisocial drug dependence in adolescence. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 1042-1051. | pubmed abstract |
  11. McQueen MB, Devlin B, Faraone SV, Nimgaonkar VL, Sklar P, Smoller JW, Abou Jamra R, Albus M, Bacanu SA, Baron M, Barrett TB, Berrettini W, Blacker D, Byerley W, Cichon S, Coryell W, Craddock N, Daly MJ, Depaulo JR, Edenberg HJ, Foroud T, Gill M, Gilliam TC, Hamshere M, Jones I, Jones L, Juo SH, Kelsoe JR, Lambert D, Lange C, Lerer B, Liu J, Maier W, Mackinnon JD, McInnis MG, McMahon FJ, Murphy DL, Nothen MM, Nurnberger JI, Pato CN, Pato MT, Potash JB, Propping P, Pulver AE, Rice JP, Rietschel M, Scheftner W, Schumacher J, Segurado R, Van Steen K, Xie W, Zandi PP, Laird NM. (2005). Combined analysis from eleven linkage studies of bipolar disorder provides strong evidence of susceptibility loci on chromosomes 6q and 8q. American Journal of Human Genetics, 77, 582-595. | pubmed abstract |
  12. Herbert A, Gerry NP, McQueen MB, Heid IM, Pfeufer A, Illig T, Wichmann HE, Meitinger T, Hunter D, Hu FB, Colditz G, Hinney A, Hebebrand J, Koberwitz K, Zhu X, Cooper R, Ardlie K, Lyon H, Hirschhorn JN, Laird NM, Lenburg ME, Lange C, Christman MF. (2006). A common genetic variant is associated with adult and childhood obesity. Science, 312, 279-283. | pubmed abstract |
  13. Keller, M. C., Simonson, M. A., Ripke, S., Neale, B. M., Gejman, P.V., Howrigan, D. P., Lee, S. H., Lencz, T., Levinson, D. F., Sullivan, P. F., & the Schizophrenia Psychiatric Genome- Wide Association Study (GWAS) Consortium (2012). Runs of homozygosity implicate autozygosity as a schizophrenia risk factor. PLoS Genetics, 8, e1002656.
  14. Lee, S. H., DeCandia, T., Ripke, S., Yang, J., The Schizophrenia Psychiatric Gemone-Wide Association Study Consortium (PGC-SZ), The International Schizophrenia Consortium (ISC), The Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Collaboration (MGS), Sullivan, P. F., Goddard, M. E., Keller, M. C.†, Visscher, P. M. †, Wray, N. R. † (2012). Estimating the proportion of variation in susceptibility to schizophrenia captured by common SNPs. Nature Genetics, 44, 247-250. (†joint senior author)
  15. The Schizophrenia Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS)Consortium (2011). Genome-wide association study identifies five novel schizophrenia loci. Nature Genetics, 43, 969-976.
  16. Simonson, M. A., Wills, A. G., Keller, M. C. †, & McQueen, M. B. † (2011). A comprehensive approach assessing the contribution of polygenic variation to risk of cardiovascular disease, BMC Medical Genetics, 12, 146. (†joint senior author)
  17. Howrigan, D. P, Simonson, M. A, & Keller, M. C. (2011). Detecting autozygosity using runs of homozygosity: A comparison of three autozygosity detection algorithms. BMC Genomics, 12, 460-475.
  18. Keller, M. C., Visscher, P. M., & Goddard, M. E. (2011). Quantification of inbreeding due to distant ancestors and its detection using dense SNP data. Genetics, 189, 237-249
  19. Duncan, L. E. & Keller, M. C. (2011). A critical review of the first ten years of candidate gene-by-environment interaction research in psychiatry. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 1041-1049.