CANSSI Ontario STAGE Welcomes PhD Trainee Jianhui Gao

Jianhui Gao recipient of CANSSI Ontario STAGE Trainee Program.  

CANSSI Ontario STAGE are pleased to announce Jianhui Gao as the recipient of one of four CANSSI Ontario STAGE Trainees.  

Jianhui is a PhD student in Statistics at University of Toronto, where she works under the supervision of Jesse Gronsbell, Dr. Andrew D. Paterson, and Lei Sun.  

 Jianhui’s research interest is in statistical genetics and electronic health records (EHR) and has published research on the topics of statistical genetic, longitudinal data, partial differential equations and environmental health.  

Jianhui received his HBSc in Mathematics and MSc in Biostatistics from the University of Toronto. His master’s thesis focused on comparative study methods integrating genetic association. The past two years, Jianhui has worked on integrating genomic data into genetic association studies from UK Biobank (UKB) Data and developing novel statistical methods for association test between erroneous phenotypes and common variants.  

Jianhui received this year’s award for the project: Novel statistical methods for conducting genome wide association test between erroneous phenotype and rare variants.  

The goal of his project is to (1) develop novel statistical methods that account for erroneous phenotype when conducting genetic association studies that will initially focus on binary traits; (2) provide a freely available R package implementing the methods to encourage reproducibility and replicability (3) conduct a large scale analysis on the UKB data. 


CANSSI Ontario STAGE (Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology) is a formal and comprehensive training program in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, the first of its kind in Canada and one of few in the world. 

 The program offers training and career development opportunities designed to cross-train individuals at the interface of genetics and population health sciences in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics—two disciplines currently facing a massive shortage of qualified individuals in Canada and elsewhere. 

The overall goal is to improve prevention and management of complex diseases by increasing capacity in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics research. 

 CANSSI Ontario is the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI). Its goal is to strengthen and enhance research and training in data science by developing programs that promote interdisciplinary research and enable multidisciplinary collaborations. 

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