Title: Whole genome association strategy for unbiased candidate gene selection in inflammatory diseases
Speaker: Rosalia Aguirre-Hernandez
iCAPTURE Centre, University of British Columbia

Susceptible individuals for inflammatory diseases could be targeted for either preventative measures or care if we could identify them by obtaining their genetic code. However, to date, there is no effective method of discovering which of the more than 5 million genetic variants are important in determining disease susceptibility. A common approach is to test every genetic variation, in every patient, for its correlation with some disease (called Genome Wide Association Study, GWAS), but this is extremely expensive and slow. Instead, I use a different approach that consists in conducting GWAS analysis in tissue culture (rather than patients) where the response of every gene (rather than every disease) is measured. By considering every gene included in a microarray chip, it is possible to identify, in an unbiased way, candidate genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that appear to regulate expression of important other genes in response to the prototype inflammatory stimulus. These candidate genes and SNPs will then be tested in critical ill human population in future studies.