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Denise Xifara

Research summary

My research interests focus on the statistical characterisation of relatedness between humans. More specifically, I am interested in detecting recent coancestry and haplotype sharing between individuals in order to make inference on recent demographic events, such as isolatedness, exponential growth and migration. I am further keen to explore how this coancestry can be exploited in disease association studies, where confounding from stratification of rare variants remains an open problem.

In my role as Professor McVean's RA, I have been involved in the Immunochip project and other collaborations to explore statistical methodologies for association testing of variants with Multiple Sclerosis. We have investigated different methods for detecting and localising associations. This allows us to search for candidate reginos that are suitable for further sequencing and functional follow-up studies.