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Biostatistics Seminar Series: Meta-clustering of Genomic Data

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The Division of Biostatistics at the Department of Preventive Medicine invites you to attend the following seminar.

Time: Monday, January 31, 3:00 PM-4:00 PM CDT

ZOOM Virtual Room Connection: Register in advance for this meeting

Speaker: Dr. Yingying Wei, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Title: Meta-clustering of Genomic Data

Abstract: Like traditional meta-analysis that pools effect sizes across studies to improve statistical power, it is of increasing interest to conduct clustering jointly across datasets to identify disease subtypes for bulk genomic data and discover cell types for single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) data. Unfortunately, due to the prevalence of technical batch effects among high-throughput experiments, directly clustering samples from multiple datasets can lead to wrong results. The recent emerging meta-clustering approaches require all datasets to contain all subtypes, which is not feasible for many experimental designs.

In this talk, I will present our Batch-effects-correction-with-Unknown-Subtypes (BUS) framework. BUS is capable of correcting batch effects explicitly, grouping samples that share similar characteristics into subtypes, identifying features that distinguish subtypes, and enjoying a linear-order computational complexity. We prove the identifiability of BUS for not only bulk data but also scRNA-seq data whose dropout events suffer from missing not at random. We mathematically show that under two very flexible and realistic experimental designs—the “reference panel” and the “chain-type” designs—true biological variability can also be separated from batch effects. Moreover, despite the active research on analysis methods for scRNA-seq data, rigorous statistical methods to estimate treatment effects for scRNA-seq data—how an intervention or exposure alters the cellular composition and gene expression levels—are still lacking. Building upon our BUS framework, we further develop statistical methods to quantify treatment effects for scRNA-seq data.

Bio: https://www.sta.cuhk.edu.hk/peoples/ywei/

We look forward to seeing you all among us.