Royal Statistical Society
Highlands Local Group

Local organising Committee


Dr Claus Mayer (Chair)
Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland
Aberdeen AB25 2ZD
Dr David McLernon (Hon Secretary)
Polwarth Building,
Aberdeen AB25 2ZD 
Phone: +44 (0) 1224 438652 Phone: +44 (0) 1224 437152  

We are delighted to announce that Derrick Bennett, Senior Statistician at Nuffield Dept of Population Health, University of Oxford, will be delivering a talk for the RSS Highlands Local Group on 25th Sept. The details are below and the abstract will be announced in due course.

Date: Wednesday 25th Sept

Speaker: Derrick Bennett, Nuffield Dept of Population Health, University of Oxford

Time: 3.30pm for 4pm start

Venue: Room 1:029, Polwarth Building, Foresterhill, UoA, Aberdeen

Title: Using Mendelian Randomization to strengthen causal inference from observational data.

Abstract:Understanding the causal role of biomarkers in cardiovascular and other diseases is crucial in order to find effective approaches (including pharmacological therapies) for disease treatment and prevention. Classical observational studies provide na´ve estimates of the likely role of biomarkers in disease development; however, such studies are prone to bias. This has direct relevance for drug development as if drug targets track to non-causal biomarkers, this can lead to expensive failure of these drugs in phase III randomised controlled trials. In an effort to provide a more reliable indication of the likely causal role of a biomarker in the development of disease, Mendelian randomisation studies are increasingly used, and this is facilitated by the availability of large-scale genetic data. This talk will give an overview of the rationale and provide a non-technical description of the methods and potential limitations of Mendelian randomisation. Examples will be given where Mendelian randomisation has provided pivotal information for drug discovery including predicting efficacy, informing on target-mediated adverse effects and providing potential new evidence for drug repurposing.

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