CANSSI Ontario STAGE Welcomes PhD Trainee Yuan Tian

Yuan Tian, CANSSI Ontario STAGE PhD Trainee, Fall 2002 Cohort.

CANSSI Ontario STAGE is pleased to announce Yuan Tian as one of four new trainees.

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

Yuan’s research interest is in statistical genetics, imaging genetics, and electronic health records (EHR). Yuan received her BSc in Statistics from Pennsylvania State University and her MA in Statistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Prior to her doctoral studies, Yuan worked at a commercial genetic testing lab conducting research using both company genetic data and public databases, such as UK Biobank (UKB) data and The Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Scientific Reports and Genetics in Medicine.

At STAGE, Yuan will be conducting research under the supervision of Drs. Daniel Felsky (Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), and Jessica Gronsbell and Jun Young Park (Department of Statistical Sciences, U of T).  Yuan’s STAGE project is titled: A novel mediation analysis pipeline to leverage high-dimensional and multimodal MRI as mediators in Alzheimer’s disease GWAS.

The goal of her project is to develop a novel mediation analysis pipeline to leverage high dimensional and multimodal MRI as mediators in GWAs by (1) identifying genetic risk factors mediated by brain functions or anatomy, (2) extend the method so that it fully utilizes by summary statistics to improve reproducibility of the findings, and (3) develop an open source R package that will be made publicly available on GitHub.


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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