In " UKB-RAP Researcher Spotlight "
The Monthly Researcher Spotlight is our section highlighting the exciting work of the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform user community. If you would like to be featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was simultaneously published in the September 2023 UK Biobank RAP Newsletter. You can sign up for future installments here.
Ryan Longchamps, PhD
Assistant Director of Statistical Genetics
What are the focus and discovery highlights of your research?
Our group is focused on elucidating the complex role genetics plays in human disease in an effort to develop and deliver first-in-class medicines to patients in need. We implement a large number of statistical genetics and computational biology techniques to identify novel genetic targets as well as provide genetic support for existing targets across a wide range of diseases with a high degree of unmet need.
What are some of the key questions that you are looking to answer using UK Biobank data?
Our group is primarily interested in leveraging the scale of the UK Biobank to identify novel gene-trait associations. The comprehensive phenotyping available within the UKB enables us to design custom analyses for each trait of interest while the regular release of new imaging, metabolomic, proteomic and genetic data provide us with the opportunity to continually update and refine these analyses.
How has the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform (UKB-RAP) helped you perform your research?
As a relatively new group, the UKB-RAP has drastically improved our ability to build out our analysis pipelines compared to a traditional HPC. The web interface has also been extremely useful for members of our team who have less experience with cloud computing environments. Additionally, leveraging the knowledge, experience and tools of DNAnexus Community has been incredibly valuable and has often helped us troubleshoot at a much faster rate than would be possible with less active communities.