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April 2021


DBC News is a monthly publication that seeks to inform first and foremost faculty members, researchers and students. It also reaches out to a wider community - Department of Computational Biology partners, visiting faculty and friends.

Alongside the Department's website it is a complementary means of keeping abreast of the Department's rich and diversified scientific activities - visiting faculty, exceptional conferences, publications, awards, appointments, calls for papers and research, ...


The whole DBC extends the warmest of welcomes to new members.
Photo A.G.
Adriaan van der Graaf
Post-doctoral student, Group Kutalik

My name is Adriaan van der Graaf and I'm a Dutch molecular biologist who has taken a keen interest in statistical approaches to biological data.

During my bachelor molecular biology I found it really hard to grasp how statistical inference was done based on the data that was being produced in the lab.
So I opted to do a master program that was tailored to learning about statistics and inference from large biological data.During my masters I ended up doing an internship at the Genetics department in Groningen, learning about how we can best predict polygenic scores for celiac disease.
After this internship I was offered a PhD in the lab of Cisca Wijmenga under the direct supervision of Serena Sanna, working on how best to prioritize celiac disease genes for follow up in the lab.

I learned quickly that I was very interested in causal inference and how we can infer causality based on just observational data.

In parallel to the celiac disease work, we developed a new Mendelian randomization technique called MR-link that can better identify causal gene expression in a GWAS locus.
During my future work at the Kutalik group, I hope to be able to identify causal relationships that can be integrated into causal networks, to better understand how causal factors influence traits like human disease.

In my spare time, I like to do bouldering, and during the corona times, I've taken up a 3d printing as a hobby, making a pen plotter and designing and building my own lamps.

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