> Events > Mark B. Gerstein: Genomic Privacy

Mark B. Gerstein: Genomic Privacy

Starts Jul 14, 2016 11:00 AM
Finishes Jul 14, 2016 12:00 PM
Venue Birkbeck Main Building, Room 153
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Event description

We are pleased to invite you to the first Birkbeck Institute for Data Analytics talk, by Mark B. Gerstein, Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Yale University


I will talk about Genomic Privacy in general and then in relation to a specific application of RNA-seq data. In general, with every new exciting development in genomics comes the often under-appreciated ethical, legal and social concerns. Particularly with regard to issues of privacy, there are trade-offs as the technology continues to develop and the real-life applications of genomics become more of a reality. Numerous technical solutions have been proposed, but every technical safeguard is accompanied by increased complications with analysing and manipulating datasets. Moreover, technical solutions invite both white-hat and black-hat efforts of circumvention, making them less useful in the long-run. I propose a multi-prong approach to dealing with privacy issues in genomics that includes technical, regulatory and social advances that will create an environment that both safeguards privacy, prevents harms associated with a lack of privacy and promotes innovation in the fields of genomics and medicine. To illustrate the complex aspects of privacy, I go through two case studies that inter-relate RNA-seq data (and functional genomics data, in general) with variants. On one hand, scientists can use these data to generate general conclusions; on the other hand it is interesting and worthwhile to relate it to genetic variants. I go over some aspects of private information leakage in dealing with RNA-seq, particularly related to eQTLs. Then I describe aspects of RNA-seq calculations that cannot be abstracted from variants -- particularly, those related to allele-specific expression.

Refreshments will be served before the talk. RSVP to .

Mark B. Gerstein
Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Yale University
A full CV for Professor Gerstein is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Bender_Gerstein.