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Joan Bailey-Wilson, PhD

Head, Statistical Genetics Section; Co-Chief, Inherited Disease Research Branch

National Institutes of Health
NHGRI 333 Cassell Drive, Suite 2000
Baltimore, MD 21224, USA

Phone: (410) 550-7509
Fax: (410) 550-7513
E-mail: jebw@nhgri.nih.gov, gloriad@nhgri.nih.gov

Research Interests: My section performs research in both theoretical and applied statistical genetics to study human traits and diseases. Following data collection, we undertake power analyses, as well as segregation, linkage and association analyses of family data, and we investigate the properties of various methods of statistical genetic analysis through computer simulation. We are especially interested in the study of complex diseases, such as the human cancers. We are studying what role inherited susceptibility alleles might play in the development of lung cancer. Previous studies suggest that one or more major susceptibility loci may exist, with alleles that act in conjunction with smoking behavior and other environmental factors to increase lung cancer risk. I am currently involved in a linkage study of lung cancer in southern Louisiana families. I am a founding member of the Genetic Epidemiology of Lung Cancer Consortium (GELCC), a group of scientists working in collaboration on a whole genome search for lung cancer susceptibility loci. We have published evidence for linkage of a lung cancer susceptibility locus to a region on chromosome 6q and are currently following up this result as well as collecting additional data to confirm this result and to increase the power of our study to detect additional genetic loci that may act in conjuntion with cigarette smoking to increase lung cancer risk. Another of my projects, in collaboration with the laboratories of Dr. Jeffrey Trent and Dr. John Carpten, seeks to identify genes conferring inherited susceptibility to prostate cancer. We recently identified a prostate cancer susceptibility gene on chromosome 1 (HPC1) that we had previously mapped to this region using linkage analysis. We are searching for a gene suspected to lie on chromosome X (HPCX), and using linkage analysis to detect other regions of the genome that may contain prostate cancer susceptibility loci. We are also collaborating with other investigators to search for genes that confer breast cancer susceptibility in families that do not carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 susceptibility alleles. We recently published evidence suggesting that such a gene may exist. Our research encompasses other complex diseases as well, such as colorectal cancer, melanoma, oral clefts, myopia, familial intracranial aneurysm and inflammatory bowel disease. Finally, we are using computer simulation to examine the behavior of certain genetic statistics and tests under various situations that violate the assumptions of these methods. For example, we are examining power and Type I error rate of various parametric and non-parametric linkage analysis methods when sample size is small and/or when trait and marker locus models are mis-specified in the analyses. We are also examining power and Type 1 error rates of various methods for inclusion of environmental risk factor data into linkage studies as covariates.

Teaching Activities: Preceptor in the Predoctoral Training Program in Genetic Epidemiology in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Preceptor in the NIH Post-doctoral training program.

Last Updated: 9/17/03

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