Sebastian Zöllner, Ph.D.
- BIOSTAT666: Statistical Models and Numerical Methods in Human Genetics Syllabus (PDF)
- BIOSTAT865: Advanced Statistical Population Genetics
- Ph.D., Biology, University of Munich, 2001
- M.S., Mathematics, University of Munich, 1997
Research Interests & Projects
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.
- Henrichsen CN*, Vinckenbosch N*, Zöllner S*, Chaignat E, Pradervand S, Ruedi M, Kaessmann H, Reymond (April, 2009). Segmental copy number variation shapes tissue transcriptomes. Nature Genetics 424-9.
- Zöllner S, Su G, Stewart WC, Chen Y, McInnis MG, Burmeister M (March, 2009). Bayesian EM algorithm for scoring polymorphic deletions from SNP data and application to a common CNV on 8q24. Genetic Epidemiology 357-68.
- She X, Cheng Z, Zöllner S, Church D, Eichler EE. (2008). Extensive Copy Number Variation of Mouse Segmental Duplications. Nature Genetics 909-914.
- Burmeister M, McInnis MG, Zöllner S. (2008). Psychiatric Genetics: Progress among Controversies Nature Review Genetics 527-540.
- Zöllner S, Pritchard JK (April, 2007). Overcoming the Winner's Curse: Estimating Penetrance Parameters from Case-Control Data The American Journal of Human Genetics 605-615.
- Zöllner S., Wen X., Hanchard N., Herbert M., Ober C., and Pritchard J. (2004). Evidence for extensive transmission distortion in the human genome. American Journal of Human Genetics 673-685.
- Enard W., Khaitovich P., Klose J., Zöllner S., Heissig F., et al. (2002). Intra- and Interspecific Variation in Primate Gene Expression Patterns. Science 340-343.
- Kaessmann H., Zöllner S., Gustafsson A.C., Wiebe V., Laan M., et al. (2002). Extensive Linkage Disequilibrium in Small Human Populations in Eurasia. American Journal of Human Genetics 673-685.
- American Society of Human Genetics