E. Warwick Daw, PhD

Research Associate Professor of Genetics

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My current research focuses on the development and application of mathematical and statistical methods that help to illuminate the genetic mechanisms of complex human traits. I am particularly interested in oligogenic models, where the effects of multiple genes on a disease are estimated simultaneously along with other factors. He has applied such methods in the search for “modifier genes” and recently identified four loci that modify the expression of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. The computational complexity of models that can incorporate genetic data from large families and information about environmental factors led to his interest in Monte Carlo Markov chain (MCMC) methods and Bayesian scoring techniques. He views the application of these methods both as grounds to confirm that they work and a source of inspiration for the development for new methods. Consequently, he is interested in a variety of traits and has worked on cardiovascular diseases, various cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, retinitis pigmentosa, alcoholism, and pharmacogenetic traits.