Professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Genetic Medicine, Departments of Statistics, and Human Genetics, and the College
Senior Fellow, Computation Institute

Research Description

My major research interests are in the areas of statistical genetics and mathematical statistics. The problems I am studying are mainly motivated by applications to studies on the genetics of common/complex diseases.

Statistical genetics problems of interest include likelihood applications to complex trait gene detection, genome-wide strategies for testing gene-gene and gene-environment interaction, association with copy-number variation, methods for analysing data from genome-wide association studies at the gene/pathway/network level, and measures of relative information in genetic studies.

The applications I work on focus on finding the genetic and environmental components of asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetic complications. I am also interested in functional genomics and the analysis of gene expression data.

Mathematical statistics topics I am working on include Bayesian and frequentist ways of measuring the amount of missing data, general measures of information, and artificial likelihoods for hypothesis testing.

Selected Publications

Rhinovirus wheezing illness and genetic risk of childhood-onset asthma.
Caliskan M, Bochkov YA, Kreiner-Moller E, Bonnelykke K, Stein MM, Du G, Bisgaard H, Jackson DJ, Gern JE, Lemanske RF Jr, Nicolae DL, Ober C
(2013 Apr) N Engl J Med. 2013 Apr 11;368(15):1398-407. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1211592. Epub 2013 Mar 27. 23534543 ( Full Text )

On Quantifying Dependence: A Frame- work for Developing Interpretable Measures

Reimherr ML and Nicolae DL (2013)

(2013) Statistical Science, 28(1), 116-130.

An exponential combination procedure for set-based association tests in sequencing studies.
Chen LS, Hsu L, Gamazon ER, Cox NJ, Nicolae DL
(2012 Dec) Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Dec 7;91(6):977-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.09.017. Epub 2012 Nov 15. 23159251 ( Full Text )

Genome-wide ancestry association testing identifies a common European variant on 6q14.1 as a risk factor for asthma in African American subjects.
Torgerson DG, Capurso D, Ampleford EJ, Li X, Moore WC, Gignoux CR, Hu D, Eng C, Mathias RA, Busse WW, Castro M, Erzurum SC, Fitzpatrick AM, Gaston B, Israel E, Jarjour NN, Teague WG, Wenzel SE, Rodriguez-Santana JR, Rodriguez-Cintron W, Avila PC, Ford JG, Barnes KC, Burchard EG, Howard TD, Bleecker ER, Meyers DA, Cox NJ, Ober C, Nicolae DL
(2012 Sep) J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Sep;130(3):622-629.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.03.045. Epub 2012 May 18. 22607992 ( Full Text )

Resequencing candidate genes implicates rare variants in asthma susceptibility.
Torgerson DG, Capurso D, Mathias RA, Graves PE, Hernandez RD, Beaty TH, Bleecker ER, Raby BA, Meyers DA, Barnes KC, Weiss ST, Martinez FD, Nicolae DL, Ober C
(2012 Feb) Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Feb 10;90(2):273-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.01.008. 22325360 ( Full Text )

Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of asthma in ethnically diverse North American populations.
Torgerson DG, Ampleford EJ, Chiu GY, Gauderman WJ, Gignoux CR, Graves PE, Himes BE, Levin AM, Mathias RA, Hancock DB, Baurley JW, Eng C, Stern DA, Celedon JC, Rafaels N, Capurso D, Conti DV, Roth LA, Soto-Quiros M, Togias A, Li X, Myers RA, Romieu I, Van Den Berg DJ, Hu D, Hansel NN, Hernandez RD, Israel E, Salam MT, Galanter J, Avila PC, Avila L, Rodriquez-Santana JR, Chapela R, Rodriguez-Cintron W, Diette GB, Adkinson NF, Abel RA, Ross KD, Shi M, Faruque MU, Dunston GM, Watson HR, Mantese VJ, Ezurum SC, Liang L, Ruczinski I, Ford JG, Huntsman S, Chung KF, Vora H, Li X, Calhoun WJ, Castro M, Sienra-Monge JJ, del Rio-Navarro B, Deichmann KA, Heinzmann A, Wenzel SE, Busse WW, Gern JE, Lemanske RF Jr, Beaty TH, Bleecker ER, Raby BA, Meyers DA, London SJ, Gilliland FD, Burchard EG, Martinez FD, Weiss ST, Williams LK, Barnes KC, Ober C, Nicolae DL
(2011 Sep) Nat Genet. 2011 Jul 31;43(9):887-92. doi: 10.1038/ng.888. 21804549 ( Full Text )

An evolutionary framework for association testing in resequencing studies.
King CR, Rathouz PJ, Nicolae DL
(2010 Nov) PLoS Genet. 2010 Nov 11;6(11):e1001202. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001202. 21085648 ( Full Text )

Trait-associated SNPs are more likely to be eQTLs: annotation to enhance discovery from GWAS.
Nicolae DL, Gamazon E, Zhang W, Duan S, Dolan ME, Cox NJ
(2010 Apr) PLoS Genet. 2010 Apr 1;6(4):e1000888. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000888. 20369019 ( Full Text )