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Thomas Colthurst

Thomas Colthurst

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    Preview abstract Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) examine the association between genotype and phenotype while adjusting for a set of covariates. Although the covariates may have non-linear or interactive effects, due to the challenge of specifying the model, GWAS often neglect such terms. Here we introduce DeepNull, a method that identifies and adjusts for non-linear and interactive covariate effects using a deep neural network. In analyses of simulated and real data, we demonstrate that DeepNull maintains tight control of the type I error while increasing statistical power by up to 20% in the presence of non-linear and interactive effects. Moreover, in the absence of such effects, DeepNull incurs no loss of power. When applied to 10 phenotypes from the UK Biobank (n=370K), DeepNull discovered more hits (+6%) and loci (+7%), on average, than conventional association analyses, many of which are biologically plausible or have previously been reported. Finally, DeepNull improves upon linear modeling for phenotypic prediction (+23% on average). View details
    Preview abstract Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) examine the association between genotype and phenotype while adjusting for a set of covariates. Although the covariates may have non-linear or interactive effects, due to the challenge of specifying the model, GWAS often neglect such terms. Here we introduce DeepNull, a method that identifies and adjusts for non-linear and interactive covariate effects using a deep neural network. In analyses of simulated and real data, we demonstrate that DeepNull maintains tight control of the type I error while increasing statistical power by up to 20% in the presence of non-linear and interactive effects. Moreover, in the absence of such effects, DeepNull incurs no loss of power. When applied to 10 phenotypes from the UK Biobank (n = 370K), DeepNull discovered more hits (+6%) and loci (+7%), on average, than conventional association analyses, many of which are biologically plausible or have previously been reported. Finally, DeepNull improves upon linear modeling for phenotypic prediction (+23% on average). View details
    A universal SNP and small-indel variant caller using deep neural networks
    Scott Schwartz
    Dan Newburger
    Jojo Dijamco
    Nam Nguyen
    Pegah T. Afshar
    Sam S. Gross
    Lizzie Dorfman
    Mark A. DePristo
    Nature Biotechnology (2018)
    Preview abstract Despite rapid advances in sequencing technologies, accurately calling genetic variants present in an individual genome from billions of short, errorful sequence reads remains challenging. Here we show that a deep convolutional neural network can call genetic variation in aligned next-generation sequencing read data by learning statistical relationships between images of read pileups around putative variant and true genotype calls. The approach, called DeepVariant, outperforms existing state-of-the-art tools. The learned model generalizes across genome builds and mammalian species, allowing nonhuman sequencing projects to benefit from the wealth of human ground-truth data. We further show that DeepVariant can learn to call variants in a variety of sequencing technologies and experimental designs, including deep whole genomes from 10X Genomics and Ion Ampliseq exomes, highlighting the benefits of using more automated and generalizable techniques for variant calling. View details
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