Project Leader: Wes Crouse

Our lab uses genetically-diverse multiparental populations (MPP) to investigate allergic airway disease and other related traits. My project, which is a collaboration with the Valdar Lab at UNC, involves developing new statistical models to better analyze data from these MPPs. Typical approaches for genetic mapping in MPPs test for an association between a phenotype and haplotypes (rather than individual variants). Haplotype-based mapping has the benefit of accounting for local epistasis, but relating the pattern of haplotype effects to functional distinctions at the genetic level can be difficult. Our approach models genetic association in terms of an unknown number of functional alleles at a locus, with each haplotype corresponding to one of these alleles. This approach provides additional information about the genetic architecture of a trait and improves phenotypic prediction.