A new frontier of statistical research - whole genome risk screening

Dr Sang Hong Lee, a statistical geneticist leading a team in the Australian Centre for Precision Health, is forging a new path in biostatistics and AI driven mathematical computer applications that may soon be able to scan the entire genome to find disease risks like cancer.

“The genomic era we are now in gives us a real opportunity to find people at high-risk and low-risk of poor health outcomes, which will help us better understand what causes disease,” says Dr Hong Lee, Senior Lecturer in Statistical Genetics at UniSA.

“In the future it may be possible to predict future disease risk at birth, with the potential to predict and intervene in order to prevent the progression of disease.

“However, the accuracy of this level of risk prediction using current technologies is not yet good enough to allow it to be applied as an intervention for complex diseases like cancer.

“We are at the forefront of using advanced computing and statistics that can scan the whole genome to find the best opportunities to prevent cancer and other diseases.”

    Dr Sang Hong Lee, a leader in the field of statistical genetics and disease risk analysis.  

“My team are using advanced statistics to create intelligent computer models capable of scanning the whole genome to predict individual risks with far greater accuracy.

“It will also allow us to create a better understanding of the shared genetic and environmental architecture between different types of diseases and conditions – this novel knowledge can be used in a wide range of clinical practice, e.g. individual risk for a disease (cancer) can be intervened by modifying other traits that are associated with the disease.”