CANSSI Ontario STAGE Welcomes PhD Trainee Jianhui Gao

Jianhui Gao, CANSSI Ontario STAGE PhD Trainee, Fall 2002 Cohort.

CANSSI Ontario STAGE is pleased to announce Jianhui Gao as one of four new trainees.

Jianhui is a PhD student in the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Toronto (U of T).

Jianhui’s research interests are statistical genetics and electronic health records (EHR), and has published research on statistical genetics, longitudinal data, partial differential equations, and environmental health.

Jianhui received his HBSc in Mathematics and MSc in Biostatistics from U of T. His master’s thesis focused on comparative study methods integrating genetic association. For 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 tests between erroneous phenotypes and common variants.

At STAGE, Jianhui will be conducting research under the supervision of Drs. Jessica Gronsbell and Lei Sun (Department of Statistical Sciences at U of T) and Andrew Paterson (The Hospital for Sick Children). Jianhui was admitted to STAGE for 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 applicability, and (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. When it launched, STAGE was the first program of its kind in Canada and one of few in the world.

STAGE 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 the 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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