The Fred Hutch Biostatistics Program hosts seminars featuring presentations by Hutch and outside scientists to share their latest developments and recent research. Each seminar includes an hour-long presentation and discussion during which speakers showcase their work and findings.
This seminar will be held on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biostatistics Seminar Series:
“Cell Type-Specific Expression Quantitative Trait Loci Mapping”
Gene expression vary across cell types, which at least partially explain the diverse morphologies and phenotypes across cell types despite almost identical DNA sequences. Genetic regulation also vary across cell types and traditional gene expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analyses often ignore such heterogeneity and map eQTLs of bulk samples as if they are composed of homogeneous cells. We have developed a new method to perform cell type-specific eQTL mapping for bulk RNA-seq data. Our method utilize both total expression and allele-specific expression, which further improves the power of eQTL mapping. We evaluated our method using various simulations. Then we applied it to study cell type-specific eQTLs using GTEx whole blood data and evaluate our results using gene expression from purified samples of a few cell types. We also applied our method to study cell type-specific eQTLs in human brain from GTEx frontal cortex samples and CommonMind Consortium (CMC). With the CMC dataset, we found that eQTLs of cell types can differ between schizophrenia patients and controls.