Adriaan van der Graaf

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 3D printing as a hobby, making a pen plotter and designing and building my own lamps.