Sebastian Zollner, PhD
- Professor, Biostatistics Department
- Professor, Psychiatry Department
Sebastian Zollner is a Professor of Biostatistics. He also holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Zollner joined the University of Michigan after a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. His research effort is divided between generating new methods in statistical genetics and analyzing data. The general thrust of his work is problems from human genetics, evolutionary biology and statistical population biology.
- PhD, Biology, University of Munich, 2001
- M.S., Mathematics, University of Munich, 1997
Population Genetics: Human genome variation provides intriguing insights into the evolution of our species and into the biology of heritable traits. My research focuses on developing methods for modeling the stochastic processes generating this variation. Based on these models I make inferences about human population history and develop tools for mapping disease variants.
Copy number variation: Copy number variants (CNVs) are segments of the genome that exist in different copy numbers in the population. As CNVs encompass genes as well as non-coding DNA, they are good candidates for functional variation. I have design methods for competitive genome hybridization (CGH) data and for hybridization intensities in SNP genotype data.
Rare Variants: As it is now possible to generate extensive sequence data for large samples, it may be possible to understand the contribution of rare variants to common complex diseases. I am working on several approaches to address statistical challenges related to this new data.
Genetics of psychiatric diseases: Most psychiatric diseases have high heritability; for example bipolar disorder has a sibling relative risk of 8. Nevertheless, identifying risk variants affecting these diseases has been challenging. I address this challenge by applying modern genetic tools and developing methods to understand the phenotypic heterogeneity of many disorders.
Cochran A, Forger D, Zollner S, McInnis M (2019). Gene-Set Enrichment with Mathematical Biology (GEMB) bioRxiv 554212
Carlson Z, Li JZ, Zollner S (2018) Helmsman: fast and efficient mutation signature analysis for massive sequencing datasets BMC Genomics 19 (1): 845.
Carlson J, Locke AE, Flickinger M, Zawistowski M, Levy S, The BRIDGES Consortium, Myers RM, Boehnke M, Kang HM, Scott LJ, Li JZ, Zollner S (2018) Extremely rare variants reveal patterns of germline mutation rate heterogeneity in humans. Nature Communications 9: 3753.
Prossin AR, Chandler M, Ryan KA, Saunders EF, Kamali M, Papadopoulos V, Zollner S, Dantzer R, McInnis MG (2018). Functional TSPO polymorphism predicts variance in the diurnal cortisol rhythm in bipolar disorder Psychoneuroendocrinology 89: 194-202.
Reppell, M Zollner S (2018) An efficient algorithm for generating the internal branches of a Kingman coalescent Theoretical Population Biology 122: 57-66.
Prossin AR, Chandler M, Ryan KA, Saunders EF, Kamali M, Papadopoulos V, Zollner S, Dantzer R, McInnis MG (2018) Functional TSPO polymorphism predicts variance in the diurnal cortisol rhythm in bipolar disorder Psychoneuroendocrinology 89: 194-202
McInnis MG, Assari S, Kamali M, Ryan K, Langenecker SA, Saunders EFH, Versha K, Evans S, O'Shea KS, Provost EM, Marshall D, Forger D, Deldin P, Zollner S, Prechter Bipolar Clinical Research Collaborative (2017) Cohort Profile: the Heinz C. Prechter longitudinal study of bipolar disorder International Journal of Epidemiology 47(1): 28-28n
Wilfert AB, Chao KR, Kaushal M, Jain S, Zollner S, Adams DR, Conrad DF (2017). Genome-wide significance testing of variation from single case exomes Nature Genetics 48(12): 1455.
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Areas of Expertise: Biostatistics