Gudrun Jonasdottir defended her Ph.D. thesis successfully at Karolinska Institutet on May 16

Marko Suojanen (marko.suojanen a, May 19th 2008

Gudrun, a statistician at 4Pharma Sweden, defended her Ph.D. thesis successfully on May 16. The opponent was Heather Cordell, a distinguished professor in Statistical Genetics at Newcastle University. The title of Gudrun's thesis is: "Statistical methodology for testing genetic association in family based studies", and the thesis can be downloaded .

The thesis describes statistical methodology for testing association between genetic variation and disease. In studies of unrelated cases and controls, one simply tabulates the genetic variants in cases and controls and applies standard statistical tests of independence. Different ethnic background can be a confounding factor in such studies. Selecting a control among the siblings of the case is one way to match on ethnicity. This strategy will, however, induce false positives if the sibship status is not dealt with appropriately. Gudrun’s thesis describes and develops statistical methodology for analyzing such data, from so called Family-Based studies.