PSB Session on Personalized Medicine Call For Papers

Call for Papers and Posters
Personalized Medicine:
from genotypes and molecular phenotypes towards therapy

Keynote Speaker: Robert Gentleman

January 3-7, 2014
Fairmont Orchid Resort, Kohala Coast
The Big Island of Hawaii, U.S.A.


Genotyping and large-scale molecular phenotyping are already available for large patient cohorts and will soon become routinely available for all patients. These data are setting the stage for rapid advances in personalized medicine, enabling better disease classification, more precise treatment, and improved screening for disease prevention.

Robust statistical and computational methods for analyzing these data are critical to realizing the promise of personalized medicine. Challenges of interest to this session span from accurate low level analyses of high throughput datasets to identification of causal links between different layers of molecular phenotypes, and incorporating them into diagnostics. The important analysis problems include identifying and correcting for hidden structure, dealing with missing data, data heterogeneity, and addressing the problem of multiple testing. For example, in genome-wide association studies, population structure and family relatedness can reduce power and cause spurious associations. In gene expression studies, experimental artifacts and environmental influences have been shown to corrupt results of naive analyses. For multi-omics data, the number of potential causal links imposes a multiple testing burden insurmountable for all but the strongest signals. Further advances in statistical modeling and machine learning are still needed to realize the promise of personalized medicine of delivering a "computed therapy".

The session focuses on methods to address open and new methodological problems pertaining to various genome-wide data, including rare and common polymorphisms, structural variants, epigenetic scans, multi-omic data, intermediate phenotypes, clinical variables, and disease. We will particularly embrace submissions that span the full range from genotype to intermediate phenotype to disease phenotype. The session is intended to have a broad target audience including method developers and practitioners in the fields of medical and human genetics, statistical genetics and related areas.

Session Topic

We would like to invite contributions with relevance to improving statistical and computational methodology in personalized medicine that describe either (1) a new problem including ideas on how to tackle them, (2) a methodological improvement over solutions to existing problems alongside empirical evaluation, (3) adaptations of existing solutions to datasets with real-world scale. We encourage submissions that span the full range from genotype to intermediate phenotype to disease phenotype. The focus will be on methods applicable to large, real-world problems. Both frequentist and Bayesian perspectives will be welcome.
Examples of topics and problems within the scope of this session include :

Other topics within the subject area are welcome.

Session Co-Chairs

Oliver Stegle, Ph.D.
Max Planck Institutes, Tuebingen
Jennifer Listgarten, Ph.D.
Microsoft Research (Los Angeles)
Steven Brenner, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Leopold Parts, Ph.D.
University of Toronto
Quaid Morris, Ph.D.
University of Toronto

Submission Information

Please note that the submitted papers are reviewed and accepted on a competitive basis.

Important Dates 

Paper Format

Please see the PSB paper format template and instructions at

The file formats we accept are: postscript (*.ps) and Adobe Acrobat (*.pdf)). Attached files should be named with the last name of the first author (e.g. or altman.pdf). Hardcopy submissions or unprocessed TeX or LaTeX files will be rejected without review.

Each paper must be accompanied by a cover letter. The cover letter must state the following:
Submitted papers are limited to twelve (12) pages in our publication format. Please format your paper according to instructions found at If figures cannot be easily resized and placed precisely in the text, then it should be clear that with appropriate modifications, the total manuscript length would be within the page limit.