Home > Past 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
Add to calendar

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.