Advances in technology and significant decrease in costs are driving progress in genomic studies. Studies of whole exome and genome sequences of complex traits in large samples are increasingly common. Other sources of high-dimensional information, including expression, epigenetic, metabolic and microbiome data, are also being collected in disease and healthy samples. To fully understand the complex bases of human disease and normal phenotypic variability, all of these factors should be properly considered in a unified analytical framework, together with epidemiological data on environmental exposures and other risk factors. To discuss how to address the analytical challenges presented by these sources of data, we have developed an annual symposium held in Philadelphia on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, named Symposium on Advances in Genomics, Epidemiology, and Statistics (SAGES). Our objectives are to favor development of analytical methods to bridge the gap between emerging technologies and data analysis in genomics and related fields; to encourage exchange and collaboration between methodological and applied scientists; and to foster training of young investigators by giving access to our conference to the largest possible number and promoting their active participation and interaction with the more senior participants. SAGES has been held continuously since 2013 and has enjoyed an increasing number of participants as well as participant satisfaction, with 98.9% of respondent to the post-symposium survey strongly agreeing or agreeing to the statement ?I enjoyed attending SAGES 2018?. We propose to continue this successful formula in 2019 and 2020. Each year we will select topics in the area of statistical and epidemiological methods related to genomics and other high-dimensional data based on perceived interest and potential impact on research. We will invite 7 speakers chosen among experts working in US institutions, including both theoretical and applied scientists. Participants will be invited to submit an abstract with their registration, and two poster sessions will allow them to present their own current research. Two abstracts presented by students or post-docs will be selected for oral presentation. A pre-symposium ?Meet the Speakers? get-together for junior attendees and a final reception open to all participants will encourage informal interactions, with the goal of facilitating collaborations and identification of possible new mentor-trainee relationships. More than 78% of respondent to the post-symposium survey strongly agreed or agreed with the statement ?I made connections with colleagues by attending SAGES 2018 that are valuable for my work?. Our final goal is to promote training, collaboration, and the development and application of methodologies that will further our understanding of the complex mechanisms responsible for human disorders.
Advances in analytical methods for genomics and other high-dimensional data research fields are strongly needed. We propose to continue and expand our very successful Symposium on Advances in Genomics, Epidemiology, and Statistics that will promote and facilitate development and adoption of such methods, interaction and collaborations among scientists, and training of young investigators in these areas of research.