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Yifan Sun:Biomarker-guided Heterogeneity Analysis of Genetic Regulations via Multivariate Sparse Fusion


Time:2020/7/18 8:30
Form:Tencent Meeting

Topic:Biomarker-guided Heterogeneity Analysis of Genetic Regulations via Multivariate Sparse Fusion


Heterogeneity is a hallmark of many complex diseases. There are multiple ways of defining heterogeneity, among which the heterogeneity in genetic regulations, for example GEs (gene expressions) by CNVs (copy number variations) and methylation, has been suggested but little investigated. The heterogeneity in genetic regulations can be linked with disease severity, progression, and other traits and is biologically highly important. However, the analysis can be very challenging with the high dimensionality of both sides of regulation and sparse and weak signals. In this article, we consider the scenario where subjects form unknown subgroups, and each subgroup has unique genetic regulation relationships. Further, such heterogeneity is “guided" by a known biomarker. We develop an MSF (Multivariate Sparse Fusion) approach, which innovatively applies the penalized fusion technique to simultaneously determine the number and structure of subgroups and regulation relationships within each subgroup. An effective computational algorithm is developed, and extensive simulations are conducted. The analysis of heterogeneity in the GE-CNV regulations in melanoma and GE-methylation regulations in stomach cancer using the TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) data leads to interesting findings.


Yifan Sun is an associate professor and doctoral supervisor in the School of statistics at Renmin University of China. She is the Director of the Department of Mathematical Statistics, and the member of the 9th Council of the National Industrial Statistical Teaching and Research Association.  Her research lies at the intersection of statistics, machine learning and complex systems, and currently focuses on using novel data analysis methods to explore the complex biomedical data. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Statistics in Medicine, Statistical Research, and Physical Review X. She has presided over 6 national, and provincial and ministerial projects.