A statistical framework for GWAS of high dimensional phenotypes using summary statistics, with application to metabolite GWAS presented by Chris McKennan
Title: A statistical framework for GWAS of high dimensional phenotypes using summary statistics, with application to metabolite GWAS
Abstract: The recent explosion of genetic and high dimensional biobank and 'omic' data has provided researchers with the opportunity to investigate the shared genetic origin (pleiotropy) of hundreds to thousands of related phenotypes. However, existing methods for multi-phenotype genome-wide association studies (GWAS) do not model pleiotropy, are only applicable to a small number of phenotypes, or provide no way to perform inference. To add further complication, raw genetic and phenotype data are rarely observed, meaning analyses must be performed on GWAS summary statistics whose statistical properties in high dimensions are poorly understood. We therefore develop a new model, theoretical framework, and set of methods to perform Bayesian inference in GWAS of high dimensional phenotypes using summary statistics that explicitly model pleiotropy, beget fast computation, and facilitate the use of biologically informed priors. We demonstrate the utility of our procedure by applying it to metabolite GWAS, where we develop new nonparametric priors for genetic effects on metabolite levels that use known metabolic pathway information and enable interpretable analyses at the pathway level.