Kristel Van Steen

Director of the GIGA-R Medical Genomics Unit - Université de Liège

The BIO3 group is part of the GIGA-R Medical Genomics Research Unit and leverages systems approaches to exploit the recent explosion of information in human biology and medicine. The goal of BIO3 is to create exciting opportunities for breakthroughs in improving human health. It aims to do so by creating an interdisciplinary group of life science scientists with different backgrounds, including biostatistics, biomedicine and bioinformatics, but also biologists, software developers and genetic epidemiologists. Furthermore, it borrows strengths from intertwining methods development and application efforts in feed-forward and feed-backward loops. Currently, the research focus points are large-scale feature interaction detection, stratified medicine, and integrative data analysis strategies.

During the past decade, the BIO3 lab has made significant contributions to the development of novel statistical and computational methods for the detection and characterization of gene-gene interactions in population-based studies of common human diseases. They are a global leader in this area and have contributed to numerous studies and widely used methods such as Model-Based Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MB-MDR). The most recent work on this method includes its extension to the analysis of DNA-seq data (including rare variants), which is timely given the broad interest in high-throughput DNA sequencing for diagnostic purposes these days. The latter paved the way for gene-centric data integration approaches to be used in network analyses or to increase replication and validation exercises in genome-wide association and prediction studies.  The minimal protocol developed by BIO3 to enhance the biological and clinical relevance of genome-wide epistasis findings led, for the first time, to replicable epistasis associated with Alzheimer’s disease using a hypothesis free screening approach.

Office: CHU-B34, Quartier Hôpital, Avenue de l’Hôpital 11 , 4000 Liège , Belgium
Office Phone: +32(0)4 366 26 92
Lab: BIO3 - GIGA-R Medical Genomics Unit, Université de Liège