Genome-Wide Association Studies, Field Synopses, and the Development of the Knowledge Base on Genetic Variation and Human Diseases

Muin J. Khoury, Lars Bertram, Paolo Boffetta, Adam S. Butterworth, Stephen J. Chanock, Siobhan M. Dolan, Isabel Fortier, Montserrat Garcia-Closas, Marta Gwinn, Julian P. T. Higgins, A. Cecile J. W. Janssens, James Ostell, Ryan P. Owen, Roberta A. Pagon, Timothy R. Rebbeck, Nathaniel Rothman, Jonine L. Bernstein, Paul R. Burton, Harry Campbell, Anand ChockalingamHelena Furberg, Julian Little, Thomas R. O'Brien, Daniela Seminara, Paolo Vineis, Deborah M. Winn, Wei Yu, John P. A. Ioannidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have led to a rapid increase in available data on common genetic variants and phenotypes and numerous discoveries of new loci associated with susceptibility to common complex diseases. Integrating the evidence from GWAS and candidate gene studies depends on concerted efforts in data production, online publication, database development, and continuously updated data synthesis. Here the authors summarize current experience and challenges on these fronts, which were discussed at a 2008 multidisciplinary workshop sponsored by the Human Genome Epidemiology Network. Comprehensive field synopses that integrate many reported gene-disease associations have been systematically developed for several fields, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, bladder cancer, coronary heart disease, preterm birth, and DNA repair genes in various cancers. The authors summarize insights from these field synopses and discuss remaining unresolved issues-especially in the light of evidence from GWAS, for which they summarize empirical P-value and effect-size data on 223 discovered associations for binary outcomes (142 with P < 10(-7)). They also present a vision of collaboration that builds reliable cumulative evidence for genetic associations with common complex diseases and a transparent, distributed, authoritative knowledge base on genetic variation and human health. As a next step in the evolution of Human Genome Epidemiology reviews, the authors invite investigators to submit field synopses for possible publication in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume170
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009

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