Alexander T. Young
Key Research Scientist at UCLA Human Genetics Department
Dr. Alexander Young discovered novel interactions between genetic variants in the FTO gene and environmental and lifestyle factors, which was published in Nature Communications (this was one of the first papers examining gene-environment interactions in a large biobank). Young developed a method and associated software for finding genetic variants with effects on phenotypic variability, a characteristic of involvement in gene-gene or gene-environment interactions, published in Nature Genetics. He developed a novel computational approach to fitting the kind of statistical model needed for this (a double generalized linear mixed model) that reduced the computational complexity from cubic to linear under the conditions of the application, allowing it to be applied to large-scale biobanks. Young also review papers on gene-environment interactions by top journals, including Nature Genetics, PNAS and Nature Communications.
It’s still early days in genetic research, though advances will aid study of educational attainment and, notably, disease