Summary of Talk:
The prevalence of asthma in the US has risen dramatically over the past decades. One hypothesis is that differences in environmental exposures to microbes (e.g., bacteria, fungi, viruses) are associated with the development of allergies and asthma. Early exposure to a rich and diverse microbial environment may shape the composition of an infant’s gastrointestinal microbiome and thereby affect the development of immune function as detected by specific proteins known as cytokines. A nested case-cohort of 104 participants from the Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) study was recruited to investigate the interplay between environmental microbes and asthma. The data from each child comprised of the relative abundance of ~50,000 bacteria taxa measured from house dust samples and 100+ cytokine measurements from blood samples collected at birth, 1 year, and 3 years. The goal is to identify the important relationships among the 50,000 bacteria taxa times 100 cytokines possible associations, while taking into account the correlations among the bacteria and that among the cytokines.
Dr. Henry Lynn is an accomplished statistician and educator with over 20 years of work experience in academia, industry, and government. He is currently professor of biostatistics at Fudan University, School of Public Health. Before then, he was associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and senior statistical scientist at Rho Inc. Dr. Lynn has authored more than 90 publications on applied and theoretical research, amassing a total of 4100+ citations. His applied research has covered various areas including asthma, hemophilia, HIV-AIDS, osteoporosis, and schistosomiasis, while his recent statistical interest has been in the analysis of microbial data.