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Talk by Prof. Dr. Karsten Borgwardt in the context of our Distinguished Speaker Series

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Prof. Dr. Karsten Borgwardt (Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zürich, Switzerland) will give a talk in the context of our Distinguished Speaker Series. The talk is entitled "Significant Pattern Mining for Combinatorial Association Mapping" and will be held at the Center for Bioinformatics (CBI), building E2 1, lecture room 001, ground floor at 4:00 pm.


Despite all advances in large-scale genotyping, phenotyping and genome-wide association mapping, the problem of predicting complex disease phenotypes from an individual’s genotype remains largely unsolved. One possible explanation is that the vast majority of current methods ignores any trait-related interactions between genetic loci. The difficulty in exploring these interactions through “Combinatorial Association Mapping” stems from the combinatorial explosion of the candidate space, which grows exponentially with the number of interacting loci. This leads both to an enormous computational efficiency problem and a severe multiple testing problem. Ignoring this multiple testing problem may lead to millions of false positive associations; accounting for it may lead to a complete loss of statistical power. For this reason, statistically sound and efficient Combinatorial Association Mapping was long deemed an unsolvable problem.

In this talk, we will present a solution to this problem of Combinatorial Association Mapping through Significant Pattern Mining. This technique from data mining enables the search for interacting loci, while preserving statistical power and computational efficiency.

Prof. Dr. Karsten Borgwardt is Full Professor of Data Mining at ETH Zürich, at the Department of Biosystems located in Basel. His work won several awards, including the NIPS 2009 Outstanding Paper Award, the Krupp Award for Young Professors 2013 and a Starting Grant 2014 from the ERC-backup scheme of the Swiss National Science Foundation. From 2013 to 2016, he headed the Marie Curie Initial Training Network for "Machine Learning for Personalized Medicine" with 12 partner labs in 8 countries (_www.mlpm.eu_ ). The business magazine "Capital" listed him as one of the "Top 40 under 40" in Science from Germany in 2014, 2015 and 2016.