Title: "Using the Optimal Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve to form Predictive Genetic Tests"
Speaker: Robert Elston, Department of Epidemiology and Statistics, Case Western Reserve University

Place: Mechanical Engineering (ME) 1130
Date: February 19, 2013; Tuesday
Time: 4:30pm

Current extensive genetic research into common complex diseases, especially with the completion of genome-wide association studies, is bringing to light many novel genetic risk loci. After first discussing two-locus models, I describe a relatively fast method, using a Mann-Whitney U-statistic and based on the concept of the optimal receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, to build a test with many ideal properties, such as having the highest overall discriminative ability. The proposed predictive test is asymptotically more powerful than tests built on other existing methods, can handle a large number of genetic predictors, and allows for loci that interact. The method uses an efficient procedure to handle missing data. Simulations indicate that this method often performs better than the use of either classification and regression trees or simple allele counting. An application to Type 2 diabetes finds multilocus interactions that are replicated in an independent genome-wide association study.

Associated Reading:
Qing Lu, Changshuai Wei, Chengyin Ye, Ming Li, and Robert C. Elston. 2012. A Likelihood Ratio-Based Mann-Whitney Approach Finds Novel Replicable Joint Gene Action for Type 2 Diabetes. Genetic Epidemiology 36:583-593.

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